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Coolest Scavenger Hunt Clues

Learn how to create the coolest scavenger hunt clues for the fun scavenger hunt activity!

For your scavenger hunt, you can create puzzles, crosswords, rhymes and riddles, and lots more.

Below are all sorts of original ideas to help you create original clues.


Puzzle Scavenger Hunt Clues

You can easily create puzzles as scavenger hunt clues.

One kind is a Rebus puzzle. These are word picture puzzles that hold within them a hidden meaning that needs to be solved. Here are a few examples of Rebus puzzles:


Sample Rebus Puzzles


Another idea for a puzzle is to create a real puzzle. You can take a photograph of something, cut it up into little pieces, and then the kids need to put the puzzle pieces back together in order to find out what they need to collect or find. You can also use ready-made puzzles instead.


Word Search Scavenger Hunt Clues

Word searches are also a really nice way to make scavenger hunt clues. word searches are quite simple to make. You can create a small box of rows and columns (as a word or excel document or even on graph paper). Make something like 5-7 rows and 5-7 columns (this really depends on how long your word is).

Then add the word horizontally, vertically or diagonally in the box you create. Then fill in all the other spaces with letters of a different word you choose (that has no similar letters to the first chosen word). For example if you choose the word FROG and then write it diagonally in the box, then choose another word like SUN and fill in all the empty spaces with the letters ‘S’, ‘U’, and ‘N’. Just like in this diagram:


Then right by the above word search box write “Cross off all the letters in the word SUN, the word that will remain is the object you need to look for and find”.

You can make lots of these very easily. First start off with each word you want to put in each box and then fill in with letters from a different word you choose.



Hidden Letters

This is when you hide or mix letters up to make it difficult to understand the word. This can be done in many different ways.

One way is to mix up the letters of a word, for example for the word “shoe”, you can mix up the letters and write “ehos”. You can make these easy for younger kids, or really challenging for older kids (for example the word “automobile” could look like “lmoabieuto”).

You can also add lots of X’s in between the letters of a word, in order to hide it. For example the word BANANA can be hidden when adding lots of X’s: “XXXXBXXXAXXXXNXXXXXXXAXXNXXXXXXAXX”. For a different word you can change the X’s with another letter, like Z’s. Here’s the word EGGPLANT hidden in between lots of Z’s: “ZZZZZEZZZGZZZGZZZPZZZZZZLZZZZZZAZZNZZZTZZ”.

Another way is to write the word in mirror writing and then the kids need to find a mirror or a reflecting surface in order to read or understand the word.

For older kids you can also write words and take away vowels. For example for the word COCA-COLA – you’ll write “C_C_-C_L_” (you leave an underline instead of each vowel).

Another way is to write a whole sentence and below the sentence write “Take the first letter of each word in the sentence and piece together the word”. So for the sentence “Make orange pie” the word will be MOP. You can make it harder by making it the last letter of each word, or when you read it backwards, etc.

There are numerous ways to mix letters up and hide words, just use your creativity and create really fun-to-solve scavenger hunt clues.



Secret Code

You can use a secret code the kids need to decipher. For example, let’s say the following letters equal symbols: $ = M, @ = R, % = I, * = O, then “$%@@*@” stands for “MIRROR”.

For a learning experience you can also choose an already known code; for example Morse code:

Morse Code


You can also make up your own secret code, the above picture just shows you an example of what a secret code looks like.



Picture Scavenger Hunt Clues

These are scavenger hunt clues made by taking and distorting pictures. You can take a picture and crop it so that you only see a piece of it. The kids then need to guess what the whole object is just from seeing a small cropped picture of it.

You can also cut the picture into pieces and glue the pieces in a mixed up order. The picture will look all jumbled up and the kids will need to look at it awhile to decipher the object in the picture. Here’s an example:


It really depends on the age of the guests, if they are younger kids you might want to cut bigger pieces and glue them, or not to zoom in too much on a picture. For older kids you can make it harder, crop the picture sot that you are really zooming in on it and then it is harder to decipher the object. Here’s an example of zooming in on an object:


Picture clues are perfect for kids who don’t know yet how to read.



Rhyme & Riddle Scavenger Hunt Clues

Rhymes and riddles are really fun ways to create scavenger hunt clues. Here are a few examples:

  • My words number quite many (like pen, pent, and penny); my title you will discover, is explained under my cover… (A Dictionary)
  • I start with an “e”, I end with an “e”, but I usually contain only one letter… (Envelope)
  • What’s black and white and read all over? (A Newspaper)

If you’re not the creative type to easily think of scavenger hunt clues and riddles, check out this really cool software that has about 5,000 printable ready-made riddles and scavenger hunt clues:



For lots more rhymes and riddles, check out this whole page full of scavenger hunt clues and riddles.


Don’t forget to check out our main Scavenger Hunt Ideas Page for lots of great ideas and free printables.