The Traditional Scavenger Hunt to the Rescue

  by Erik Wolgemuth

Snow? In May? Again?

This was about the extent of my profundity when I took in a recent 10-day forecast. In true Colorado fashion, shorts and t-shirts were quickly replaced with winter jackets and mittens and the indoors for a few days. Sure, it doesn’t last, but frozen precipitation at this time of year always stings. And so, sure enough, we were stuck inside and I was scrambling for something fun, easy, and no assembly required to do with the kids.

We’ve written previously about the simple joys of indoor scavenging treasure hunts, but—with a few hunts under the kids’ belts and the wet snow still falling—I needed something new. The combination of winter-fatigue, a long, demanding day of work, and just feeling a few decades older than my kids had my capacity to come up with new and novel treasure hunting clues depleted.

And so, in that desperate state, we landed upon the more traditional scavenger hunt. That is, a hunt in which I provided a list of random types of things found around the house and chose a number of items to find that seemed to have the right feel (one thing that’s heavy, four things that have a triangle shape, three different things that are green, etc). Ten or so different items listed and waiting for check marks, I handed the sheet of paper to the kids and they were off. A countdown timer added to the fun and a mountain of random household objects quickly grew at my feet.

From a simple set-up perspective, it’s tough to get much easier or faster to pull off a fun activity than the simple scavenger hunt, which I’ll certainly admit was my main snow-in-May goal. But I ended up loving the creativity of my kids as they ran through the house scavenging. Sure, a tough judge might have disqualified some of the scavenges (does my stubbly face really qualify as bumpy?), but originality scores high in my book.

To get you started on your own hunts, here’s a list of some potential clues:

  • Two things that are fuzzy;
  • Five crunchy foods;
  • One thing that starts with the letter “M”;
  • Three pairs of shoes;
  • Six action figures/dolls;
  • Something with a star on it;
  • Your favorite t-shirt;
  • A dog, bear, and unicorn


Whatever the weather, we’ve got an activity you and your kids will enjoy. If the weather has you stuck inside, another idea is indoor bowling.

Picture by Natalie Fox; Used via Unsplash license.