15-Minute Christmas Scavenger Hunts

15-Minute Christmas Scavenger Hunts

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Today I’m sharing ideas for simple Christmas scavenger hunts and races to add to your homeschool day. This is a great way to get inject a little holiday spirit into your home – and homeschool during this busy time of year.

This post is the sixth in my 12 Days of Christmas series. Find more free Christmas resources and ideas here!

15-Minute Christmas Scavenger Hunts

Why Scavenger Hunts?

We love scavenger hunts. And I use them all year round for several reasons.

Simple for Kids

First, they’re a simple way to add some fun to our homeschool routine.

Since we’re a book-loving family and use Sonlight, a Christian homeschool curriculum as our spine, we spend a lot of time, well, reading! And while we love books, it is fun to get up and move around and even head outdoors for a change.

Scavenger hunts are simple for kids to understand and complete. And since they can use pictures instead of words, they’re great for prereaders too.

Easy for Mom

Second, they’re fast and easy to arrange. And as a working homeschool mom, I love fast and easy. This is especially true during the month of December. I’m often juggling Q4 goals with client deadlines.

And I have fun taking part in these scavenger hunts too!

Usually, I’ll just do a quick search for whatever topic/season/activity I’m looking for. For example, “December scavenger hunt ideas for kids.”

Promote Problem-Solving & Teamwork

Third, as the Institute for Educational Advancement explains, scavenger hunts have educational benefits for kids. They help hone problem-solving skills, encourage teamwork, and are easy to customize based on your children’s age and other factors.

Suitable for All Locations

Fourth, scavenger hunts can happen indoors, outdoors, online, from magazines, on car trips…..so they’re flexible. This is particularly important in 2020!

Christmas Scavenger Hunts for Preschoolers & Kindergarten Kids

One of the easiest activities to keep preschoolers and kindergarten kids busy involves having them search for things. And during the holiday season, when working homeschool moms have their plates full, finding simple Christmas activities can help you achieve your goal of a stress-free Christmas.

Print off a simple scavenger hunt holiday printable for your preschooler. Show them what they’re looking for. I suggest keeping these really simple for children between the ages of three and five. For example, use scavenger hunts based on

  • colors – red, green, silver, gold
  • shapes – bells, stars, snowmen, angels
  • Christmas items – decorations, wreaths, signs, and even gifts.

In the past, I’ve used a holiday kindergarten scavenger hunt printable to keep my younger daughter occupied for fifteen minutes while working on math lessons with my older daughter.

Find Christmas printables for scavenger hunts for kindergarten kids here

  1. Playdates Parties for Kindergarten
  2. Laptops and Naptimes Christmas Eve Treasure Hunt for Kids
  3. Talk of the Trains Christmas Lights Hunt
  4. Peace But Not Quiet Picture-Based Hunt
  5. KCEdventures Picture-Based Holiday Scavenger Hunt for Children

Holiday Scavenger Hunts for Elementary School Kids

Creating a scavenger or treasure hunt for elementary school kids can be even simpler than making one for younger children. That’s because you can stick with word-based instructions.

However, if your children already read, you also have the option to make your holiday hunt a little more complex.

For example, instead of handing your children an instruction sheet and sending them on their merry way, you could actually hide clues around the house.

So first, either create your own clues or print off a scavenger clue sheet (see below for several options.)

Next, cut the clues out and hide them in the house. Each clue will have a hint about where to find the next clue.

The last spot should have a prize for each child. Something like Christmas candy or a small gift works well.

Here are a few places to find free holiday scavenger hunt printables for big kids.

  1. Typically Topical Christmas Scavenger Hunt printables
  2. Play Party Plan Best Ever Christmas Scavenger Hunt
  3. House Beautiful Christmas Scavenger Hunt Clues for Big Kids
  4. 123 Homeschool for Me Free Christmas Scavenger Hunts Printables
  5. Moritz Fine Designs Free Christmas Hunt for Kids

Turn Your Hunt Into a Race

Are your kids competitive? Mine sure are.

That’s why we sometimes turn our holiday scavenger hunts into races. This works best if your children are close in age. Give the winner a privilege instead of a prize.

For example, maybe the winner gets to choose the old-fashioned Christmas book to read tonight. Or to pick the pioneer Christmas craft to work on this weekend. (If you have less than 30 minutes for holiday Christmas crafts, check out my Christmas construction paper placemat activity.

More Great Scavenger Hunts for Homeschoolers

Looking for more year-round and holiday scavenger hunt ideas? Here are a few more places to try!

  1. Good Housekeeping 22 Best Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids
  2. The Many Little Joys Preschool Scavenger Hunts
  3. Parade 29 Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Elementary-Aged Kids
  4. How We Learn Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids
  5. The Spruce Outdoor Scavenger Hunts for Kids
  6. An Off Grid Life Seed Catalog Scavenger Hunt
12 Days of Christmas: 15-Minute Scavenger Hunt text overlay

Christmas Homeschool Giveaway

The last two years have been crazy to say the least! We all know families that have been hit hard with job loss, displacement, and more. In efforts to ease financial burdens and help you further explore your homeschool opportunities, we’re giving away over $1050 of homeschool and educational printables, courses, and curriculum!  Thanks to these amazing bloggers and brands that love supporting the homeschool community, we’re able to give back to not one, but 3 lucky homeschool families in the best way!  Inside the giveaway, you’ll find more than $1050 spread across 3 prize packages to bless three amazing families! Learn more about each of our prize packages:

Prize Package 1 ($378 Value)

Cover Story Cloud Set (Grades 6-9) from Clear Water Press, 1 year subscription from Connect through Music, DIY Printables for Teachers and Homeschoolers from Living Life and Learning, Planet Voyagers from Simply Fun, a Personalized Name Meaning Gifts & Amazing Name Cartoon from CrossTimber, and a Complete Diagnostic Assessment package from Basic Christian Education.

Prize Package 2 ($391.90 Value)

Annual Family Membership from SkillTrek, 1 year subscription from Connect through Music, God Made Music from Praise Hymn, Inc. (Winner chooses grade level and either CD’s or MP3), The Homeschool Garden Ancient History I morning time curriculum from Everyday Graces Homeschool, Holiday Big Book Bundle from The Successful Homeschool, Year 1 Curriculum + the companion Discovery Pack from Let’s Go Geography, and a Personalized Name Meaning Gifts & Amazing Name Cartoon from CrossTimber.

Prize Package 2 ($391.90 Value)

Online Music course of your choice (up to a $97 value) from Music in Our Homeschool, 1 year subscription from Connect through Music, 2 Titles from The Great Science Adventures series (K-8) from Common Sense Press, The Good Manners Resource Pack (digital edition) from Homeschool Adventure, Julia Rothman Notebook Companions Complete Set from Daily Skill Building, 3 books from Carole P Roman’s diverse cultural and historical series from Carole P. Roman, Mommy & Me Journals (Complete Year) from In All You Do, and a Personalized Name Meaning Gifts & Amazing Name Cartoon from CrossTimber. Learn more about each of the 2021 Homeschool Christmas Giveaway Sponsors:
Want to enter to win? Simply enter by following as many sponsors on the form below, and you’re in it to win it!  You are responsible for reading the Terms and Conditions before entering. Entering this giveaway confirms that you have read and understand the terms. a Rafflecopter giveaway

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