7 Winter Scavenger Hunts for Kids (+FREE Printable Pack!)

Updated December 3rd, 2023

Winter is here, the snow is falling and the kids are feeling restless – get this free printable set of four winter scavenger hunts if you’re looking for a way to entertain them while still getting some fresh air! A scavenger hunt will get the children out of their comfort zone, exploring the great outdoors and having fun with friends or family.

The winter scavenger hunt can be tailored depending on the ages of the children and their abilities. If you want to challenge the older kids, set a timer for them to see how long it takes them to complete the winter scavenger hunt!

printable winter scavenger hunts for kids

Winter fun with kids (read before you go!)

If you’re trying to find a way to enjoy winter with the kids, you’re at the perfect place! These scavenger hunts can be used just about anywhere, as most of the items are common to snowy places. I recommend checking out the list BEFORE you go in case you need to cross anything out and replace it with something that can be found in you area.

If you’re looking for some other fun snowy ideas to do with the kids, I recommend checking out some awesome snow toys as well as these 27 snow day activity ideas for kids!

I have included a link at the bottom of the post to download a pack of 4 winter scavenger hunts for free, however there are other links listed for bonus scavenger hunts throughout the article. =D

For your convenience, click on the section you would like to jump to!

Color + Find Simple Winter Scavenger Hunt

I love when I’m able to get more out of a single activity, so instead of using a pre colored option, I create/use a black and white version instead! Not only do they love coloring in all the seasonal pictures, they have more time to “get excited” to find everything once they do finally get outside after coloring!

winter scavenger hunt for kids on cliplboard in front of pine tree and snow with winter themed pictures

Picture Based Winter Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt

With a picture based winter scavenger hunt, even young children who don’t know how to read yet can join in on the fun! Make sure to scan the scavenger hunt of your choice to ensure most things are findable, grab a pen and clipboard, and they’ll be ready!

Younger kids can sometimes run into mobility issues during winter – afterall, snowsuits are massive and it takes a year or two to get your “snow legs”! To make this easier (and more able to go on longer winter explores) we have made sure to always bring a sled so they have a place to rest while still moving. They can still enjoy the scavenger hunt with the group from the sled!

scavenger hunt on clipboard on snow

Snow Day Activity Scavenger Hunt

Here is the “do” portion of my winter scavenger hunts! It might be fun to print this out at the start of the season so that each good snowy day you can try and mark one off the list.

There are some indoor items… but those are just too fitting for a snow day to leave out just because they are not outdoors! If some of the winter activities listed below don’t work for your family, then simply substitute it for something that will work!

This scavenger hunt was made for kids who don’t get snow often, so it functions as a sort of “Snow Day Bucket List” and hence includes both indoor and outdoor items!

The snow day printable experiences hunt will ask your child to:

  • Make a snow angel
  • Make and hang a nature ornament
  • Catch snow on your tongue
  • Go ice skating (I’m still working on this one as a 30 year old woman =0)
  • Make cookies
  • Go ski
  • Throw a snowball
  • Build a snowman
  • Make a big snowball
  • Go tubing
  • Drink hot coco
  • Go sledding

Download Kids Winter Snow Day Hunt

snowy day activity kids printable

Nature Based Winter Scavenger Hunt

If you happen to live somewhere that’s far from neighborhoods/towns (I live in rural Idaho!) then this nature based version of the winter scavenger hunt may make more sense for you!

It’s also fun to take on a winter hike as most of these items can be found in any snowy forest (as always, substitute something else if one of the options isn’t going to be found where you live! If you’re lucky enough to live near wildlife AND in a snowy place, check out Science Women’s nature based version as well!

  • Bare trees
  • Snowy fence
  • Frozen body of water
  • Icicles
  • Snowy stick
  • Pinecone
  • Berries
  • Acorn
  • Pine tree
  • Snowy grass
  • Birds in a tree
  • Snowy animal footprints

If you are looking to add an element of difficulty for older kids, try being more specific with a list like this

  • Spot a squirrel/chipmunk gathering nuts
  • Find a frosty leaf
  • Identify 2 different types of evergreen trees
  • Hear a bird call
  • Find a bare tree
  • Look for a frozen spider web
  • Find a frozen flower
  • Search for snowy animal tracks
  • Find an icicle atleast 8″ long
  • Discover a partially frozen stream
  • Find a pinecone still on a pine tree
  • Spot a wintering bird (like a robin or blue jay)
  • Look for a dormant perennial plant (one that comes back each year)
  • Find a frozen puddle or pond
  • Look for a place where snow has drifted (gathered in one area due to wind)
  • Find a place with frozen moss or lichen
  • Find wild animal poo
  • Find a non pine tree that still has some of it’s leaves
  • Spot a frost-covered fence
  • Find a game trail – a place where the snow has been packed down by lots of animal use
  • Discover a snow-covered nest or abandoned nest
  • Identify a tree with leftover fruits/berries/nuts from fall

Download Winter Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt PDF

winter nature hike kids printable scavenger hunt

List Based Winter Scavenger Hunt

Kids who are reading age and above usually want something a bit more challenging than a simple picture list… so here is a much larger written list that is fun a challenge for any age!

