With the summer holidays right round the corner, many parents are wondering how to keep their kids entertained and away from their screens. If you’re headed out camping, finding fun activities to keep them busy can be an additional challenge. 

Metal detecting is a simple and rewarding way to ignite your child or teen’s curiosity while they explore the great outdoors and get a bit closer to nature. Here’s an overview of how to get started, plus some ideas you could try today. 

Essentials: A Metal Detector

What would a metal detector scavenger hunt be without a metal detector? If you’re new to metal detecting we recommend keeping your gear simple. You don’t want to invest too heavily if this is a one-time activity. That said, most parents really enjoy participating in the hunt and it’s a great idea to get a metal detector that you can use too!

Metal Detectors for Kids & Teens

There are some fantastic kids metal detectors available that are not too expensive and are much easier for children and teens to carry around. We recommend going with:

Best for children aged 4-8

Best for youth aged 8-12+

If you are already an avid metal detecting enthusiast, giving your child the right tools to join you on the hunt can create a really great experience for you both. 

Lightweight Metal Detectors

Buying a lighter weight and easy to maneuver metal detector can ensure you get a bit more use out of it as you’ll be able to go for your own hunts as well. 

We recommend: 

Easy to use with excellent detection depth

Waterproof with greater depth and precision

>> Need some metal detecting buying help? Check out this metal detecting gift guide for some more options and information. 

Other Essential Metal Detecting Accessories

Digging Your Treasure

Once you’ve struck treasure with your metal detector, you’ll need something to dig it out. A written and unwritten rule for metal detectorists is to leave the dig site as you’ve found it

Get a trowel or digger that allows your kids to dig deep holes with the smallest diameter necessary. If you have a yard, try and practice at home before digging outside. Always remember to fill in the hole afterwards.

Our Top Hunt Ideas

These ideas are easy for your kids to do with minimal prep time on your part. 

1. Photo scavenger hunt 

Give the scavengers a list of items they need to take pictures of. The first detectorist who gets a full house wins something. 

2. Check list scavenger hunt

Compile a scavenger checklist for your children to fill out, use seeded and non-seeded items. For example:

  • Something more than 50 years old
  • Something blue
  • Something shiny
  • A coin from a foreign country 

You can use items that were already there and seed items discoverable via metal detector. 

4. A regular ol’ scavenger hunt

Give them the metal detector and let them do their thing! No list required, no expectations for what they might find.  

5. Riddle scavenger hunt

Use a mix of metal detecting and regular scavenging to set up riddles that lead to a prize. Riddles can be buried in the ground attached to magnets or teaspoons. 

Before you send your kids into the woods…

Make sure they’re equipped with the tools they need for the wilderness. Even if they don’t plan on wandering far, having a two-way radio on hand to be able to reach them without cell service can be a life saver (literally).