Looking for some fun Halloween games for kids? Try a Halloween scavenger hunt!
A Halloween scavenger hunt allows kids to use their sugared-up brains to solve clues, read maps, decipher riddles, and build team friendships. Whether you’re looking for super-duper simple or next-level complex, we’ve got Halloween scavenger hunt ideas that will engage all ages, from kids who aren’t even reading yet to those “everything is so boring” teenagers.
And scavenger hunts aren’t just for this spooky time of year. Check out our list of indoor and outdoor scavenger hunt ideas for kids, which has more tips on planning, clue-creating, and setting rules.
Find even more Halloween games for kids in our Halloween Activities Guide for Families, which includes our list of fun at-home Halloween party games.
Halloween Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids
1. Old-Fashioned Halloween Scavenger Hunt
Back in the day, moms gave the kids a list of common household items and sent them door to door in the neighborhood with their requests. Halloween makes this old-fashioned idea much easier since neighbors are already expecting the doorbell to ring.
While the young ones trick-or-treat, they can also bring their list and ask for simple items with a Halloween flair: a black balloon, a Halloween napkin, an orange or black plastic fork, something that looks like a spiderweb, a roll of toilet paper to make a mummy, etc.
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Create a simple design with pictures of items for toddlers to find on a scavenger hunt. Graphic by Sara M.
2. Halloween Scavenger Hunt for Toddlers
Is it possible to do a scavenger hunt if your players can’t read a list yet? It is indeed! Put together a simple page with pictures of items instead of words. Or, try this free printable Halloween scavenger hunt from Confessions of Parenting, which includes pictures along with the names of items to find.
Afraid even that will be too challenging? For the littlest littles, attach balloons to hidden items so that they have a visual aid for their hunt. It’s a win-win because they end up with prizes and balloons, and what self-respecting toddler doesn’t love a balloon?
3. Trick-or-Treat Goodies Scavenger Hunt
Why should the fun end after the trick-or-treating does? Give every kid a list, a bowl to dump their goodies in, and a “3, 2, 1, GO!” and have them dig through to find items like a lollipop, an eraser, some licorice, a chocolate bar with nougat, pretzels, a pencil, a toothbrush (shame on the house that gives these out), etc. First to find all the items or the most goodies from the list wins a prize... which should not be toothpaste.
4. Spell-Your-Name Halloween Scavenger Hunt
For kids who can recognize the letters in their own name, this simple scavenger hunt is loads of fun. Attach individual letters to treats and hide them in not-too-hard places. See who can collect and spell out their name first. Enjoy the reactions when the kids find a letter that’s not in their name—will they share the location with a friend or re-hide the item? You might be surprised!
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Fill these cute little plastic pumpkins with candy, small toys, or even puzzle pieces. Photo courtesy of XJ-HOME Store
5. Easter Egg Hunt-Like Halloween Scavenger Hunt
Bring the fun of an Easter Egg hunt to the Halloween season by putting treats inside fill-able plastic pumpkins and hiding them around the house, yard, park, etc. If you're not crazy about the idea of even more candy after trick-or-treating, fill the pumpkins with small toys, “spa day” items like lip balm and nail polish, stickers, or coins. You can also place a puzzle piece in each pumpkin and once they’re all found, your gang can put the puzzle together.
6. Bingo Halloween Scavenger Hunt
Combine the fun of a simple scavenger hunt with a race to be the first to (loudly) claim victory. Just put the items on your scavenger hunt list on Bingo grids. This free printable Halloween Bingo game from Mindfulmazing makes it super easy.
If you're going out in the neighborhood to do this scavenger hunt, players can simply cross of the items as they find them with a pencil. If you're doing it at home with Halloween decorations and items, you can have the kids use fun Halloween-themed markers such as candy corn or googly eyes. The first player to find the objects listed in a row vertically, horizontally, or diagonally is the winner.
7. Smartphone Halloween Scavenger Hunt
This scavenger hunt is perfect for older kids who have the run of the neighborhood—and their own smartphones. Put the kids in teams of two to four and give each team a list of Halloween-themed items or decorations to find and photograph, such as pumpkins, spiderwebs, skeletons, and witches, etc. This free printable Halloween scavenger hunt from Paper Trail Design would be perfect. The first team to bring photographic evidence of their finds wins a prize.
RELATED: Halloween Party Game Ideas for Tweens and Teens
Look for Halloween tropes in films like Hotel Transylvania and other scary—or not-too-scary—movies. Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures
8. Scary Movie Halloween Scavenger Hunt
Looking for something thrilling but a bit more chill? Snuggle up together in a dark room and watch a scary (or not-too-scary) Halloween movie, with a “scavenger hunt” list of horror-film tropes such as a woman screaming, the sound of footsteps, a black cat, etc. Circle ‘em as you see/hear ‘em and earn extra points if you spy multiples—women tend to scream a lot in horror flicks.
9. Boo-Clue Halloween Scavenger Hunt
If you’re one of those marvelous parents who Is extra good at prepping and planning, try a progressive clue hunt. Teams get a starting clue that leads them to the next—something like, “Don’t be scared, just be cool, your next clue’s pinned upon a ghoul”. They find the ghost in question, which leads them to the next clue, and so on, leading all the way to a big surprise or prize.
Want to take it next-level? Make it a murder-mystery hunt, where every clue gives a hint about the murderer’s motive, location, instrument used, etc. Teams gather at the end to present their evidence and guess the culprit.
10. Truth or Dare Halloween Scavenger Hunt
OK, there’s really no truth part... but plenty of dares. Teams find clues that require them to do silly activities before they can move on to the next step, like build a tower out of candy corn and toothpicks, choreograph a team dance to “Monster Mash”, or go through a maze made out of spiderwebs without pulling any of them down. There are countless Halloween-themed team activities to be found on the internet, so go to it, crafty parents—your exhausted and happy children will thank you.