Scavenger hunts are a sure way to brighten up any party or gathering and to bring out the friendly competitive nature of partygoers. Outdoor scavenger hunts can be done on foot in cities or in nature, or participants can utilize cars so teams can cover more ground. The goal is to read clues, locate or gather items and return first to win.
Flora and Fauna
A scavenger hunt in the woods allows for a vast array of items found in nature to be gathered. Give younger children pictures of different types of leaves, flowers, rocks, trees and plants. Have them go around in pairs and find the live items to match the pictures. For a hunt in a park, let kids find animals like different types of birds, insects, butterflies, squirrels or bunnies. Once the children spot them they can draw a picture of them, which is more creative and far safer than trying to collect specimens and bring them back.
People and Places
Outdoor scavenger hunts don't need to be held at a park or beach. Organize a hunt around your very own house or apartment. Hunters can work in groups, traveling on foot around the neighborhood. For a kids' party, have a grown-up accompany each group. Give the hunters a list of people to be found in the neighborhood, like "mailman" or present them as clues, like "someone you'd give a letter to." Put places on the list as well and have groups find the neighborhood store, school or church. With cell phones or disposable cameras, let the kids snap pics with each person and of each locale.
Signs and Landmarks
Since adults can drive or travel more easily about town, their scavenger hunts can cover a more sprawling outdoor area, such as a whole town. Give hunters a list of area landmarks and let them drive around to find each place and snap pictures. Signs are also challenging things for players to find. Put all types of signs on the list, from businesses to road names. Use riddle clues to lead to the names of signs, or take partial or distorted pictures of distinctive signs and let guest figure out which iconic signs they are.
Thanks to all of the glow-in-the-dark items on the market, a nighttime scavenger hunt can turn a back yard into a festive spot filled with glowing clues. Make sure the hunt area is free of trees, roots or anything that could injure players. Cover small items in glow-in-the-dark paint and spread them throughout the yard. Items like rocks, plastic silverware, fruit and a ruler are all small and portable enough to be collected. Include glow-in-the-dark items that do not require paint, such as glow stick or bracelets, and allow guests to keep these items when they find them.