A library scavenger hunt is a perfect way to learn about books and the wonders of the library. Here’s how you can organize one for participants of all ages.
Learning about the library through scavenger hunts
Scavenger hunts are a great way to get people to engage with the space around them. That’s why a library scavenger hunt is the perfect way to get people to learn about the library. Participants of these scavenger hunts can learn about locations such as the help desk, computer, magazines, non-fiction section, fiction section, newspapers, CD’s etc. You can even get a participant to go through the whole process of looking for and finding a book. This is perfect for library orientation in schools and colleges. If you would like to make these challenges more interesting, rather than giving straightforward tasks, you can give the tasks in a form of a riddle. Some example riddles:
“Hi. We’ve never seen you here before. You want to take a book out of our library? What do you need before you can do that?” Answer: A library card or whatever form of registration is required by the library
For library orientation, try not to make the riddles too challenging as participants are already unfamiliar with the space.
Getting kids interested in books
This is recommended for kids of reading age right up to their teens. Usually ages 6 to 12.
Kids’ books have a lot of emphasis on pictures so there are a lot of opportunities to incorporate engaging visual clues with your library scavenger hunt. Even kids who aren’t that interested in reading can get in on the hunt!
For clues that incorporate the visual aspects, you can ask kids to do things like finding animals, find certain colours or shapes, or find a picture of something cute!
To get kids more interested in the content of books, you ask them to find easy clues about the books themselves. Such as finding books with a certain number of letters in the title, find a book with exactly 4 e’s in the title, or find a book about a real person.
Library scavenger hunt ideas for teenagers
Teens have a much higher reading level and will be able to derive more context from books. Simple clues won’t do here. Riddles and more challenging clues will be interesting for teens. It’s also a good idea here to leave open-ended clues that allow the freedom for teens to incorporate their own interests and personality here. Such as:
‘Find a book that has a famous movie’
You may get treasures here ranging from ‘Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets’ to ‘The Shawshank Redemption’. There will likely be at least one book lover in your group that will appreciate a chance to show off what they know.
For older teens that love social media, you can see how well they can decipher emoji clues about books during their library scavenger hunt.
For advanced teens, you can use anagram or word jumble clues as titles of popular books for them to find. The clue “deers filth fool” by an author with the initials WG would point them to Lord of the Flies by William Golding.
Depending on the difficulty, anagram clues can be for both adults and teens. You can use online anagram generators like https://ingesanagram.appspot.com/ to jumble up book titles.
Library scavenger hunt ideas for adults
Some challenging and entertaining clues will do here. But we can also allow some liberty here for
Logical opposite clues for specific books: The opposite of “Full of a Blue Moon” by a famous African author (Answer: Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adechie), The opposite of “People Penthouse” by an author whose surname begins with O (Answer: Animal Farm by George Orwell
Challenging clues that don’t have specific books: A lucky book with exactly 7 letters in the title or an unlucky book with exactly 13 letters in the title, A fiction book that was published the year you were born
More advanced anagram clues like “Ballroom Kid Ticking” by “Hera Perle” would point to ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee.
You can use online anagram generators such as https://ingesanagram.appspot.com/ to jumble up book titles and author names.
Learn about science in the library
Science focused scavenger hunts can encourage looking into the non-fiction section to find things.
Easy clues perhaps for younger hunters could be “Find a book that has a picture of a desert”, “Find three different books that each have a different reptile on the cover”, “Find a book about the nearest star to our planet”. This allows hunters to test their general science knowledge while in the library.
For a chemistry scavenger hunt, one can give clues that use elements of the periodic table to form the name of the book. For example: A title that contains the elements and particles “Tungsten, Aluminium, lepton, Flerovium, Oxygen, Tungsten, Erbium” in that order. This spells out WALLFLOWER to find ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’
You can use https://www.chemspeller.com/ to see what elements can make any word you decide
Books meet Disney
Many Disney stories are based on books that can be found in the library or have books in the library themselves. A Disney scavenger hunt sheet can have a card that displays an image of a character and you have to find a book based on that particular aspect.
For example: Ariel (find a book with a mermaid), Tarzan (find a book about the jungle), Captain hook (find a book about pirates).
Can also have a library treasure hunt where you look for Disney related words in book titles
For example: Find books with the following word in their title: “Frozen”, “Tangled”, “Lion”, “Princess”, “Atlantis”, “Mouse”, “Lady”
This is the perfect opportunity to use bingo cards as a scavenger hunt tool.
Solutions to clues from our graphics
Anagram Scavenger Hunt
– The Davinci Code by Dan Brown
– A Brave New World by Aldoux Huxley
– Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
– Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
– Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
– Dune by Frank Herbert
– Animal Farm by George Orwell
Emoji Scavenger Hunt
- War and Peace
- A Game of Thrones
- Crazy Rich Asians
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Grapes of Wrath
- Angels and Demons
- Lord of the Rings
- Clockwork Orange
- Eat, Pray, Love
For more clues and riddles you can use for scavenger hunts, check out our growing list of ideas: https://www.treasure-hunt-clues.com/ideas/