September 15, 2021

Road Trip Scavenger Hunt

Have you ever gone on a road trip with young kids? While the destination is fun, sometimes getting there can be stressful. Why not make it fun with this Road Trip Scavenger Hunt Game (plus FREE printable).

Road Trip Scavenger Hunt for Kids (plus FREE printable)

We've done road trips with the girls many times before, but as they get older, it takes a little bit more to keep them occupied and not constantly asking the dreaded questions, "Are we there yet?!" and "Can I have a snack?!" over and over again.

To celebrate the end of summer before back to school, we decided to take a trip up to the family cottage. We've done the 3.5 hour drive from Toronto many times before, but this year was a bit different. The girls were older, and with the addition of little sister beside them and brother Bear at their feet, things were a little more cramped. Boredom plus hunger usually results in some not so desirable behaviours, aka fights. So, to keep the entertained (or distracted, however you want to put it), I decided to create this Road Trip Scavenger Hunt.

We love playing "I Spy" in the car, so I decided to take the concept of I Spy and add a bit of a twist. This time, I was telling them what to look for and once they found these items, they would get a prize. 

Of course, the girls will never turn down the promise of a prize. 

So with the help of my friend Canva, knowledge of what we would see along the route and a trip to my local dollar store, I present you the Road Trip Scavenger Hunt.

Road Trip Scavenger Hunt

What You'll Need:

  • FREE Scavenger Hunt Printable (downloadable here)
  • Paper bags (4 per child)
  • Writing utensils
  • Stapler
  • Clipboard, or hard writing surface
  • Small prizes (4 per child)

What To Do:

Creating the Scavenger Hunt

  1. Download and print the FREE Scavenger Hunt printable (found here). (There are two versions in the PDF, depending on age level - one with photos only and one with photos and words.)
  2. Visit your local dollar store and pick out small prizes for the children (4 per child if using my free printable). These can include snacks and candies, jewellery or makeup, small games or activities, etc. Don't forget to purchase brown paper bags, if you don't have them at home.
  3. Add the prizes to the brown paper bags to make it a surprise. (Don’t forget to label the bags if they are different for multiple kids.)
  4. Once on your way, arm your kids with the printed scavenger hunt, a writing utensil and clipboard (or something hard to write on).
Road Trip Scavenger Hunt for Kids (plus FREE printable)

Scavenger Hunt Rules

  1. Explain that there are four categories to the scavenger hunt - "On the Road", "Out the Window", "Street Signs" and "People & Animals". 
  2. Have the children check off the items as these find them.
  3. Once an entire category has been found, they are able to pick a surprise prize bag.
  4. Continue until all items have been found and all categories have been completed!

Check out this IG Reel to see how much our girls enjoyed this Road Trip Scavenger Hunt.

Of course, you can always create your own scavenger hunt for your kids as well. Check out these tips for creating your own below, as well as thoughts on some other items you could add.

Tips for Creating Your Own Scavenger Hunt:

  • Be sure to select items that you know you will see along the way.
  • If you have never driven this route before, google it to discover what you may see.
  • For longer drives, add more items to each category. (Remember, adding categories will mean more prizes.)
  • To create a learning opportunity, you can incorporate some reading, writing and number games as well. For example, have them spell out the item, or add the name instead of the picture and have them read it out loud, or have them find x number of items instead of just one.

Additional items to add:

  • Motorcycle
  • Canada flag (or other flag)
  • Dog in car
  • Gas station
  • Tim Horton's 
  • Fire truck
  • Cows
  • Horses
  • Train

Download the FREE Road Trip Scavenger Hunt printable here. 

Thoughts on Our Scavenger Hunt

In all, it took the girls about two hours to complete the scavenger hunt, which was perfect for our 3.5 hour drive. The one item that they were stuck on was someone walking a dog. We passed by a few when driving through smaller towns, but they were a little preoccupied to see them. Also, it is a bit difficult for our 3 year old to look out the window and see people/things at sidewalk level while in her carseat (definitely something to keep in mind for the future). We also ended up changing the tall building to a Canada flag.

I can see this being a regular activity on upcoming road trips...

Check out this IG Reel to see how much our girls enjoyed this Road Trip Scavenger Hunt.

Tell me - how do you pass the time on a road trip with your children?


Road Trip Scavenger Hunt
Road Trip Scavenger Hunt

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