My Hospital Scavenger Hunt

Last week I read a really great blog post by Child Life Mommy about how she took her children on a scavenger hunt. In the post she mentions how scavenger hunts are great to do indoors, even in a hospital. You can read the awesome article in full on her blog here. I totally agree that scavenger hunts are a great way to encourage kids to take control, use their critical thinking skills, their creativity, and say “Challenge accepted!” (I know there wasn’t technically a challenge in the post, it’s just fun to say it!)

Scavenger hunts can be done in many different ways. You can have a list of items or a series of clues. You can collect your items, take pictures, or just check them off the list. You can even do it with just one person, a group, or in teams for a prize. With that in mind, I’ll be sharing with you just one way that you can do a scavenger hunt in the hospital.

First start with a list of items that you would like your participants to find. When writing your list, consider what you would like the participants to come away with. If your focus is just encouraging participants to move around the hospital, you can keep your list generic. If you want participants to become more familiar with specifically the medical side of the hospital, add different types of medical supplies to the list. Here’s an example of a list with a focus on hospital orientation:

Bubbles
Magazine
Stethoscope
Video Game
IV Straw
Bird
Crown
Band aid
Light Spinner
Blood Pressure Cuff

Once you have your list, give it to your participants along with a camera. Tell them to take pictures of what they can find on the list. Like so:

Scavenger Hunt 1 Scavenger Hunt 2 Scavenger Hunt 3 Scavenger Hunt 4 Scavenger Hunt 5 Scavenger Hunt 6 Scavenger Hunt 7 Scavenger Hunt 8

Once your participants return with their pictures, print out the pictures, either on regular paper or photo paper. Then with scissors and glue, have the participants make a collage with the pictures they took. You can give them other supplies to decorate their collages if desired. As they’re making their collages you can use the time to talk with them about the different things they found during the scavenger hunt. You might be able to explain to them about what the different medical tools do or put to rest some of their misconceptions. It’s also a great way to desensitize patients to different hospital items as well as validate their experiences. Here’s the example I put together:

Scavenger Hunt 9

I really like the idea of creating a collage out of the photos. This way participants have something to take with them and add to their memories of the hospital. Try out this activity and let me know how it goes!

Hospital Scavenger Hunt Activity Notes

Ages: 4 and up

Materials: Paper, Pencil, Camera, Glue

Therapeutic Value:
Creativity
Control
Normalization
Medical Play

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