Sidewalk Scavenger Hunt

Seeking Out Friends SafelyLetter B made from sidewalk chalk drawn on sidewalk

  • What: Sidewalk Scavenger Hunt
  • When: Stuck inside with kids
  • Why: Connect with friends safely
  • Where: Your neighborhood

Tired of sitting at home with your kids? Walks and trips to the park getting old? Maybe you want a new way to connect with friends without risking anyone’s health. If so, try a sidewalk scavenger hunt.

Letter B drawn in sidewalk chalk on concrete below art on building

Draw letters for friends to find and unscramble.

All you need is a place accessible to both parties, some sidewalk chalk, and a camera (though kids can also draw or make maps if needed). Then one set of people head out to make the hunt. They choose a place to draw a letter out of sidewalk chalk, and snap a photo. Then add the next letter at a different location, and continue until you finish all the letters . Be sure to take a photo or draw a picture (without the letter, which works well if you draw on the ground or take photos before adding the sidewalk chalk) at each location to share with friends and family.

Letter H drawn in sidewalk chalk next to statue

Statues and other recognizable landmarks make great locations for letters.

Once the designated hunters find all the locations and gather all the letters, they can unscramble the word or words. The letters can spell out a simple message of greeting or support, or give a clue to a final location. If you want a reward at the end, art, homemade goodies, or even old toys that have been cleaned (and quarantined if desired) and packed safely make great surprises. Treasures can be put out ahead of time if packaged tightly or placed once the participants get started if they won’t stand up the elements. Tuck gifts away in kids’ yard or another safe spot where they won’t be accidentally discovered by others.

Letter A drawn in pink sidewalk chalk on leg of bench

The letter A chalked onto a bench leg to stay safe from the elements.

Scavenger hunts work well, because kids can visit the same outdoor spots at different times, minimizing any exposure from each other. Sidewalk chalk will usually last until the next big rain, even in commercial areas or other busy spaces. That gives the participants some flexibility completing the challenge or allows them to hunt in several sessions if needed. Sunny weather helps, but with extra effort you can find dry places for sidewalk chalk tucked into corners or beneath overhangs as needed.

Happy hunting!

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