Just because a toddler can’t read quite yet doesn’t mean that he should be excluded from participating in a scavenger hunt. Simply hand over a list of fun pictures to indicate what your little one should be looking for during this game along with a basket to collect his scavenger hunt goodies. Plan this type of activity for a special event, like a birthday party or a holiday gathering, or just for an entertaining afternoon activity. You can laminate your picture list for use in multiple games, too.
If you want to encourage a lot of running around, locating places can be part of your little one’s scavenger hunt. Use a picture of a sand bucket or shovel to indicate that he should find the sandbox. A yellow rubber ducky can point him to the bathtub. A pine cone or leaf picture can direct him to the tree in the backyard. Since he can’t lug locations or large items around, give him a stamp or sticker when he locates each one, points to it and says the name of the item.
People and Animals
People and animals can be included on the list of items to find on a scavenger hunt. A picture of a child hugging a parent, or “Mom” written in a heart on the scavenger hunt list if he recognizes the word, can send him to you. Once he gets there, give him a big hug and put a heart stamp or sticker on that picture on the list. A picture of a baby boy or girl can indicate a younger sibling. Again, give him a stamp or sticker when he locates the person, gives him a hug and says “I found ___.” You can also add a cat, dog, food dish or dog treat picture to the list. Once he finds the animal, he gets to cross that one off the list.
Your child’s favorite toys don’t have to sit this one out. His bedtime bear can be easily depicted on the scavenger hunt list by a basic picture of a teddy bear. An action figure or doll can be added to the list, too. Toy cars and wooden blocks work, too. These items should be small enough to collect in his basket. If they’re too big or heavy, just cross the items off the list once they're found.
Your toddler's scavenger hunt list can be filled with all sorts of cute objects. A picture of a flower can lead your child to find a flower inside or outside. Have him bring the flower to you or add it to the basket. A seashell that you painted a silly face on can be found somewhere around the house. Have a bunch of blown-up balloons to hand each toddler when they find you holding them during a birthday party scavenger hunt. Plastic Easter eggs are durable objects that can be used for the hunt and you can hide goodies inside them. Many items can be themed for the hunt depending on what you're celebrating. The key is to make the pictures clear and simple so your toddler can feel the joy of success as he crosses each item off his list.
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