Learn how to create a fun digital scavenger hunt for your family in three easy steps.

If you’re dreading the anticipated summer screen time battle, we’ve got an easy family activity that incorporates mobile devices and a bit of education -- a digital scavenger hunt

With a little planning, you can develop a digital scavenger hunt that is the perfect summer fun for kids, youth groups or birthday parties!

Before the smartphone era, I had a friend who threw unique birthday parties every year, the most popular of which was a photo scavenger hunt. Partygoers would split into groups with a list of 10 images they had to capture around the city in which we lived, and there were dedicated meet up points along the way.

At the end of the day, film was dropped off at a 1-hour photo processing center; we then met for dinner, sharing photos and voting for the winners. Not only did the photo scavenger hunt provide a day of fun, my friend left the scavenger hunt with tons of pictures of her friends having fun across the city.

A digital scavenger hunt is the perfect summertime family activity, as it combines the devices your children love with creative thinking and quality family time. Want to keep your kids outdoors this summer? Create photo scavenger hunts to keep summer fun for kids!

How to Create a Digital Scavenger Hunt

Believe it or not, your creativity is the most important tool for this easy family activity. While a digital camera will suffice, more complex scavenger hunts will benefit greatly from the use of a smartphone or tablet, equipped with GPS and a web browser.

  1. DIY or Use an App
    Decide if you’re going to build-your-own scavenger hunt, or if you’ll enlist the help of an app. There are a number of free scavenger hunt apps available, including Goosechase, Actionbound, Klikaklu and Huntzz, many of which allow you to either create your own hunt or use one of the hunts already available in the app (perfect for making vacation sightseeing even more engaging).
    If you want to create a fully custom experience, take a look across the web and on Pinterest, where digital scavenger hunt ideas abound.


  2. Set a Goal
    The two most difficult parts of planning activities is deciding what you want to get from them and where you want them to take place. If your goal is just to get the kids out of the house and exploring their environment, then you’ll want to create a digital scavenger hunt that incorporates items in your backyard or extend it out to incorporate your neighborhood.
    If you want your scavenger hunt to have an educational slant, in addition to being an easy family activity, plan your hunt for places around your town, or for a day trip. Many of the free apps, listed above, have preset digital scavenger hunts available specifically for travelers and sightseeing.


  3. Safety First

    Much like 
Pokemon GO! players, digital scavenger hunts are fun but can be dangerous if you’re not aware of your surroundings. It’s best to have one person take on the role of the navigator, using your device’s GPS to lead the way, while other members remain aware of traffic and other potentially dangerous surroundings.

It’s also a good idea to introduce time limits for mobile devices for your kids. With Zift's curfew feature, you can encourage your family to unplug and fully enjoy the summertime activities. With a little imagination and some help from a mobile device, your family can be well on its way to some easy summer fun!

About Lauren B. Stevens

Lauren B. Stevens is a writer, editor & digital parent, whose pieces have been published across the internet and featured in several print anthologies. Lauren lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and son, and enjoys spending her family time hiking and traveling.

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