There’s something about a treasure hunt that instantly piques the interest of kids. Whether it’s an Easter egg hunt or a game of “I Spy,” kids are intrigued. Is it the thrill of the search? The excitement of finding the thing you search for? The wonder of the unknown? I don’t know, but even older kids love a themed scavenger hunt! The Free Printable Zoo Scavenger Hunt for Kids is the perfect companion for a trip to the zoo. Or, use it as a rainy day indoor scavenger hunt adventure!

Free printable zoo Scavenger Hunt for Kids to use on a trip to the zoo

Recommended Grade Level:

Materials for the Zoo Scavenger Hunt for Kids

  • Paper
  • Writing Utensils
  • Zoo Theme Book (optional)

Build Observational Skills The Zoo Printable Scavenger Hunt for Kids

scavenger hunt ideas FOR KIDS


When your child is looking for specific items on the list they will have to classify objects by color, size, shape, and even texture.

As your child finds each item, have them cross off the picture and then draw the object on the second page. Encourage them to use descriptive words including positions and locations.

This activity can be completed indoors or out, at the zoo or not.

The ten items on the zoo scavenger hunt list include kangaroo, giraffe, koala, elephant, lion, seal, alligator, tiger, hippo, and zebra.

As students sharpen their observational skills, use the easy scavenger hunt for kids to encourage deeper thinking:

  • What animal was the easiest to find?
  • What animal was the hardest to find?
  • What did you see/smell/hear/taste/touch that was not on the sheet?
  • How many animals did you see altogether?

What Can Preschoolers Learn Using The Zoo Scavenger Hunt?



  • Can you name the first sound of each animal?
  • Show me how a hippo/giraffe/etc. moves.
  • Are some of the animals the same/different? How?
  • What animals were not at the zoo?
Free Printable Zoo Themed Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids

Why Is It Important For Kids To Participate In Scavenger Hunts?

Kids naturally love running exploring and new things like nature scavenger hunts, alphabet scavenger hunts, and every theme in between, provide great learning experiences.

Build Problem Solving Skills

Children will use prior knowledge to investigate and problem-solve where they think one of the zoo items could be.

Teach Teamwork

Working in small groups or pairs helps children learn to collaborate and use the skills necessary to work together toward a common goal.

Get Your Body Moving

Students will engage gross motor skills by exploring and moving those little legs while intently searching for clues to find items on the list.

Develop Fine Motor Skills

Crossing out animals and drawing pictures puts fine motor muscles to work.

Black and white easy print version of zoo scavenger hunt for kids

How To Use This Free Zoo Scavenger Hunt Printable:

printable scavenger hunt

The zoo theme free printable scavenger hunt comes in several convenient options. You can give your students a colored or black-and-white copy of pictures of all the animals to find.

Or, you can provide them with animal names and blank boxes for them to draw each animal as it is found. This option also comes in color or black-and-white.

Print out a copy of the free scavenger hunt for each child.

Bring clipboards or something hard to set the paper on to help make it easier for students to write/draw.

Provide each child with a crayon, pen, or pencil (and please remind them not to run with a sharp writing tool!)

Let them run free and explore their surroundings, with proper supervision of course.

If you’re not actually going to the zoo, you can still stage a scavenger hunt! Use pictures of zoo animals, or any toys/stuffies you might have around.

Other Ways To Use Printable Zoo Scavenger Hunt:

Create a Clue

Help students by providing clues, like, “The animal is past the elephants, but if you see monkeys you’ve gone too far.”

Take a Picture

Instead of, or along with, your child drawing a picture of the object, take their picture beside or close to what they have found.

Animal Sensory Bin

Print the colored page with animal pictures. Hide them in the sensory bin for a fun mini scavenger hunt right in the classroom.

Find even more engaging activities in the Life Over C’s shop!

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Zoo theme printable scavenger hunt for kids to use with zoo theme books or a zoo field trip
Free printable zoo scavenger hunt for kids to use on a a zoo field
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Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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