Get Students Up and Moving with Scavenger Hunt Puzzles

Get your wiggly students moving with these Scavenger Hunt Puzzles.

I don’t know about you, but there are times in my classroom when it seems like the best thing I can do to maintain order is to start an all-out dance battle, or a jumping jacks contest…or bring in stationary bikes and let students pedal away. 

It doesn’t really matter what the activity is, I just know when my students need to MOVE. 

As students get into the upper elementary grades (3rd-5th), they are able to sit a bit longer in one place, but even my most focused students can at best be described as wiggle worms.

This sparked a need in me to get my students moving as much as possible, in productive ways. Sometimes that means adding movement to a game that normally wouldn’t have any…like these measurement activities for the active classroom, or I have created activities specifically for the purpose of adding in movement, like these scavenger hunt puzzles.

Soon enough, my scavenger hunt puzzles became a classroom favorite, and now when students walk in the room and see the baskets lying around, they  begin getting excited about the activity.

What are Scavenger Hunt Puzzles?

These Scavenger Hunt Puzzles cover a variety of math topics, and ask students to answer questions and then find the corresponding answer (and picture) in the classroom. Once students have the answer, they will place the puzzle piece on their board, and move on to the next question until they have completed their silly, high interest puzzle.

They are a fun way to get students up and moving as they practice a skill! The puzzle is a built-in incentive for completion of the problems. 


1.Print the question grid and make one copy for each student. The question grid is the equivalent of a puzzle board for this activity. It provides the questions that students will answer before they find the puzzle piece with the correct answer on it.

2. Print the grayscale puzzle pieces with numbers. Photocopy a class set using the “photo” setting on your copier for a clean image. The sets come with color and grayscale images. You can choose to use either. I often use the color images for posting around the room, but have the students take the grayscale copies for their own puzzles to reduce the amount of color printing.

3. Cut the puzzle pieces on the dotted lines.

4. You should have nine stacks of puzzle pieces, one of each piece for every student in your class. To be clear, if you have 20 students in your room, you’ll need 20 grayscale versions of each piece.

5. Next, print out the color puzzle pieces with numbers. You only need one set of these. Cut them apart on the dotted lines.

6. Now for the fun part! Hang the colored images around the classroom. Place a matching set of grayscale images next to each color puzzle piece. To keep all of these organized in my classroom, I use a set of small baskets. I hang up the colored images, and then place the basket with all the grayscale student images on the ground or on a chair near the hung up image.

7. Finally, you are in business! Students solve the nine problems. As they find each solution, they search around the room for the puzzle piece with the matching answer. Then they cut out the piece and paste it on the grid to complete the puzzle. (Answer keys are provided for your convenience.)

Placement Suggestions

When placing the colored images around the room, I suggest having some out in the open and others a little more hidden. Obviously once one student locates a picture, the rest of the students will find it more easily.

Take the Scavenger Hunt Puzzles on the road by seeking out other possible locations for your activity. I like using the library or even placing the scavenger hunt images around the school.

You can even take this activity outside on a nice day, where the images can be placed around the playground!

No matter how or where you decide to conduct these Scavenger Hunt Puzzles, your students will be able to practice their skills while also getting a chance to move around and be active! 

If you love the idea of using these Scavenger Hunt Puzzles with your students, make sure to check out the full bundle!


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