Inside: Virtual indoor scavenger hunt lists and other fun zoom activities for students. Free scavenger hunt printable included.
Virtual indoor scavenger hunt is becoming one of the favorite Zoom activities for kids. They are also known as “around the house treasure hunts” and teachers find that these type of zoom activities with students keep them engaged in the zoom meeting for longer, as they provide a fun feeling of accomplishment and progress, and each child gets to share a bit of their world with each found item from their home.
Quick note about social distancing in schools!
We’ve added a “Social Distancing Greetings poster” with non-contact options to our Morning greeting Choices printable, in case you don’t want to miss out!
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During this lockdown we’ve all adapted our skills as best as we can, but even with the struggles we proof how important our students are for us and that we do whatever it takes to help them grow!
Who would’ve thought that one day you would have to worry about your dog barking in class?
Depending on the theme of the game, teachers can use these indoor scavenger hunts to engage children as young as toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarten students, whose attention span is better for doing active distance learning activities through a webcam.
In this post you will find:
- Directions for playing a virtual scavenger hunt game over zoom
- Lists of Zoom scavenger hunt ideas by theme
- A free virtual scavenger hunt template
- A list of fun activities to do on zoom with students (that are NOT scavenger hunts)
How to play Scavenger Hunt on Zoom
- Cut out the squares on the printable (download for free at the bottom of this page) and put a selection of cards facing down on a surface that the students can see. You can place them on a horizontal surface and tilt down your camera or you can use blue tac to place them on a board or a notebook.
- One student “picks a card” so the teacher can read it out loud, then everyone goes to find the item specified on that card. The cards are “open-ended” to give the students an opportunity to use reasoning to come up with answers that would justify why their item is valid. And this also makes the game more inclusive as not all students will have specific objects in their homes.
- Once everyone has made it back with their item, or a pre-agreed time limit has passed, 2 or 3 students share their found item, and if it is not clear why they chose that specific thing, they have an opportunity to share with the group why they chose that object.
A great thing about this zoom activity is that the teacher can extend it for as many rounds as they need to. The printable provides you with 36 “find it” prompts, but it is easy to come up with more on the spot if you need them (TIP: think of colors, objects that start with a specific letter or that have a specific shape/texture, etc.)
You can also use the “find it” prompt ideas categorized by theme that you can find below on this page (section called “Indoor Scavenger Hunt Ideas”)
Good tip: Mute everyone between rounds and just unmute the student who’s turn is to pick a letter or to share their found item with the group.
It could also be fun if the teacher joins some rounds and tries to find things in their own home but “struggles” and finds the wrong item from time to time so the children can call them out.
No ink? No problem.
If the lockdown caught you with an empty printer, you can either use the video below or do what I did and DIY your scavenger hunt cards by hand. Use the text prompts from this page or the ones that come with the free printable.
When I played this with my Preschool group we had to keep the activity under 40 minutes (because we are using the free version of Zoom) and we only had time to do about 6 rounds, so don’t worry! you don’t have to make that many cards to keep the game engaging for a good amount of time.
Alternative way to play using video:
Share your screen with the group and let one student say “stop!” when they want you to pause the video (an .mp4 version of the video is included with your files when you download the free printable for this zoom game).
If you don’t want to share your screen, you can play the video using your phone or a tablet and pausing it in front of the camera.
Video version of this virtual scavenger hunt for kids
Ways the students can “pick a card” virtually
Choosing a number
Make number cards (or use these animals 1 to 10 printable numbers). This is great for practicing numeral recognition in preschool.
For older students, you can place the cards in a row and let them choose the card by naming the numerical position that they want (first, second, third, etc). I find that this option is fantastic when doing an indoor scavenger hunt for 4 year olds that are about to go to school.
Choosing a letter
Make letter cards (or use these vowels flashcards printable). This is great for practicing letter recognition.
Choosing a color
Cut out bits of different colors of construction paper. Or fold-back one side of the card, using the cards in the color version of the printable, which have borders of different colors (download at the end of this page). This is great for playing the indoor scavenger hunt for toddlers and younger preschool kids.
Choosing a shape
Cut out different shapes of paper. You could mix shapes and colors so the kids can have more variety of choices. This is a good one for playing the scavenger hunt as a virtual activities for toddlers.
Choosing a position
Place a “focus object” in the center and arrange the cards under, on top and next to it. The focus object can be as simple as a drawing of a smiley face. Or you could make use a box or a jar, and place one card inside of it to give the kids the positional option of “inside”.
You could mix some or all of the ways above to cover a wider range of Maths and Literacy topics.
Choosing a toy or a cartoon character
If you are not having much success engaging the children into joining in, you can assign a toy or a picture of a cartoon character to the cards. There is nothing wrong with using characters that you already know that your students love to engage them in the virtual activity.
This is a good strategy for an indoor scavenger hunt for preschoolers that need more confidence to speak in front of a group and don’t want to feel “tested” by answering numbers, letters, etc.
You might like: Recycling Town Project
Horizontal VS Vertical surfaces
If you are placing the cards on a horizontal surface, you can place the prompts of your choice on top of the cards that you want to use for that round, so the children have to call out the number that they wish to “pick”.
