Moms…you are going to love me after reading this! It’s so easy to do and costs nothing. No planning ahead required. The Put Away Scavenger Hunt is my go-to for turning grumpy days around. We have been doing put away scavenger hunts for at least a decade now and they never seem to get old. I usually just do them on an ordinary day with my own kids to change the mood, but I’ve also done them in place of an Easter Egg Hunt or as a birthday party game. It’s always a big hit.
The Put Away Scavenger Hunt:
- random items you already have around the house
- a prize. This can be candy, a full Easter basket, party treat bags, or something like staying up an extra hour at bedtime or getting a free pass on chores.
How to play:
- To set things up, choose one item you will give your child to start with. In this example, it will be the spatulas. Set this item aside.
- In the place where this item should go, place another item that doesn’t belong there. (In this example, a fidget toy was in the drawer where the spatulas should be.)
- Continue to do this with items around the house.
- In the place where the last item should go, put the prize.
- To play, hand your child (or children) the first item to put away.
- When they discover something in that location that isn’t where it should be, have them put that away and so forth.
- In the last location, they will discover their prize.
To give you an idea of how this works, I’ve taken pictures of a sample Put Away Scavenger Hunt to walk you through.
- spatulas handed to child
- spatulas get put away in the kitchen drawer
- fidget toy where spatulas should be
- fidget toy put away in its place
- keys where fidget toy should be
- key ring put back on its hook
- dishcloth where keys should be
- dishcloth put in its drawer
- decorative “R” shouldn’t be there
- in the place where the “R” belongs, an expanding ball sits
- expanding ball put where it goes
- toilet paper discovered there
- toilet paper put back in its cupboard
- shoes discovered there
- shoes replaced near shoe rack
- decorative sailboat sits on the floor
- sailboat replaced on dresser
- remote control shouldn’t be there
- remote placed back in the living room and some treats are discovered in its bowl!
Put Away Scavenger Hunt Tips:
- For older kids, place items in a way that has them running all over. I put an item upstairs and the next one downstairs and the next outside and the next on the main floor and then next in the garage. That way, it’s more challenging, lasts longer, and gets in some exercise for them.
- If you’re hiding large prizes like treat bags for a birthday party or Easter baskets, the dryer is a great place. Just put dryer balls in the second-last place and when the kids go put them away, they will find their prize. The garage is another area we’ve used to end the game if it was a larger prize.
- Add some humour. My kids think it’s hilarious if I put a pair of underwear in like a kitchen drawer or something. Be sure it’s clean underwear of course, but this always makes them roar with laughter!
- Toothbrushes, books, kitchen utensils, photo frames, pencils, candles, and oven mitts all work great for this game.
- This scavenger hunt is a fantastic teaching tool as it helps kids learn where things belong and how to put things where they go. Think of this as a skills development activity for chores!
- Kids can also participate in setting this up for siblings which helps with critical thinking as they plan ahead to which item will go where.
- Adult supervision should be used of course and your child’s age and abilities should be considered when you choose what to hide where.
Let me know how your family enjoy this.
If you’re looking for similar activities, you can download our free printable Outdoor Scavenger Hunt. Just enter your email address below.
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