As you’ve probably guessed by now, our family loves scavenger hunts. We love to search for treats the Easter Bunny left. Or embark on a complex treasure hunt to celebrate a birthday. I also will admit that I’m the mom who organizes scavenger hunts for our vacations (museums, nature centers and cities) to enjoy more exploring together as a family. This year we even went on a scavenger hunt at the pumpkin patch.
We do love scavenger hunts.
So when I stumbled upon this adorable nature scavenger hunt by Lia Griffith, I thought I’d transform the idea into a color scavenger hunt.
Thinking back on my kids’ toddlerhood, I remember colors being one of the first things that they learned. We started off easy – red, blue and yellow. As they grew, I introduced more creative ways to name the colors around them such as sunflower or seafoam.
And, over time, color naming became a fun stroller game. We would identify the colors of objects as we rolled by, which was wonderful vocabulary building. These days, our new goal is to try and name a more creative color names of items. So instead of saying something is purple, we say lavender, plum or periwinkle.
A color scavenger hunt is a great way to practice identifying these colors in the world around them. You can host this scavenger hunt inside or out, with a theme or not, for a holiday or at any destination that you can think of. You set the guidelines that work for you.
My favorite part about this color scavenger hunt is using an egg carton for the box. As I watched my kids run all over collecting the objects, the egg carton bounced up and down multiple times. But nothing fell out. The lid latched on top to make a wonderful carrying box. And the items inside stayed in place.
For this color scavenger hunt design, I created 18 different colors for your kids to hunt. When making your box, you can choose up to 12 of them. I tried to select the basic colors kids would recognize and then throw a few fun ones in such as sunflower and lavender.
I also used this color scavenger hunt as a team building activity. Due to a lack of egg cartons, I made one scavenger hunt box. Of course, when I mentioned that they had to share, I received some serious doubts.
One thing that I am learning as a parent is that family togetherness is built through experiences and can’t just be assumed. We have spent a lot of time together in recent months. Although I think it’s wonderful, as the kids have grown, they are finding it harder to work together sometimes.
This color scavenger hunt provided a perfect team building exercise. By sharing a box, they had to discuss the different items they wanted to put inside. I did include the direction that they could put more than one item into the box. Interestingly, when they presented me with their final collection, there was only one item for each color. They had agreed on each one.
How to Set Up your Color Scavenger Hunt
The first step to preparing your color scavenger hunt is finding a container. I love the egg carton, but if you don’t have one a paper bag will work just as well. You can glue the colors to search for on the front of the bag.
Next, download this free printable color scavenger hunt. Print on a color printer using copy paper.
Choose the colors you would like to use in the hunt. For the egg carton, I recommend selecting 12 colors – one for each container. If you have littler ones searching, you could also set up the container for 6 colors. That might be easier for them to find. You could also focus on the colors or the rainbow for a rainbow party or earth tones for an Earth Day celebration. It’s completely up to you.
If you are using a paper bag, you can arrange the color squares on the outside and use as many as you wish.
Once you’ve selected the colors for the hunt, glue each square onto the top of the egg carton.
Another fun idea is to create multiple different containers. Younger kids might search for more basic colors, but you can mix in the more difficult colors for older ones. Giving the kids different color scavenger hunts will make them spread out for searching and not be able to follow each other as easily.
Once you have set up your container, the kids can start the hunt. Have them search for little objects that represent the colors. If you are at a place where you can’t pick up the physical object, they could write or draw a small picture of it on a piece of paper and put it in the box.
After they have found an object for each color, they can share the completed box with the group or you.
For our color scavenger hunt, I let the kids search outside. They got really creative with different items in nature. When it came to the blues, though, they became a bit stumped. At that point, I encouraged them to go inside to find something blue.
Now that we have our color scavenger hunt box, I plan to keep it in the car. It’s the perfect activity to pull out when we go on an unexpected nature walk or get bored at the playground.
Tips to Organize a Color Scavenger Hunt at your Party
A color scavenger hunt also makes a wonderful kids birthday party activity. It’s a great way for guests to work together and everyone to have fun. The best part is that you can use it for any party theme.
When setting up your color scavenger hunt, decide on how many containers you need. If you have a larger number of kids, partner them up or create teams. Kids love working together and it makes the hunt more fun.
If you don’t want them finding random items in your yard or house, you can also set up items in advance for the hunt. Little favors, craft supplies and even Easter eggs come in lots of different colors and make wonderful things to find.
Set the guidelines for the hunt from the start. If the kids are gathering nature items and you don’t want them to pick your favorite roses, then make a rule to only collect things on the ground or in specific spaces. Be sure to direct them where they can go.
Before starting the hunt, make the containers in advance. Collect egg cartons and other necessary supplies in the weeks before the celebration. If you can’t find enough egg cartons, check with friends or visit your local craft recycling store. Ours sells them for a quarter each and they always have a ton for crafters to buy.
Most importantly have fun. If you want the hunt to have a competitive edge, plan prizes for the kids that complete it or the team that finishes it first. This can be a great motivation for participating – especially with older kids.
Ready to set up your own color scavenger hunt? Download your free printable scavenger hunt here.
Want to save this idea for later? Be sure to pin this idea to use at a future celebration!