“Discovery”: A Simple Preschool Scavenger Hunt

preschool scavenger hunt

A great way to encourage a young child’s imagination, among other things, is to have a scavenger hunt. Around here we call it “discovery”. They can discover, investigate, estimate and  document what they see around the house, in nature, or in a public place.

You can give your discovery hunt themes like:
  • Shapes
  • Colors
  • Alphabet
  • Nature
  • Faces

Or you can even hypothesize about the story behind a certain object found.
  • Where did it come from?
  • How did it get there?
We have a pesky gopher in our yard that leaves all sorts of treats around like half eaten tangerines (from the neighbor’s tree) and other suspicious items. It was fun to suppose what the gopher looks like and we surmised that the tangerines came from the neighbor, since we don’t have a tree.

You’ll also need some handy tools like:
  • A pad of paper
  • A writing device
  • Binoculars
  • Flashlight
  • Magnifying glass
Investigating and having your child go on a scavenger hunt can aid in the development of their verbal skills. Encouraging writing and documenting encourages their emerging writing skills-even chicken scratches are beneficial. Using any kind of writing utensil, be it crayon or pencil enhances fine motor development. With lots of opportunity and praise, your child will see their efforts in a positive way and this builds their concept of self-efficacy and self-esteem. Cognitively, investigating is part of early learning science.

More on Preschool Science
More on how to encourage language and literacy in your preschooler

How would you play “discovery”?


  1. Hello. I followed you here from twitter. We do it this way - a complimentary blog post! http://gwynnethbeasley.typepad.com/gwynneth-beasley/2010/05/introducing-kids-to-map-reading-skills-with-treasure-hunting.html


  2. Oh it's like "I Spy", my girls love to play that game and I know they would love this one too! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. I guess it's like I Spy...I hadn't thought about it. My son just started "discovering" things around the house and yard and we made a learning game out of it! LOL.

  4. That's a great guided idea that would be fun for our summer break! Thanks :)

  5. Love this! We just did this at a birthday party and my 4 year old LOVED it and has requested it since then. We are going to a camping trip with my multiples club and I am going to create something like this for a group activity. Fun fun! Thanks for your take -- I like how open-ended it is!

  6. Anonymous8:23 PM

    Hello! I love this idea! I have featured it on my blog under today's post titled Tuesday Tumblr:


    I look forward to trying this activity with my four year old daughter soon! And I hope by sharing the link others will be inspired too!