As with any activity, it’s important to establish guidelines.  Your scavenger hunt rules will need to keep in mind your audience, group size and location of the hunt among other things.

Thoughts to Consider:
Rules for a Scavenger Hunt

*  Establish a perimeter or boundaries for your hunt. 

If it is indoors, does it include upstairs and downstairs or only one room?  If it is outside, is it in a playing field, a neighborhood, or certain part of the city?  This is important so that your participants are aware of where they can be looking for their items.

*  Determine your group size.

Is this an activity that must be completed on one’s own or in a group?  Can groups team up to find things?  This is especially important with school groups.

*  Set a time limit.

Hunts can range anywhere from 30 minutes to an all day affair.  Be sure to keep in mind the age and attention span of your group as you set this.  The activity will only be fun if everyone stays engaged for the entire time.

*  Be aware of the environment.

Are there breakable items in the room?  Can children touch them?  Are there roads in the neighborhood that are off limits?  Can they pick up the items or must they write down what they find and leave the items where they are?  It’s important to be very clear on this one so that participants don’t unknowingly get in trouble.  This is especially true for outdoor scavenger hunts.

*  Prepare for emergencies.

Establish a cut-off time and an emergency plan if a group doesn’t show back up in time.  Think of sending an adult with each group of children if this is the age group you are working with.  If groups are going out for longer periods of time send a first aid kit.  Think of pairing folks up and using the buddy system for hunts that are in a larger area.

These are just a few ideas to keep in mind as you develop your scavenger hunt rules.  Remember the better you plan ahead, the more fun everyone is going to have!