There are tons of fun twists you can add to the traditional list scavenger hunt such as

  • Make a time limit – This is especially good for older teens who may still find the list too easy… see who can find the most/all the items first!
  • Do a selfie version – Kids love the opportunity to get creative with how they take their picture with the scavenger hunt item. It’s even funner to share everyones silly selfies together after!
  • Add a point system – I love this because it allows kids to make an option between finding the MOST items on the list or the MOST VALUED items on the list!

And if you want to DIY your own winter scavenger hunt, here are some ideas to get you started!

  • ☐ Bare tree
  • ☐ Ice Skater/Ice skating tracks
  • ☐ Icicle
  • ☐ Snowman
  • ☐ Decorated tree
  • ☐ Chimney smoke
  • ☐ Holiday lights
  • ☐ Sled
  • ☐ Holiday wreath
  • ☐ Paw prints in snow
  • ☐ Bird
  • ☐ Snow Shovel
  • ☐ Pinecone
  • ☐ Snow Angel
  • ☐ Snow ball
  • ☐ Brown leaf
  • ☐ Frozen puddle/body of water
  • ☐ Tree that kept its leaves
  • ☐ Skis/ski tracks
  • ☐ Sled hill
  • ☐ Snow toy
  • ☐ Snow plow
list style winter scavenger hunt in front of snowy landscape

Winter Themed Movement Ideas to Hunt For

Whether you need to brainstorm some replacement items for your winter scavenger hunt or you just want to add some extra activity, these are some cute winter themed things to add to your list!

  • Leap like a winter hare – Focus on long jumps!
  • “Pounce” like a fox on a mouse in some snow (or on a stick if you have no snow)
  • Wiggle like a fish – Kids get a crack out of makeing a “snow fish” vs a “snow angel”
  • Burrow in the snow (or sandbox!) like a mouse – If you have enough snow, a full body burrow is pretty fun!
  • Waddle like a penguin – Easy but fun =P
  • Create a footprint follow challenge – Establish a leader to “break trail” and have everyone else follow single file behind them and try to stay exactly in the previous kids’ footprints
  • Build a sled hill for a stuffie or small toy and create a cardboard sled to slide them down (also works in a sandbox)
  • Roll a giant snowball – Rather than forming with their hands, challenge kids to make their snowball entirely by rolling it on the ground. See who can make the biggest!
  • Have a snowball throwing contest – This is a fun way to experiment with different textures of snow to see which can make the farthest flying snowball
  • Stomp through the snow like a yeti – If the kids are old enough, challenge them to make the most realisitic looking set of Yeti prints!
  • Stand strong like an evergreen green… on one leg! – Challenge everyone to see who can stand the longest!
  • Draw in the snow – Find a stick or just use a pencil to draw a picture or message in the snow
  • Have a snowball throw challenge – See who can make the most sturdy snowball, and measure how far each of them go when thrown!

Download Winter Activity Hunt PDF

winter activity hunt for kids for movement

How to use these scavenger hunts

As with all outdoor scavenger hunts, I recommend laminating these if possible (especially if you have snow!) or atleast putting them in a protective plastic pouch so they have a longer lifetime.

Bring a clipboard and pen (we have these really awesome caribener pens that tie onto the clipboards!) or some crayons and markers if you know there will be places to sit and color along the way!

If it’s too cold and nasty to go out, I use a modified version of this called the “Winter Window Hunt” which, as you might have guessed, is the scavenger hunt completed entirely by seeing what they can out the windows!

Pair it with some fun/educational winter books

If you homeschool or are on a break, a winter scavenger hunt really pairs well with a seasons unit and some educational winter books. There are so many good snowy season books, but I’ve listed a few below that are included in our curriculum (Moving Beyond the Page) and others I found valuable!

If you’re looking for another educational snow activity, check out this snow measuring craft + printable graph – it’s great for practicing graphing skills during winter!

  • Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story – A beautifully illustrated book (co authored by a ecologist and educator) that introduces the concept of hibernation to kids, and how it all works! I love the tips you can do at home at the end!
  • Curious About Snow – A book all about the scientific aspects of snow itself (with TONS of awesome snowflake pictures) and how to have fun in it!
  • The Snowy Nap – A Jan Brett classic that is more of a cute, story style approach to hibernation that we just love!
winter sleep hibernation story book
via amazon.com

Download your free printable winter scavenger hunt set

There are four different options to use, depending on what you prefer – a black and white, color pictures, list style and pictures + word are available!

Please do not share, resell or redistribute these PDFs – they are for personal use only!

Download the winter scavenger hunt printables

winter scavenger hunt for little kids featuring color in winter themed items

4 free printable winter scavenger worksheets

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