A virtual scavenger hunt is a super fun way to connect with your friends and family virtually! Print out one of the printable scavenger hunts included in this post, connect with your friends and family virtually, and play! It’s a great way to make this stay at home time a little more fun!
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something via these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
A Virtual Scavenger Hunt
If you’ve ever read my blog before, you might know that I’m a huge fan of scavenger hunts! Clue based scavenger hunts, seek and find based scavenger hunts – you name it, and I love them!
My husband and I have been brainstorming on fun games to play via Zoom (other than just the best board games) and the idea to do a virtual scavenger hunt popped into my head.
We tried this virtual scavenger hunt out with five different families yesterday, and it was so much fun! It’s a fun way to pass the time while you’re safe at home but would honestly be fun no matter the time of year for people to do that aren’t located close together!
The basic idea is that one person, the moderator, says an item, and everyone else has to run and try and find it and show it on the screen.
Keep reading for all the details, ways to score the game, and two printable virtual scavenger hunt lists! This would be super fun to do if you’re looking for ways to celebrate birthdays at home or just looking for fun indoor activities for the entire family.
How to Do A Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Doing a virtual scavenger hunt is super easy but there are some tips and tricks you’ll want to know before you organize one!
Here’s how we did it – feel free to change it up to do whatever works best for you. Ideally you’ll play with families or teams of people but you can totally play with individuals as well – just do whatever works best for you!
I’ve also included a little video below that shows how to do it and how much fun it is!
1 – Schedule a time for your hunt and send out invites.
There are a number of different programs you can use for your hunt – Google Hangout, Zoom, Skype are a couple I can think of off the top of my head.
We did Zoom for our scavenger hunt, and it worked really well. Just make sure that whatever you do, you need to make sure you can see everyone on the screen at once. And know that if you are just using a free account on Zoom, you’ll only be able to do a scavenger hunt for 40 minutes or less (if you have more than 3 people on). It’ll cut you off right at 40 minutes!
Figure out how you want to do the virtual scavenger hunt, give people the time, and give people a link ahead of time in case they need to download software, install anything, etc.
Also ask everyone to come to the scavenger hunt with a piece of paper with an X on it.
2 – Print out your list of items.
Whoever is going to be your moderator needs to have their own screen (not sharing one with a family playing). Have them print out the list of items that will be searched for and don’t show it to anyone else – the items need to be a surprise!
I’ve included two different scavenger hunt lists to download at the bottom of this post.
I did a list that’s specific to this stay at home time period (e.g, toilet paper roll, hand sanitizer, Tom Hanks movie) and a list that’s more generic and would be good any time of year (e.g., first aid kit, school supplies, Dr. Seuss book).
The items I included have a mix of more challenging items and simpler ones. There are also very specific items (e.g., teddy bear) and items that are more subjective and open to the imagination (e.g., school supplies). Let people get creative as long as it’s within reason.
3 – Start your call.
Get everyone on the call and make sure they all have audio and video working properly before you start.
Once everyone is up and running, explain how the scavenger hunt works – you’ll say something and they have to go find it. Scoring will be based on the order they bring back the item and show it on screen. (Details on scoring models below).
You’ll have one minute to find each item to keep the hunt moving. If you know for certain you don’t have something, put up a piece of paper with an X on it to signify you don’t have the item.
Make sure to go over the three rules below as well.
- You can’t take the device you’re using with you (i.e., if you’re playing on a phone, the phone needs to stay put).
- No using phones for answers (i.e., you can’t look up a picture of a Tom Hanks movie on your phone).
- An item cannot be used for two different answers (e.g., Toy Story movie couldn’t be used for Tom Hanks movie + Disney character)
4 – Play!
Now it’s time to play! Say your first item and let people go on the hunt to find it.
And make sure to have fun doing it!
Scoring Your Virtual Scavenger Hunt
There are a number of different ways you can score your virtual scavenger hunt. I’ve included the three options that work best below but if something else works better for you, go for it!
And if you’re doing this with just little kids that would rather just do a scavenger hunt and not a competitive one, you can get rid of the scoring idea all together!
Scoring Option #1: First, Second, Last
For this scoring option, the first person to come back gets five points, the second person to come back with their item gets three points, and anyone else who comes back with the item within the minute gets one point.
This works best if you have a smaller numbers of groups (less than 10) playing because it can get a bit cumbersome to keep track of individual scores for more than 10 teams.
The thing I like about this is that you never know who is going to come out on top with the highest number of total points. Winning one round and getting five points is a big deal and could take you from worst to first in one round.
For this option, I do highly recommend having a scorecard that is visible to the entire group at all times – maybe setup a separate screen or something so people can see it. Or if you don’t do a visible one, at least do a check-in every five or so items so people know where they stand.
Scoring Option #2: One Point Per Round
For this scoring option, the first person to bring back an item gets one point and “wins” the round. People keep track of their own wins and the person who gets the most points total wins the scavenger hunt.
This option works best if you have a really large group of people and don’t want to track individual scores.
Scoring Option #3: One Point Per Person
The last option would be to basically just say anyone who comes back with the item within a minute wins one point. There’s still a level of competitiveness as people have to try and get the item before the timer runs out but it’s not as much about competing with each other.
This option tends to keep the scores a lot closer throughout the game since you don’t have people getting three and five points. It also means that you may end up with a tie or people really close together in final scores.
Other Virtual Scavenger Hunt Notes
A couple of other notes to help things go smoothly with your virtual scavenger hunt.
1 – Make sure people can hear you clearly before you get started. It’s no fair if someone has a terrible connection and can’t hear anything.
2 – Have a screen that’s dedicated to showing the scorecard and a digital timer if at all possible. People want to see the score and they’ll need to see the time, ideally.
3 – Be flexible and have fun. If it can kind of fit the category and they put in effort, let it count!
Virtual Scavenger Hunt Prizes
If you’re doing this as a fun little competition, it’s always fun to include a virtual prize for the winner, or maybe even top three! Here are a couple of virtual prizes that I think would be a hit with teams!
- Electronic gift cards – since no one is shopping in stores right now, give an electronic gift card for some online shopping. Amazon is always a hit!
- An on-demand movie – there are so many movies coming to at home release right now. Give a prize that allows someone to watch one of those on-demand movies whether it’s a movies anywhere gift code, Amazon Prime, iTunes, etc.
- A code for a home delivered treat – think things like SugarWish, Popped Passion, Edible Arrangements, etc.
- Food delivery gift card – GrubHub, Uber Eats, you name it
Virtual Scavenger Hunt Items
I’ve included the full lists of both of my scavenger hunt downloads below. You can get printable versions of these to download, that also work well as scorecards, at the bottom of this post.
If you need another list, the items on this alphabet scavenger hunt would work great too, especially for littler kids!
Download the Virtual Scavenger Hunts
Enter your first name and email address below to download the virtual scavenger hunts. You’ll receive a two-page PDF immediately as well as copy emailed to your inbox. The PDF will include a copy of the stay at home list above and a copy of the generic list above.
If you do not see the form below, click here to get to it.
More Scavenger Hunt Ideas
- Christmas scavenger hunt
- Thanksgiving scavenger hunt
- Halloween scavenger hunt
- Birthday scavenger hunt
- Easter scavenger hunt
- Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt
Don’t forget to pin this virtual scavenger hunt for later!