Virtual scavenger hunts are remote games where players scramble to find items or fulfill challenges before time runs out. They can be played by family members, co-workers, or friends and are a great way to connect those who want to stay in touch while socially distancing.
What are virtual scavenger hunts?
Virtual hunt games are remote activities you can play with friends through Zoom, Facebook, or any other chat program. They’re a mixture between hide and seek and traditional hunts you know and love. The only difference is everything is now done on a computer.
To start, you’ll need a list of items to find and a way to track clues. It can be a race against time with prizes on the line or just a friendly competition for a Friday night.
Click to download the zoom virtual hunt free printable.
How to host virtual scavenger hunts?
Getting the group to connect is as simple as sending out invitations on social media, like Twitter and Facebook, or using a chat room on a website like Discord. There is also good ol’ email as well for us old-timers.
There are many different types of games you can play:
- finding items that match certain criteria (like all red items in an image)
- holiday-themed hunts
- a walk down memory lane, showcasing everything about your personal life and childhood
- searching for letters – like an alphabet scavenger hunt
- murder mystery theme
- amusing questions, ones you have to figure out first – like a riddle
- 10-second video responses
- hunts with very specific themes, food-based or vacation-based
The basic idea is that as a virtual scavenger, you will be enjoying a much-needed adventure with friends and having a great laugh! It doesn’t matter what the list of items players end up using. I promise it will be fun. Virtual games are always a good laugh. Regardless of the virtual hunt theme, it will work.
How are these different from traditional hunts?
There are so many fun activities to play on Zoom and this hunt is on top of the list. These online games are a bit more complex than your basic version of hide and seek. The difference is that each player is playing from the comfort of their own home via remote teams, so it’s a shared experience between people who potentially may not know each other at all.
There are two different ways to play:
Option 1 – You can have a moderator call out each line item from the list – one at a time – and the entire group needs to search for the items at once. Whoever gets the item first will receive the point for the round.
Option 2 – Everyone receives the list at the same time with a time limit to complete the project – say 10 minutes. At the end of the time limit, you give points for every item each member has collected off the list. Whoever has the most points wins. If there is a tie, then the winner should be whoever submitted their list first.
In both scenarios, someone needs to set a timer on their computer/phone and be responsible for alerting the entire group. If there is no moderator, then it would be wise for everyone playing to set a timer at the same time.
As host, all you need is a computer, webcam, and internet connection. Make sure that all the participants in your scavenger hunt have access to these same things as well before starting.
Define Some Rules Before You Begin To Play
It is important that you define some rules before you begin playing. The organizer /host should be very clear about the rules. Here are some things to consider:
- You are not allowed to take screenshots of items online. You must find everything you submit in your house.
- You cannot submit the same item for more than one question.
- Are teams allowed across Zoom (or your preferred version of a video conferencing platform)? This will work only if you are using a program like Google Drive to keep track of items found. That way, there will be no need to shout. Participants can just check off items they find.
- Define the level of competitiveness the group is willing to accept. You don’t want unnecessary fights erupting because someone doesn’t believe a correct item was submitted.
- It’s important that someone keeps track of time during your scavenger hunt adventure.
Who are virtual scavenger hunts for?
Anybody! There’s no age limit on these games, so feel free to invite all your friends and family over (or around). Grab your 8-year-old cousin and your 80-year-old grandmother. There are no restrictions. And by the way, there is NO SET UP REQUIRED. All you need is a computer screen to see the list of items everyone has to look for – which you don’t even need to download.
Finding Premade Lists
Naturally, there is no virtual game without prompts, right? You can create this list on your own, but it’s best if everyone in the chat room works together to add in their unique ideas. A few days before the meetup, send out an email requesting 5 items from everyone and then create your very own checklist using Canva. It’s VERY EASY to use their free templates.
You could also use premade lists that others have made so you don’t have to do any work. There are many places online where you can find premade lists.
The Scavenger Hunt Network has over 1,000 hunts that you can choose from. You’ll find all sorts of lists for different holidays, including Christmas and Halloween, and even some related to science fiction or sports.
Another great site is the Hunt Club where you will find classic scavenger hunts as well as some fun games with creative twists like “Boats and Buoys” or “Animals in the City.” I also recommend checking out their list of themed hunts to help inspire your own ideas.
Mystery Quests is a newer website that has a variety of fun games with some really unique categories. For example, the “Vault” list contains items from video games, and the “Grimm Fairy Tales” one lists items from fairy tales. You can even create custom hunts for your own group if you don’t find what you’re looking for.
If you want a copy of the above list, click on this link for your free virtual scavenger hunt list download.
Virtual Scavenger Hunt Ideas
Looking for scavenger hunt zoom ideas that you want to print right now? No problem! Try to find the following simple items in your house before anyone else does:
- Toilet paper
- Teddy bear
- Tissue box (with tissues still inside)
- Cell phone charger
- Board games
- Amazon Boxes
When making your own list, try to include a good list of easy and challenging items. Have very specific items and then ones that can be interpreted in different ways – like for example, “something you need to go to sleep.”
Here is a list of items that can be interpreted:
- Something that is round
- Something that is old
- Something that is fuzzy
- Something that is in the fridge
- Something that is from your childhood
- A movie from the 80s
- Something that you can use to make breakfast
- Something you bring on a plane
Make It A Digital
Change the rules and make each of the attendees only have to supply a photo of proof in order to win. That way, you can incorporate things like selfies with pets, TikTok dance routines, and handstands. Lots of fun! The best digital scavenger hunt challenges are ones that offer up lots of laughs and memories that you won’t want to erase.
Download the color scavenger hunt printable here
Why are virtual scavenger hunts good for team building?
A virtual hunt for adults provides a fun way to connect with coworkers in the office and around the world. They can help break the ice among those who don’t know each other very well and also bring existing work relationships closer together.
A team-building opportunity while social distancing like this can be at any time of day or night. You can hold this activity for groups of friends or work colleagues who are scattered around the country. It will boost morale and have everyone coming together with a bit of friendly competition. Trust me, a hunt for team building is always a great idea. After all, these people are working as virtual teams on a regular basis anyway, right? Might as well allow them to have a few laughs. It’s the perfect recipe for fun.
Other scavenger hunt ideas:
- Rainbow Scavenger Hunt
- Easter Scavenger Hunt For Kids
- Book Scavenger Hunt Printable
- License Plate Game For Kids
- Indoor Household Scavenger Hunt For Kids
- Halloween Scavenger Hunt Free Printable
- Beach Scavenger Hunt Printable For Kids
- Zoo Scavenger Hunt Printable For Kids
- St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt For Kids
- Free City Scavenger Hunt Printable For Kids