As part of our ScholarShare 529 Toddler Time at Home program, we’re creating a scavenger hunt you can do outdoor or indoor with your little ones! Using simple household items, create your own binoculars and look for items around your backyard or around the house. This is great for toddlers as they can practice identifying objects, make new discoveries and build their confidence. Watch the video below for a tutorial on how to do your own scavenger hunt at home.


Backyard (or in Home) Scavenger Hunt

AGE: 2-5 (with adult support)

TIME FRAME: 30 minutes – 1 hour


  • Paper Towel Tube
  • Tape
  • Paper
  • Colored Pencils/Markers


1. Cut a paper towel roll in half. Then tape the two half rolls together to make your binoculars.

2. Draw and write down the name of the objects you would like your little one to find. Having an image with the text is a great pre-reading literacy exercise. We recommend incorporating new and familiar items, as well as sticking to 4-6 items—as too many may overwhelm your little one.

3. Begin your scavenger hunt together! Consider incorporating one or more of the ideas below as you play.

4. Play this again and again by simply making new lists!

Toddler to Transitional Kindergarten Learning Connections

Early learners (ages 2 – 5) have a natural desire to explore their world. Activities like scavenger hunts and Eye Spy provide them with opportunities for vocabulary building and allow them to learn through discovery and through doing. To further increase the learning opportunities while playing these types of educational games together, consider incorporating one or more of the ideas below.

Let Your Little One Lead
After trying the scavenger hunt together, let your child continue to look around and find other objects in their world. Let them show you their discoveries and talk about them together.

Take a Walk
Young children learn so much by absorbing the sights and sounds of their world. You can create a scavenger hunt list to accompany a walk around your neighborhood or other areas and look for items together as you get out and move.

Share a Story
Reading is a wonderful vehicle for learning and for introducing new ideas to early learners. Select any engaging and age-appropriate book and search together for objects, colors, shapes, letters and more. There are also books designed for this type of activity. Read any of them together with your child before or after the scavenger hunt activity.

Recommended Related Reading (Ages 2 – 5):

  • Help! My Monsters Are on the Loose! by Webber Books (a Where’s Waldo-style book for ages 2 – 4)
  • I Spy Animals by Jean Marzollo and illustrated by Walter Wick
  • Shapes, Shapes, Shapes by Tana Holban

Preschool Learning Foundations Standards (Social Emotional Learning, Language and Literacy):

Age 48 months:

  • Understand and use accepted words for objects, actions and attributes encountered frequently in both real and symbolic contexts.
  • Understand and use accepted words for categories of objects encountered and used frequently in everyday life.
  • Enjoy learning and are confident in their abilities to make new discoveries, although may not persist at solving difficult problems.

Age 60 months:

  • Understand and use an increasing variety and specificity of accepted words for objects, actions and attributes encountered in both real and symbolic contexts.
  • Understand and use accepted words for categories of objects encountered in everyday life.
  • Take greater initiative in making new discoveries, identifying new solutions and persisting in trying to figure things out.
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