10 Scavenger Hunt Clues to Keep Kids' Brains Busy

You don't need a treasure map to turn your home into a fun-seeker's paradise!

While the first week your kids had off from school may have felt like a vacation, things have probably changed as time has gone on. Without schools, sports, and camps, keeping little ones engaged—especially without resorting to endless screen time—is a significantly tricky proposition. Think of quarantine as an opportunity to have some analog fun around the house. One of the most creative ways to get your kids thinking and playing is to plan a full-fledged scavenger hunt. It's way easier than you might assume! Keep reading for scavenger hunt clues to get you started. All you have to do is write them down, position them around your house and/or yard, and the search is on! And if you're looking for more ways to keep your little ones happy at home, start with these 9 Fun Indoor Activities for Kids During Quarantine.

Clue: I'm a bit closed off, it's true—but I light up when I see you!

young boy in cardboard box using binoculars

Hint: I'm cool as a cucumber. You probably open me up multiple times each day!

Answer: The fridge

little girl opening refrigerator
Shutterstock/Africa Studio

For your own peace of mind, don't have them searching through the crisper drawer for this one. Make sure to leave this clue on a shelf where your little ones can easily find it!

Clue: I've got two arms, but I can't give you a hug. I've got two legs, but I only stand on the rug.

young brother and sister playing pirates

Hint: I'm probably in the living room or den. You might even be on me right now!

Answer: A sofa

two siblings on couch

If you want to be extra sneaky, tuck the clue between the cushions! You can even stick it underneath a throw pillow to make things more difficult. And for more great ways to keep your kids learning, check out these 27 Educational Toys That'll Keep Your Kids Entertained at Home.

Clue: Open me up to let in the light, but close me again to get some sleep at night.

little girl in bathrobe peeking from behind curtain

Hint: I'm probably in every bedroom in the house. I'm always hanging around!

Answer: Curtains

little girl behind curtain

Want to make things a bit more challenging? Try placing the clue in one of the curtain rings! Just make sure your little guys won't have to climb on anything dangerous to snag it.

Clue: I get things clean, but I'm no machine!

little girl searching for clues

Hint: I'm also home to some yellow duckies. Sometimes, I even wear a ring!

Answer: The tub

little girl peeking out of tub
Shutterstock/Dmitry Lobanov

If you're feeling creative, spell out the clue in bath crayon. If your kids have foam letters, use them to spell it out! And if you're looking for some ways to pass your own time, try these 19 Puzzles for Adults That'll Keep You Busy For Hours.

Clue: You walk over me to get around, 'cause I'm always lying flat on the ground.

little girl looking at treasure map
Shutterstock/Alina Reynbakh

Hint: I can be big, small, scratchy, or soft. I might even cover a whole room!

Answer: A rug

young boy on shag rug

To make this one harder for older kids, attach the clue to the underside of a corner of the rug. In that case, you'll want to make sure they can lit it up easily, so clear away any furniture in advance.

Clue: Hop on board to take a ride—I've got two wheels but no inside!

young asian boy looking out window
Shutterstock/montira areepongthum

Hint: I've got a horn, but I'm not a car! Some people think I'm a total basket case.

Answer: A bike

young girl riding bike
Shutterstock/Spotmatik Ltd

Sticking the clue on the bike seat? Way too easy! Instead, try weaving it through the wheel spokes!

Clue: I make it easy to see at night, but you turn me off in the morning light.

young girl using magnifying glass
Shutterstock/Tom Wang

Hint: You can plug me in or use batteries to make me work! Sometimes, I even fill the night sky with stars!

Answer: A night light

little girl using night light in bed

There's an easy way to make this clue extra special: Write it in glow-in-the-dark paint or ink and have your kids turn out the lights to read it!

Clue: Jump on me or snuggle in—however you use me, it's a win!

little boy looking inside cabinet

Hint: I am basically my own pillow fort. I'm also the best spot in the house for cuddles.

Answer: A bed

two young asian girls jumping on bed
Shutterstock/soo hee kim

Sticking the clue under the covers is good. Putting it in a pillowcase is even better!

Clue: Pants, socks, or a shirt—I'll take all your clothes when they're covered in dirt.

young girl looking under bed

Hint: I've got my own special kind of soap that you don't use in the bath! I'm also probably used more by your parents than I am by you.

Answer: A washing machine

little girl looking into washing machine

If putting this scavenger hunt clue inside the machine's drum seems far too easy to figure out, have it stick out of the detergent compartment! Leave a step stool out so your kiddos can safely search.

Clue: I help muffle the outside din, but I'm plenty good for letting light in!

little girl holding pencil and thinking

Hint: You might think of me as the eyes to your house. I've actually got my own covers for nighttime!

Answer: A window

little white boy looking out window

If you really want to blow your kids' minds, have this scavenger hunt clue taped to the outside of a first-floor window. You can even write it in window marker on the inside!

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