What is the difference between a treasure hunt and a scavenger hunt?

Many people confuse these two very popular games. While they do have similarities – they both involve finding something – they are very distinct.

Explanations of the differences will tend to focus on the value of the items to be found. Treasure sounds like it should be something valuable while a scavenger might be searching for items that others have discarded.

Alternatively, the number of items that are to be found is highlighted. A scavenger hunt is based on a list of items whereas there is only one treasure.

We feel that Laureen Brunelli is closest to the mark in her article Scavenger or Treasure Hunts for Kids.

A treasure hunt is when a series of clues leads kids to a “treasure.” … A scavenger hunt, on the other hand, is a search for a list of items.

Zach  Lazzari also has some good stuff in Treasure vs. Scavenger Hunts.

The key is that treasure hunt riddles form a sequence that lead to a treasure. Each riddle must be solved in turn to make any progress. A scavenger hunt has no such restriction with participants being free to cross items off their lists in the order that is most convenient.

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