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Free Scavenger Hunt

This post includes: 
• Ideas and adaptations you can make to the collections list below.
• The scavenger hunt items to find
• Organizer tips

NOTE: Use this list as a template to build your own list; add to/eliminate items as you see fit. 

Ideas to add to this free scavenger hunt


Approach shop keepers to ask if they’ll help you with your hunt by either hiding an item of your choice somewhere in their store for the teams to find or by having them hold an item for each team. The team will then need to provide a little gift to the shopkeeper (a piece of candy for example) in exchange for the item. Alternate idea: Make up a silly performance to entertain the shopkeeper. The item they need to collect can be something silly or relevant to your event (like copies of a baby photo of the birthday gal/guy if this hunt is to celebrate a birthday for example).

Instructions to the teams: Take 10 creative pictures while on the hunt today. 

• Five of the photos must include ALL TEAM MEMBERS; all other photos must contain at least one team member (and the same individual CAN NOT BE IN ALL THE PICTURES; be sure to use ALL your team members).
• No photos may be alike (in other words, you can’t take 10 pictures of your team in the exact same location).
• The crazier the photo the better! Don’t just stand there and smile. Way too boring.

The items to find for this free scavenger hunt

Each item is worth 100 points.

One item CAN’T count for more than one thing on the list. Example, a strange or bizarre item that also happens to be a pig can’t count for BOTH the item containing the word ‘pig’ and the strange or bizarre item.

Magnifying glass
  • an item containing the word “pig” – the word can’t be handwritten on the item.
  • a mask
  • a motorcycle brochure
  • an old paperback novel ©1979 or before
  • something Irish – can’t be an actual person
  • a blue paper towel
  • a item containing the numbers 3, 9 and 2 – numbers can’t be handwritten on the item.
  • item from a school – must have the school name on it and the name can’t be handwritten
  • a strange or bizarre item
  • 10 UNIQUE business cards – can’t be your own team member’s cards and the cards must be from 10 different businesses or individuals. They can’t be from the same business with different employee names on them.
  • a colored lead pencil – any color but your basic lead pencil color
  • a crown (like what royalty wears)
  • a toy car
  • moss
  • a ticket stub of any kind
  • a house for sale open house flyer
  • a paint color swatch
  • a stuffed animal
  • the Queen of Hearts
  • a toy soldier
  • change of address card from the Post Office
  • a tea bag
  • a colorful shoelace – not white or black
  • a comb – can’t be black
  • unopened junk mail
  • a piece of yellow paper
  • produce – fruit, vegetable…
  • a ribbon
  • a salt or pepper packet
  • a store receipt
  • a picture of a movie star
  • weekly advertising flyer from a local store
  • a magnet or something magnetic – can’t be a person with a magnetic personality
  • dog or cat kibble
  • an eraser – can’t be attached to a pencil
  • a greeting card: home made or store bought. If home made you must use at least 2 colors in your design.                                      
  • something that by team consensus smells good – can’t be a person  
  • a piece of dark colored wood
  • a postcard or flyer advertising something (play, local shop, product)
  • a puzzle 
  • sand
  • a striped object
  • a super sized French fry container
  • a toothbrush
  • a travel brochure
  • an item that could be considered a murder weapon
  • a baked good
  • a bank deposit envelope
  • a bobby pin
  • a book of matches
  • a bottle cap
  • bubble gum (unchewed)  
  • a printed calendar page
  • a candle
  • a safety pin
  • a coffee cup heat wrapper
  • a flower
  • a hotel brochure
  • a listing of today’s horoscopes (DATE MUST BE INCLUDED)
  • a paper map
  • nail polish
  • a party item
  • a picture of a male fashion model
  • a take out menu: it must have “take out” printed on it – it can’t be handwritten
Scavenger Hunt Team Photo Fun

organizer tips for our free scavenger hunt

Plan your teams ahead of time. I recommend a minimum of three and no more than 10 members per team (too many cooks…). You can have as few as two teams to as many as you can handle.

IDEA: Ask your teams to come up with their own team name and to dress the part or co-ordinate outfits. The best dressed/named team wins a prize or bonus points

Prizes: Decide on the prizes for your teams.

SUGGESTIONS: Gift certificates/cards to your local coffee shop, movie theater or bookstore.  If you’re doing this hunt for kids, then ALL teams should get a token prize. Fun little toy ideas: look around your favorite discount department store for Frisbees, yoyos, bubbles, games, puzzles, etc. 

Start/end location: You should also provide a location to start and end the hunt, preferably some place private where you can go over the rules of the game and allow the teams to get organized and where, at the end, they can display the items they gathered. It’s fun to share their efforts with each other (and this provides an excellent opportunity for you to grade their efforts as well).

Walk your hunt location if necessary.

  • If necessary, make sure you have permission to hold your hunt at the location. 
  • If necessary, know store/business hours at your location, especially if you’re doing this at night.
  • Obtain maps of your location if available or if necessary.

Scoring Tallies for this free scavenger hunt

The winning team:

  • Will show exemplary creativity and enthusiasm for their team and the hunt.
  • Will have collected the most points.

How to score:

  • At the end of the hunt be sure to collect not only the items each team found but their master list as well. The only way a team can keep track of what they found is to check it off on their list.
  • Add up the number of items checked off for a point total for that team.
  • Next, check their collection bags to verify that those items are in there. I sort of do a visual check and count up the number of items I see. I find that the number of items they’ve collected pretty much matches the items checked off on their list.
  • You also want to do a visual check on the items they collected to see if they came up with anything really creative, funny or extraordinary. You’ll definitely give them credit for their effort during your awards presentation. Have them show off anything that really impresses you during the ceremony.

Grading notes:
Did any team do/find anything extraordinary?  Take notes to remind you at the awards presentation.

Tally up each team’s total points. 

OPTIONAL POINTS – ONLY ONE TEAM WINS:  Best team name/outfit (1,000 points). 

Awards (edit/add to as you wish):

1st place with most points

Other winner category ideas: Guppy Team (Grace Under Pressure), Team That Made Us Laugh the Hardest. Most Creative Team, Great Teamwork.  Award the teams for what they did best during the hunt.

Happy Hunting!

Chief Imagination Officer & Creative Director
Haley Productions’ Games
Scavenger Hunts :: Mystery Games
Kids’ Games :: Team Bonding Games

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