Remote Team Building

How to Plan the Best Virtual Scavenger Hunt for Team Building

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 | 0 Comments
virtual scavenger hunt ideas

A virtual scavenger hunt is one of the best online team building activities to kick off a fun day with your remote staff. After all, who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt?

We all get a thrill when we’re challenged to chase something down or seek something out. That’s one reason why scavenger hunts have the power to capture anyone’s attention. It’s the perfect recipe for escalating fun and also for a memorable event. 

But virtual scavenger hunts offer more than just thrills and entertainment — they can also bring together teams who work from home. Here are some guidelines and inspiration for online scavenger hunt ideas that your whole team will love. 


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Team Building Benefits of a Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Sure, an online scavenger hunt is fun and gives work-from-home employees a much-needed adventure in the midst of what can seem like never-ending sameness. But more than that, scavenger hunts are one of those great team building activities that provides a way for coworkers to bond naturally and boost morale.

Forbes called team building "the most important investment you'll ever make," and for good reason: Team building activities encourage positive attitudes, creative thinking, problem solving and fun. And virtual scavenger hunts are a way to bring all of those qualities to your remote staff.

Virtual scavenger hunts get players moving around, interacting with their environments and competing against (or collaborating with) one another across any distance. These shared adventures create a powerful impression of togetherness that knows no bounds.

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How to Plan a Zoom Scavenger Hunt

When it comes to virtual team building activities — or any kinds of virtual events, for that matter— using a video conferencing platform like Zoom is one of the best ways to go. Zoom allows you to easily organize a fun virtual scavenger hunt using simple items in your home.

To plan a Zoom scavenger hunt, all the game requires is one moderator to explain the rules, keep score and act as a judge. Start the game with everyone on screen, cameras turned on as you explain the rules. The basic idea is that the moderator says an item and everyone else has to run and try to find it and show it on the screen. 

how to plan a virtual scavenger hunt
via Canva

Brainstorm Virtual Scavenger Hunt Ideas

When you're planning to do some online games for remote teams, brainstorming is the first step, and the same can be said for Zoom scavenger hunt ideas. In a remote team, you can work this as both a virtual treasure hunt and team building activity. Think about the items you’re going to add to the scavenger hunt list, how you’ll be scoring your team and how you'll be rewarding the winners. 

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Choose a Day and Time 

The next step is to decide when to hold your Zoom scavenger hunt. Some tips to help you choose the best day and time to hold your virtual scavenger hunt are: 

  • Avoid busy seasons. It’s no use organizing a team building event when all your team can think about is the work piling up while they’re away. 

  • Get the day right. While Friday might seem like the most obvious day, you could be stepping in on people’s weekend plans. Wednesday, aka Hump Day, might be a better option. If you do choose Friday, be sure to do it earlier in the day. 

  • Ask around. Simply ask your team when they’d like to do it. Prepare two or three options and cast a vote.

Establish Virtual Scavenger Hunt Rules

All team building games need some established rules. Once everyone is up and running, explain how the game works. Be sure to outline any rules during this time. One good rule is that an item cannot be used for two different answers (e.g., a quarter couldn’t be used for “something shiny” and “something made of metal”). You will also need to outline the scoring system for your virtual scavenger hunt. Three possible scoring options include: 

Scoring Option 1: First, Second, Last

For this scoring option, the first person to come back gets five points, the second person to come back with their item gets three points and anyone else who comes back with the item within the minute gets one point. This works best if you have a smaller group playing because it can get a bit cumbersome to keep track of individual scores for more than 10 teams. 

Scoring Option 2: One Point Per Round

For this scoring option, the first person to bring back an item gets one point and wins the round. People keep track of their own wins and the person who gets the most points wins the virtual scavenger hunt. This option works best if you have a really large group of people and don’t want to keep track of individual scores.

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Scoring Option 3: One Point Per Person

For this scoring option, anyone who comes back with the item within a minute wins one point. There’s still a level of competitiveness as people have to try and get the item before the timer runs out, but it’s not as much about competing with each other. This option tends to keep the scores a lot closer throughout the online scavenger hunt game since you don’t have people getting three and five points.

establish virtual scavenger hunt rules
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Set a Time Limit 

Once you’ve established the rules and decided on a scoring system for your virtual scavenger hunt, the next step is to set a time limit. The time limit will depend on how many rounds you play. If participants are given one minute per round, the time limit could be anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour.

