Going back to school (or to school for the first time!) can cause all sorts of emotions to bubble up for kids. Using a classroom scavenger hunt is a great way to create a fun and engaging activity to help students get comfortable with their new classroom, teacher, and classmates!
Ah, the first days of a new school year (in a new environment) are filled with fear, anxiety, and some excitement too. Meeting new people and learning new routines (and maybe a new school) can feel so awkward!
Scavenger hunts have always been a fun way to engage kids. A Classroom Scavenger Hunt is a fun classroom activity that lets students explore and discover their surroundings better at the beginning of the school year.
And although this interactive activity is a fabulous tool to “break the ice,” it can be used throughout the school year to encourage a variety of skills such as teamwork, critical thinking, and inquiry-based learning.
And if your kiddo is feeling anxious before school starts, you could even try this classroom scavenger hunt game at home to “practice” school and ease those first day jitters.
Want more great ideas for back-to-school resources? Check out my:
- Back To School First Day Handprint Craft
- Best Middle School Backpack: Essential Guide For Kids
- Student Planner Printable
- BEST Preschool Backpacks For Kids To Take To School
Benefits of a Classroom Scavenger Hunt
A classroom scavenger hunt is a fun, interactive, and effective way to enhance learning experiences for students. Here are some reasons for doing one:
- helping children acclimate on the first day of school
- keeping their attention
- developing problem-solving skills
- following rules
- encouraging teamwork
- building collaboration skills
- increasing communication skills
- establishing lasting connections with classmates
- practicing critical thinking skills
- boosting attention to detail
- exploring new surroundings
- locating essential materials
Free Classroom Scavenger Hunt Download
Starting a new school year can be an exciting yet challenging time for students, especially in preschool or kindergarten. To help with this transition and foster a sense of belonging, try incorporating a friendly and engaging activity like a classroom scavenger hunt!
Kiddos will use their classroom scavenger hunt cards to find various school supplies, such as:
- A student’s desk
- Pencils and crayons
- And more!
I’m so excited to share with you one of the best free printable classroom scavenger hunts available. I just KNOW both you and the kids will love it!
Go ahead and download the free school scavenger hunt PDF. Print a copy for each student in the class, hand the copies out, and let them have fun!
More Printable Games And Activities
If you want different ways to teach younger kids various skills (or encourage a little creativity), check out these school activity ideas!
- Free Back To School Bingo Printable
- Back To School Coloring Pages
- Dr. Seuss Coloring Pages Free Printable
Setting Up the Scavenger Hunt
If this great activity is destined to become part of your lesson plans in the first week of school, here are my recommendations for ensuring the kids have a great time!
Organizing Students into Teams
To set up a classroom scavenger hunt, you’ll want to begin by organizing your students into teams. Depending on your class size and the level of challenge you’d like, you can have students work in pairs, small groups, or even individually if preferred.
Assign each team different colors or unique identifiers to make it easy to organize and track their progress throughout the activity.
Supplies and Resources for the Scavenger Hunt
Here’s a list of supplies and resources you’ll need for your scavenger hunt:
List of things to find – Prepare a list of items that students need to find or tasks they need to complete. The list should include objects with different shapes, sizes, colors, and in different areas of the room. This will encourage students to explore their surroundings in the school setting and think critically about where these objects can be found.
Scavenger hunt worksheet or chart – The printable classroom scavenger hunt sheet will guide kids to find certain items and keep them on track.
Scavenger hunt tracker – Create a simple chart to keep track of items or clues found by each team. This can be a simple table or a more visually engaging document to make the activity more enjoyable.
Timer – Set a timer for a certain amount of time. How much time you set is up to you, but I recommend 10, 15, or 20 minutes, based on the age and abilities of the kids.
|Team Color||Items Found|
Fun and Rewards for Successful Scavenger Hunts
A classroom scavenger hunt is a fun and engaging learning experience for your students. To keep the momentum going, consider incorporating rewards for successful completions. These rewards could be simple, such as:
- Positive praise and encouragement for finding the items and solving the clues
- A small prize, like a sticker or treat, for each team member when their team completes the hunt
- A reward for the whole class, such as a bonus activity (ex: extra recess) or extra game time, if all teams successfully complete the scavenger hunt
Remember, the goal is to create a friendly and engaging environment to help make brand new students feel more comfortable!
Classroom Scavenger Hunt FAQs
Here are some common questions I see about this classroom scavenger hunt activity!
This free simple scavenger hunt printable works for preschool, kindergarten, and lower elementary classroom (through 2nd grade – maybe 3rd grade).
Anything in the classroom is fair game! I recommend sticking with easily-identifiable images, though!
Scavenger hunts encourage students to problem-solve, collaborate, and think critically while having fun. This activity also boosts peer learning and relationships because students need to work together to solve clues and complete the hunt successfully.
There are several ways to group students for a scavenger hunt, depending on your objectives and the desired outcomes.
You can group students randomly, allowing them to work with new peers and develop teamwork skills. Alternatively, you can pair stronger students with weaker ones to foster peer support and learning.
No, this scavenger list printable school game is only for personal use.
More Learning Resources
If you love this great scavenger hunt, you’ll also love these other ideas!
- Elkonin Boxes Printable For Literacy Awareness (Sight Words Practice)
- Growth Mindset For Kids: How To Raise Independent Adults
- How To Create A Stree-Free Morning Routine For School
- 19 Must-Have Backpacks For Teen Girls (High School)
- 50+ Acts Of Kindness For Kids (+ Random Acts Of Kindness Challenge)
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