Turn trick-or-treating into a scavenger hunt

trick-or-treatersby Janet Grischy

A Halloween scavenger hunt makes trick-or-treating even more exciting for kids. It also encourages trick-or-treaters not to eat the candy until you go through it with them, looking for the scavenger hunt items.

Your scavenger hunt list can include particular types of Halloween candy and treats and non-candy Halloween-related items too. When you plan your own family scavenger hunt, consider the kinds of treats kids are likely to get where you usually go. Also, if you visit friends or family when you go out, consider asking them to hand out a special item for the hunt, like a small toy or puzzle.

Scavenger hunt ideas

In a candy scavenger hunt, a child collects different kinds of candy. It’s OK for children to trade to complete their lists; in fact, exchanging candy is part of the fun.

For a different kind of hunt, have the children look for things—a house that might be haunted, a dark house, a Jack-o-lantern, a cat and a witch. Have players notice the costumes of other children too. A child might look for a fairy, a princess, a mermaid, a particular superhero, a witch or wizard and an animal.

In still another kind of hunt, have your child look at the people who hand out the candy. Children might try to collect a man, a woman, a senior citizen and a teenage girl, for example. An adult in costume could be a bonus item in this kind of hunt.

Scavenger hunt lists

Children might try to collect five orange candies, five brown wrappers and three red ones. They could also need three sticks (like the sticks on Tootsie Pops), three bags, three boxes and eight hard candies. Or simply list your favorite brands to see if anyone gets them all.

A mixed scavenger hunt could have the children looking for box candy, bag candy, hard candy and candy bars, along with an adult in a witch costume giving out candy, a barking dog, a cat, a house that might be haunted and three dark houses.

After the trick-or-treating is done, go through the candy with the kids. See how many list items each child found, and distribute prizes.


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  1. Splendid ideas !
    One can also hide tokens instead, like Chaos Emeralds from Sonic the Hedgehog of SEGA ! Make sure that the token is big enough to not be swallowed by little tykes (like glow-in-the-dark decals and plastic window ornaments affixed to pieces of cardboard) !!! That way, they can turn them in to an adult for a safe treat ;) :D :} !