Award Prizes to the Winners

Give your team an incentive to participate by awarding prizes to the three players that score the most points. Some ideas for virtual prizes that are always a hit could be an Amazon gift card, the best foodie gift card on the market or even some unique experience gifts.

A foodie gift card is a great choice because it can be for any amount over $10, can be immediately emailed to the recipient and can be used for a wide variety of virtual experiences like online cooking classes, online mixology classes, virtual wine tastings and more. Plus, it never expires.

award prizes to the scavenger hunt winners
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50 Home Scavenger Hunt Items

For the most fun, make the virtual scavenger hunt items on your list open to interpretation (for example, instead of saying "find a ball," say "find something round"), and see how everyone solves the problem in their own way. You can also use the alphabet as inspiration and have everyone find one item that starts with each letter from A-Z. 

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Here’s a list of home scavenger hunt ideas to get you started:

  1. Frozen pizza
  2. Something round
  3. Piece of workout equipment
  4. Candle
  5. Something with a quote on it
  6. Musical instrument
  7. Boardgame
  8. Reusable shopping bag
  9. Something shiny
  10. Book with at least 300 pages
  11. Souvenir from a past vacation
  12. Something homemade
  13. High school or college diploma
  14. Newspaper or magazine
  15. Amazon box
  16. Art supplies
  17. Hand sanitizer
  18. Water bottle
  19. First aid kit
  20. Something sweet
  21. Tape measure
  22. To go menu
  23. A recipe
  24. Something made of metal
  25. Sock with a hole in it
  26. Family photo
  27. Plant
  28. Something purple
  29. Receipt
  30. Christmas wrapping paper
  31. Professional sports gear
  32. Soap
  33. Dice
  34. Fridge magnet
  35. Something you can see through
  36. Plastic container and matching lid
  37. Spatula
  38. Something with buttons
  39. Writing utensil
  40. Deck of cards
  41. Something that floats
  42. Clorox wipes
  43. Sunglasses
  44. Map
  45. Penny
  46. Beach towel
  47. Screwdriver
  48. Blue rubber band
  49. Something that is older than you
  50. Key
play a virtual scavenger hunt with your remote staff
via Canva


How do you make a virtual scavenger hunt?

Make a virtual scavenger hunt by developing a list of items players need to find, actions they need to complete or clues they need to solve. Unlike an in-person scavenger hunt, you must design a virtual hunt in a way that hunters can complete it in their own homes or independently outdoors.

How does a virtual scavenger hunt work?

During a virtual scavenger hunt, each person or team races to track down items or solve riddles, using their home as the playing grounds. There is usually a host for the virtual event whose job is to keep track of time, items and the winners. 

How do you play scavenger hunt on Zoom?

Simply break your Zoom call participants up into teams. Create a list of items for people to locate in and around their homes. Give your teams a set amount of time to scour their homes for the correct items. At the conclusion of the time, the team with the most correct items is awarded the winner. 

What are some good scavenger hunt clues?

Good scavenger hunt riddles or clues are ones that are difficult enough to get your players thinking, but still easy enough that they can be answered with just enough time.

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How do you host a virtual scavenger hunt for adults?

To host a virtual scavenger hunt for adults, all you need is the internet, a list of items, some clues and a group to play. You can share the list of items in a group chat or email, then let everyone scatter to start the hunt. At the end of the time allotment, you can reconvene and name the winner. When it's all done, you can even host a virtual happy hour so that everyone can relax with a beverage of their choice and talk about the experience.

Building trust and confidence in a virtual team, especially if you’ve never met each other in real life, is no easy feat. But online team building activities, like virtual scavenger hunts, have the ability to do so almost effortlessly.  

The need to connect with colleagues and get a boost in morale has rarely been greater. Virtual scavenger hunts encourage more productive, creative and happy teams.

For even more online team building activities, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.