Blogger Amanda Roberson

Scavenger Hunt in the Library!

The library is a place to discover, what a great place for a scavenger hunt! It is a fun and easy activity to add to you library that is low cost, low maintenance and language rich!

First, select a topic. Some examples are Pirates, Snow Animals, Around the World, Under the Sea and Mythology.

Next, find 8-10 items for each topic. For example: Pirate Hat, Eye Patch, Peg Leg, Treasure Map, Ship, Booty, Parrot, Accordion and Jolly Roger Flag for the Pirate theme.  Number each item for the hunt. See example here: Pirate Hunt Pictures

Then, find pictures and trivia for each item. This way the scavenger hunt works for readers and non readers alike. The non readers can look for the pictures while the readers can look for the work and read the trivia to go along with each item. Make a sign for each item with the name of the item, picture of the item, trivia fact about the item and the number you assigned the item and then hide them around your library.

Finally, make a Hunt List. Put your directions on the top and the list of items and their pictures.  Directions could be something like this “Hidden in the library is  all the swag you need to be a fearsome pirate!  Find pictures and pirate trivia from the seven seas, and write down the number that’s on the picture on this sheet. Find all the pictures to win a prize!” See example here: Pirate scavengerhunt

You can choose to give a prize for those who finish the hunt.  You don’t have to do this; most kids enjoy the challenge without a prize. If you do, make it something small and inexpensive like a bookmark, pencil or left over Summer Reading prize.

Leave the scavenger hunt up as long as your circulation period. This way those families who come to the library to return books when they are due and get new books will have a new hunt each visit!

What ideas do you have for hunts at your library?


  1. Tami Finley

    We’ve done this for years for our summer program. We ask the kids who complete the hunt to add their name on the bottom of the sheet and put in our drawing box. We draw 20-30 names each round and usual have three rounds throughout the SRP. They LOVE it! When we give hints . . . We try to give some part of the collection “be sure to look over by the graphic novels . . . ” a little training doesn’t hurt.

  2. Allison Madsen

    We hid images printed on a 8.5×11 sheet of paper and then each child can come to the desk and pick up a 1/2 sheet that has miniature copies of all the hidden pictures. When they find them all they come to the ref desk for a prize. This is a great way to have them explore the library. Our kids LOVE it! We call it Library ISPY

  3. Sarah Stippich

    Every February, we do a Black History Scavenger Hunt. I make stars with Black authors and illustrators’ names on them, and each kid finds a particular book by their “Star.” In the back of the book, I have a green slip which they can turn in for a small prize, or they can continue by answering a trivia sheet about their Star using some reference books. Extra points for reading multiple books by the same author or studying the illustrators’ style.

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