our everyday life

What Are Some Cute Scavenger Hunt Clues for Toddlers?

by Erica Loop, studioD

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, by 2 years old toddlers can walk completely unassisted, run, carry toys or other items while walking and recognize names of familiar objects, places or people. What better way to test these skills than to try a toddler-sized scavenger hunt? Whether you are having your little one search around the house for surprises on a rainy day or making a bigger birthday bash game in the backyard, cute clues are a must.

I Spy Conversation Clues

Your toddler is beginning to take notice of the world around him, exploring what his eyes can see. If you are looking for a modified version of a scavenger hunt that is ideal for a quick game, I Spy is an easy activity to help toddlers discover their surroundings. Come up with cute clues that all start with the phrase, "I spy with my little eye..." Add on a descriptive phrase that you pack with colorful language such as, "... a furry, fuzzy little friend" for the family dog, or "...pretty little dots and circles" for your child's polka-dot raincoat.

Photo Clues

Your cute clues for a toddler scavenger hunt don't always have to include words. Although your 2-year-old can't read yet, she can look at and identify photo images. Take and print digital pictures of places where you hide scavenger hunt items. For example, if you are hiding a hunt prize behind the backyard oak tree, give your toddler a hint and snap a photo of the tree's leaves. Another option is to take pictures of specific people such as mom, dad or an older sibling. These clues can direct the child to a person who can then provide verbal hunt hints.


If you plan on going the more pictorial route, try a sticker-themed clue card as a cute alternative to a written hint. This type of scavenger hunt clue also doubles as a pint-sized prize that your toddler, or his friends, can keep. Opt for a picture sticker that matches a hiding place that you use during the hunt game. For example, if you are doing an Easter egg scavenger hunt -- and are hiding a special chocolate egg near the garden -- give your toddler a flower sticker as a clue.

Recorded Messages

If your toddler can't keep her hands off the various buttons on your phone or the TV remote, give her the chance to actually press her luck and play a prerecorded cute clue. Use your cell's voice memo app or an easy-to-use recorder to make a special message for your little hunter. The message should use the toddler's name and direct her to a hiding place to find a prize or the next clue. Help her to press the button and play her clue as she searches the house, or yard, during this awesome activity.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images