Early Math Experiences: Scavenger Hunt with Numbers

Kids love scavenger hunts!  The great thing about scavenger hunts is that they are really very simple to plan and execute.

We were at Target a few weeks ago, and my son was drawn to a small scavenger hunt the store was having.  His goal was to find a few Lego Batman pictures around the store and to mark that he found it on a piece of paper.  Once he found all the items he received a Batman poster.  The poster went straight on his bedroom door when we got home and he’s not even a huge Batman fan…The power of the scavenger hunt exemplified!

A scavenger hunt with numbers is even more simple than the Target-inspired hunt and provides just as much fun (if not more!).

First, I hide ten felt numbers around the living room.  Any kind of numbers can be used.  We use these from Amazon:


We usually stick to one room, as it can get tough to keep track of the numbers if you spread them around the house!

When I say “hide” I mean I put them in clear view but in different spots around the room.  My toddler and preschooler aren’t ready for serious hiding spots just yet!

During the hiding, the kids are upstairs waiting for me to call them down.  When all the numbers are hidden the fun begins!

We start with number 1.  If they don’t see it initially, I give them a clue of where it could be.

During this time, they will spot other numbers, but we try to stick with numerical order (mostly because my hyperlexic son insists on it, but it is also beneficial for the learning aspect to do so).  After we find the 1, we move on to 2, then 3, etc., until all ten numbers have been found.

Together we put the numbers in a pile and lay them all out in a row.  Then we count together out loud.  This part is really great for my toddler who is just getting the hang of counting to ten.

And that’s it! The kids love it, and it is so so very simple.  And we can play it again and again.  We have even tried to have the kids hide the numbers, but beware…they may have a hard time remembering where they hide their numbers, so a pretty intense scavenger hunt may ensue!

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