This badge program builds upon Photo Scavenger Hunt, incorporating specifics for adjusting a scavenger hunt for younger kids as well as highlighting possible themes / lists you can use for a hunt designed for their age group.
Adjustments for youth
1. Supervisory adults.
Each team will need at least one adult – two are recommended. In case of emergency, this allows one adult to respond while one gets help / keeps the rest of the kids together. Often, you’ll be able to get parents to volunteer as long as they know the length of time they’re needed and what you expect them to do. All pre-teens should have supervision at all times. Determine the radio of adults to kids for your hunt.
2. Limited location.
When you are having a photo scavenger hunt for kids, you need to limit your location area. A single park, indoor shopping mall, etc. is a good place for younger kids as they are in a contained area and drivers are not needed. Brainstorm places locally where you might be able to host a hunt for kids.
NOTE: If you decide to do a larger area that requires transportation for your kids, be aware of state and federal regulations as you may need to acquire a safety seat for each child. The vehicle size may restrict the size of your teams.
3. Limited duration.
The optimum duration of your hunt is dependent on the age / maturity of your audience. Plan on no more than two items for every year of your scavenger’s age. Very young kids (preschoolers) have a shorter attention span than a sixth grader. Decide if you are going to limit your participants to one or two ages or if you’re going to make teams with older and younger kids within the pre-teen years so that the older kids can help / encourage the younger ones.
4. The list.
Some of your participants may not be able to read. You could provide photos / sketches for them or actual colors / shapes to find. Think of other ways to make the list more accessible to younger scavengers.
5. Incorporating storytelling.
Everyone loves a good story, especially kids. If you can find or create a story to go with your hunt, it becomes more interesting to your scavengers. Look through books they read, watch cartoons they see or look online to help craft storylines.
Themes for youth
For kids, alphabets are a great way to reinforce use their knowledge. You might ask for a photo of each letter alone or create unique alphabet with the letters they find.
You can give them a list of letters and have them take pictures of items that begin with the letter and write the word down that goes with the photo. Bonus points might be awarded for getting more than one thing that begins with that letter.
Lastly, you can make it more challenging by limiting what they can photograph. For example, you might have them take pictures of street signs with street names that begin with the different letters of the alphabet.
What other ways could you use alphabets in a photo scavenger hunt?
Everyone loves animals. Local zoos or farms would allow you to keep the kids in a limited area while still giving them the ability to explore. You will need to visit the area before the hunt to make sure your list covers the animals available for photos.
For an animal scavenger hunt, you might provide silhouettes for them to interpret and find the animal that match. You might give them words for the animals. Instead of naming the animals, you might want to define the animals differently by age, family group or habitat. Brainstorm ways to incorporate animals into a scavenger hunt.
8. Art and sculpture.
Does your town encourage the arts? Do they have an art museum or an exhibit in your town? Do they have sculptures or other pieces of art in public locations? Does your local school or church display art created by the kids? By asking for photos of different types of art, shapes, colors or techniques (for the more advanced), you can find a multitude of ways of using art for a photo scavenger hunt.
You may even want to turn this around by asking the kids to take photos of their town and then creating a collage of all the photos. Identify items within the photos and have them search the collage for those items. What other ways can you think of using art for a photo scavenger hunt?
Color is a great thing for kids to find on a scavenger hunt. You can use pieces of construction paper to identify the colors if your age group can’t yet read.
Photo scavenger hunts can revolve around one color or taking pictures of multiple colors. You can use this to start a discussion on variations within a color. Alternately, you can take the photos once the kids take them of a single color and ask them to arrange them from lightest to darkest. How else might you use colors on a scavenger hunt?
All kids can relate to food. Whether in a supermarket, farmer’s market or a food court, there are a lot of food items that can be photographed. You may want to have the kids identify vegetables or fruits by color, shape or texture. Travel to local shops and find out what they have available. You might even be able to add an element or two to make it more fun like a stuffed bunny holding a stuffed carrot for one of your vegetables.
Shapes give you another easy way to run a photo scavenger hunt. It allows the kids to explore the ways shapes are used in signs, architecture and more. Try getting photos of one shape or a variety. What might you do with the photographed shapes the kids take?
Holidays are a great time to take photos. People decorate their yards, public buildings put up displays and schools feature all sorts of items made by their students. There are a lot of photo opportunities.
Some ideas for a holiday-themed hunt include:
- Tree ornaments
- Easter eggs
- Hidden hearts
- Elements that visually represent the holiday
- People celebrating the holiday
You can also use the resulting photos to discuss social interaction and the different ways people celebrate. Place the photos to create a large advent calendar. The kids can discuss what the photos mean to them as every family celebrates certain holidays and they each have experiences to share. Select a holiday and create a scavenger hunt from one of these choices or create your own.
13. Other interests.
What other things are your kids interested in that you can adapt to a photo scavenger hunt? It might be cartoons they see on television that they can find represented in merchandise. Perhaps their favorite places to visit in your town could be adapted into a hunt. Discuss the possibilities with pre-teen kids.
14. Placed items.
Make or purchase items to place in your area. Create a story for your teams – a reason why they are going on the hunt – and let them go. Placed items for them to find might include:
- Small cars
- Certain type of flower
- Entire outfit of clothing
- Yard gnomes
- Plastic flamingos
- Painted rocks
- Monster prints
Small placed items are a great for indoor hunts.
15. Follow your own drum.
You do not need to have a theme for a successful hunt. Look around your location and choose items that you spot and put them on your list. Don’t make them all easy.
16. Do it!
Create a scavenger hunt for one of the themes (Steps 6-15) and run it. Use the Photo Scavenger Hunt badge program if you need steps to follow.
SUPP_AEP_PSH_ActionHunts.pdf — Add people doing actions as part of your hunt.
SUPP_AEP_PSH_AlphabetHunts.pdf — Using the alphabet as a theme for hunts.
SUPP_AEP_PSH_AnimalHunts.pdf — Utilizing animals in your scavenger hunts.
SUPP_AEP_PSH_ArtHunts.pdf — Incorporating art into your hunt.
SUPP_AEP_PSH_ColorHunts.pdf — Colors as the idea behind your hunt.
SUPP_AEP_PSH_CommunityHunts.pdf — Utilizing your community in your hunt.
SUPP_AEP_PSH_FoodHunts.pdf — Using food in a scavenger hunt.
SUPP_AEP_PSH_HolidayHunts.pdf — Having a different kind of fun at the holidays.
SUPP_AEP_PSH_NatureHunts.pdf — Nature as a theme for your hunt without damaging it.
SUPP_AEP_PSH_NightHunts.pdf — Ideas for a night hunt.
SUPP_AEP_PSH_PhotoSkillsHunts.pdf — Improving your photography skills on a scavenger hunt.
SUPP_AEP_PSH_PlacedItemHunts.pdf — Using items you place for a scavenger hunt.
SUPP_AEP_PSH_PropHunts.pdf — Incorporating props into a scavenger hunt.
SUPP_AEP_PSH_PuzzleHunts.pdf — Adding clues into a scavenger hunt.
SUPP_AEP_PSH_ShapeHunts.pdf — Shapes as the idea behind your hunt.
Sites to Explore
NOTE: Also see links on Photo Scavenger Hunt for more ideas.