Sodor Search & Find Scavenger Hunt

Make tracks around your home and yard searching for treasure.

  • Target Age:  3-5 
  • Learning Goals:  following directions, persistence, coping with failure
  • Related EpisodesEpisode 907: Winter Surprise. Episode 1006: Taking Turns


Thomas & Friends: Scavenger HuntEngineers big and small can make tracks around your home and yard in this scavenger hunt. Pair an “experienced” engineer with an aspiring engineer and send them racing and rattling in teams or alone to gather clues and win Really Useful prizes!

Time: 60 minutes (30 minutes for setup, 30 minutes to hunt)

Number of players: 1+


  • Digital cameras or cell phone cameras for gathering clues
  • Printed copies of your clues and map for each team
  • Pens or pencils
  • An assortment of prizes, for example:
    • Pencils or stickers
    • Coloring sheets
    • A grand prize (e.g., a book, a game, something you make, etc.)


  1. Develop a clue sheet for your Sodor-themed scavenger hunt, and assign point values to each clue on the list. Use these clues to start, and if you wish, expand from there! TIP: Organize your clues into a chart so your child can check off each item found.
    • Clue #1: Thomas is the #1 Engine. Photograph all the #1s you see. 1 point each
    • Clue #2: Sir Topham Hatt keeps the engines on the Island of Sodor running on time. Find a fancy (or not-so-fancy) hat. 10 points; Bonus 5 points for finding a top hat
    • Clue #3: Percy, the #6 engine, delivers the mail. Take a picture of your mailbox! 6 points
    • Clue #4: Devious Diesel is a black engine. Photograph things that are black and round, like Diesel’s wheels. 1 point each
    • Clue #5: Whiff is a smelly engine because he carries the garbage. Pretend you are Whiff. Take a picture of you hauling garbage or recyclables! 10 points
    • Clue #6: Friendship is important on the Island of Sodor. Take a picture of a friend. 5 points
    • Clue #7: Thomas and his engine friends always strive to be Really Useful. Do something Really Useful around the house or yard and take a picture of what you did. 10 points
    • Clue #8: Percy loves making friends with animals. Take a picture of all the animals you find in your yard. 1 point each
  2. Develop a map of your scavenger hunt area, including the parts of your house and yard that are off-limits.
  3. Draw the map on the back of the clue sheet and make double-sided photocopies for each child/team.
  4. Divide your group into smaller STEAM TEAMS (Steam Team 1, Steam Team 2, etc.).
    • Note: If you choose to widen the search area and include friends around your neighborhood, be sure children are paired with adults or older children who can read the clues and follow important safety rules.
  5. Hand out the maps, set your timer and send your hunters off to chuff for treasure. Generally, 30 minutes is a good amount of time to hunt. Everyone must return when the time is up and share their finds.
  6. Award prizes to all players. The child or team with the most points wins the grand prize!

Happy Searching & Finding!

Take it Further

Participating in a scavenger hunt is great fun for children and helps them develop task persistence as they search for the harder-to-find items.  If you organize the hunt for groups of children, they will also be learning about the benefits of teamwork. Children can feel as useful as Thomas if they develop their own hunts. You can guide this activity by brainstorming themes for the hunt (e.g., search for natural objects or colors) and either writing down or drawing pictures of things to look for.


Find more activities featuring your child’s favorite PBS KIDS character!