Ideas for Scavenger Hunts for Teens

by Zora Hughes

    A scavenger hunt is an excellent way to keep a large group of teens busy and entertained, whether for a birthday party or other event. However, the typical, kid-friendly scavenger hunts with a basic list of items is too simple for teens. Get creative coming up with exciting, challenging scavenger hunts for teenagers that require them to use critical thinking skills and work together, while being silly and goofy with their friends.

    Town Scavenger Hunt

    Send the teens on a scavenger hunt around your town or city. Give them a list of clues to the different locations. For example, for a clue to the library, you might write, "you can rent items here, but they won't cost you anything." Have the teens collect items from the various places around town. For example, you might have them collect a to-go menu from a popular Italian restaurant, a copy of a local newspaper, a change of address form from the post office and a city bus pass. The first team to collect all their items on the list and bring it back to you wins.

    Photo Clue Scavenger Hunt

    Send the kids on a scavenger hunt for items based on a picture clue. The pictures will only show a close-up of a small portion of the item. This works well for a small-scale scavenger hunt around the house. You can take partial pictures of items, such as the framed jersey in the den, a kitchen appliance, the box of baking soda in the refrigerator and a decorative house plant. You can also plan this type of scavenger hunt on a larger scale throughout your neighborhood or town with a large group of teens. This could include pictures of a local ice cream shop's logo or a pin from the bowling alley. Have the kids take pictures of the whole item that they believe matches the clue.

    Challenge Scavenger Hunt

    Send the kids on a challenge scavenger hunt where they have to complete silly and humorous tasks in various locations. Get as creative as you can with the list of tasks for the teens, which they must photograph or video-record on digital cameras or smart phones. For example, you could require them to take a picture with a group of 10 random people, a picture of the entire team in a bathroom stall, and a picture of two bearded men together. Tasks to record on video include, participating in street performer's show, singing a pop song together in the middle of a busy park and getting a police officer to recite the Miranda rights.

    Career Scavenger Hunt

    Contact businesses in the area to see whether they would be willing to participate in a career scavenger hunt for teens. The teens would have a list of clues of local businesses around town they must go to. Once there, they must complete a job task at that particular business. For example, if one business is a car service center, the teens might have to wash a car. If it is an a corporate office, they might be required to learn the phone system and successfully transfer a phone call to an executive. The teens must receive a signature from a participating supervisor proving that they completed the task.

    About the Author

    Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.

    Photo Credits

    • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images