If you are using a vertical surface (board, notebook, wall, etc.), use blue tac to place the cards in a row, and either write the prompt (number, letter, color, shape) directly on the surface that you are using or place the prompt on top or under the cards available for that round.
How to Play Scavenger Hunt Bingo
Use the free printable (get it at the bottom of this page) and send it to the children beforehand so their parents can print it or display it on their device. The children choose only one page to play on each round (there are four pages available) and the cards are shuffled. To make more rounds (ad have more winners) you can play that the first one to complete a line of 3 found objects in the same row or column wins the round.
How is this game educational for Preschool and Kindergarten?
The game can be linked to different areas of the early years’ curriculum, more specifically:
Numeracy / Literacy / Maths: The interactive way of “picking” a card lets the child practice: numeral recognition, colors, letters, or positions, depending on the logistics decided by the teacher.
Behaviour Management: The students practice taking turns being the person in charge of “picking” a card.
Speaking and self-confidence: The children practice speaking in front of a group when they are the only person unmuted and can share their found item with the rest of the students.
Understanding and attention: With support from their grown-up, the children need to understand the instructions of the card each round in order to be able to find a suitable item.
Technology: The students use an internet connection and a device (laptop, desktop, phone, tablet) in order to do the activity.
Physical Development: The children need to be moving around the house (safely) in order to find the objects each round.
Indoor Scavenger Hunt Ideas
Here is a list of ideas for virtual scavenger hunt games that you can do with toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarten children, depending on what topics you want to work on.
Zoom Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Toddlers and Pre-K
My Five Senses Scavenger Hunt
- Find something that people can eat
- Find something that smells nice
- Find something that feels warm
- Find something that feels cold
- Find something that you can use to look at yourself
Clothing Scavenger Hunt
- Find something that you can wear on your head
- Find something that you can wear to get warm
- Find something that you can wear in your hands
- Find something that you can wear on your feet
- Find something that you can wear on your “______” (feet, head, etc) when it’s wet.
- Find something that you can wear to dress-up
Textures Scavenger Hunt
- Find something squeezy
- Find something crunchy
- Find something smooth
- Find something bumpy
- Find something rough
Colors Scavenger Hunt
- Find something blue (green, yellow, silver or any other color)
- Find something dark
- Find something light-colored
- Find something with 2 colors
- Find something transparent
Zoom Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Preschool and Kindergarten
Zoom Maths Scavenger Hunt
Numbers Scavenger Hunt
- Find something with numbers on it
- Find something with the number “X” on it
- Find “X number” things that are (any color)
- Find 1 more (or less) thing than the number shown (you can draw numbers or use these number cards)
Shapes, Space and Measure Scavenger Hunt
- Find something smaller than your hand
- Find something bigger than your hand
- Find something square
- Find something triangular
- Find something rectangular
- Find something round
- Find something that can change shape
- Find something empty
- Find something full
- Find something longer than your thumb
- Find something shorter than your foot
- Find something flat
- Find something liquid
- Find something 3D
Zoom Literacy Scavenger Hunt
Letters Scavenger Hunt
- Find something that starts with the first letter of your name
- Find something that looks like the letter “___”
- Find something that starts with the letter “__”
Phonics Scavenger Hunt
- Find something that starts with the sound “_______ “
- Find something that has the sound “_________”
- Find something that ends with the sound “________”
Rhymes Scavenger Hunt
- Find something that rhymes with your name
- Find something that rhymes with ________ (any simple word), some examples: dog, cricket, cat, whale, toy, pillow, home, pan.
Media and Materials Scavenger Hunt
- Find something that you made
- Find something that uses batteries
- Find something with buttons
- Find something you can use for building
- Find something you can use as a tool
- Find something made of wood
- Find something made of plastic
- Find something made of metal
- Find something made of fabric
Zoom Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Random and Fun Things
- Find something that makes you happy
- Find something with a face on it
- Find something healthy
- Find something that moves
- Find something that makes a noise
- Find something with wheels
- Find something clean
- Find something from nature
Lists of Zoom Games for Kids
Here you have a few lists of fun Zoom activities for kids that are not scavenger hunt:
Zoom Ideas and Tips for Distance Learning by Pocket of Preschool
Zoom Activities for Kinder by Simply Kinder
Using Zoom for Preschool by Ish Mom
Fun Games to Play with Kids on Zoom by And Next Comes
Zoom Activities to Use with Distance Learning by Lucky Little Learners
20 Virtual Games for Kids using Zoom by Ministry to Children
If you know of more fun zoom activities for students that you think should be included in this list please send us a DM on Instagram.
About the Zoom Scavenger Hunt Printable
The Free download includes:
- PDF with 4 pages in color (36 different “find it” cards)
- PDF with 4 pages in black and white (36 different “find it” cards)
- 2 Pages of instructions and ways to play the zoom activities
- 1 mp4 video of the animated “find it” cards
Option 1 (Teachers Pay Teachers account required)
Option 2 (Gumroad – no account required)