Amazing Race: Library Edition

Amazing Race: Library Edition is a program that I’ve ran twice before. It always brings out a huge crowd – and for those of us who have a small budget – it’s a great program to run!

For those of you who are not familiar with the show, teams race around the world completing challenges. The team that completes the challenges in the least amount of time, wins the race.

If you’re running this program in the library, the best way to do it is have the teams travel to continents: Europe, Asia, Australia, Antarctica, Africa, South America, North America.

Teams are given either a Detour challenge or a Road Block. In a Detour Challenge, teams have a choice of completing one out of two challenges. In the Road Block, teams have to complete that challenge.


I had four teams: Red, Yellow, Orange, and Green. One member was the “team captain” – and they were in charge of running the challenges to the pit stop and back (so there wasn’t a huge crowd). If teams got a challenge wrong, they were sent back to try again.

I wouldn’t do this program with anyone younger than 8 years of age.


Amazing Race - Envelopes

Download the template for envelopes here

I printed these on colored paper (don’t have a coloured printer here) and then glued them onto envelopes.


Amazing Race - Playing Cards

Download the game cards here

Road Block: In this roadblock one member of the team will draw their own version of a famous painting. I used Mona Lisa.

Detour: in this detour, teams will have a choice of making one origami butterfly or Chinese lantern for every person in their team.

Road Block: In this roadblock, one member of the team will participate in a boomerang toss. You will have to decorate a boomerang and toss it into the box.

Amazing Race - Boomerang Toss

Detour: In this detour, teams will have a choice between completing a cool quiz or an Antarctica Word Search

Road Block: In this roadblock, team will have to complete an African animal which is which quiz

South America
Road Block: In this roadblock, one member of the team will participate in a game called Canica. The goal is to shoot marbles into the doors of a shoebox. Each door has a number telling you how many points you earn if the marble goes into that door. Earn 10 points to get past the roadblock.

Amazing Race - Canica

North America
Detour: In this detour, teams will have one choice between creating ONE totem pole bookmark for everyone in the group OR completing a fill-in-the-blanks worksheet about North American landmarks.

Final Challenge
Label a map with all the continents that your team has visited.


39 thoughts on “Amazing Race: Library Edition

  1. Brianna says:

    This is an awesome program I want to do with my teens. Question What does the boomerang look like? The link is broken. Thanks!

  2. Cynthia Martin says:

    If all the teams started at the same time, how did manage to not have a big line up for each road block/ detour? Did they space themselves out pretty quickly? Also curious to know how many staff members you have helping run this? I am using your race as a template to create an all Canadian version for Canada’s 150 this summer. Thanks for sharing!

    • Chelsie Abra says:

      Sounds like fun πŸ™‚ I didn’t have a lineup at any of the destinations. I did have a helper though just in case that happened. Let me know how the Canada 150 version worked out for you πŸ™‚

  3. Mary says:

    This looks like a great program! I have 1 question. I will be doing this program with 16 kids in 4 teams. How did you get it started? Did everyone go to the same “country” to start (for example Europe) and do the roadblock or were the teams sent to different countries so everyone wouldn’t be piled in the same spot? I hope I’m making sense πŸ™‚ Thank you!

    • Chelsie Abra says:

      Like the television show, everyone starts in the same destination. No one got piled up in the same spot because some were slower and some were faster.

    • Chelsie Abra says:

      I did give out prizes. I usually have a spare treasure box of items (pencils, books, stickers, etc) for them to choose.

  4. Nuha Rifai says:

    This exactly what I wanted to do in Amazing race but didn’t know where to start.
    Thank you. I just found it in time. I will try it this year.

  5. Morgan K says:

    Hello! Does each group have their own set of challenge cards at each continent or did the whole class share? Also, how did you tell them where they were headed to next?


  6. Danielle says:

    Did you just have one pit stop for the entire game? Did you stand at the pit stop? Also, did you use route markers?
    Can you share some examples of the clues you used?

      • Nicole says:

        2023…im not sure if kids know what Amazing Race is. But I plan on running it in May. First thing I noticed was small library & small budget! I’ll need to watch it to get refreshed. Love the idea!

  7. Trudy McMullen says:

    I don’t watch to show, so wondering, does each team go do the challenges you assigned or do they all do the other countries activities? Thanks

  8. Jill Christoffel says:

    I’m an elementary school librarian. This looks like a really cool activity for 5th or 6th graders at the end of the year, or maybe a family night. A question about the Canica game: I can’t see very well from the photo how the shoebox is constructed. Are the doors like flaps or doorways? Also, what point values did you give the doors?


    • Chelsie Abra says:

      The detour cards are left blank as a template so that you can create your own, if needed. Upon reviewing the game cards, there are none that are missing from the game.

  9. Jane Mason says:

    Hi there- on the clue templates Google Doc, it looks like (at least on my end) that Africa and Australia are missing. Page 3 is completely blank and page 4 has the templates but nothing filled in on them… I would LOVE to do this with my 6th graders in a few weeks! Thanks in advance for your response.

    • Chelsie Abra says:

      Upon reviewing the game cards, Africa and Australia are not missing from the list. Blank cards are used for librarians to create their own activities.

  10. Heidi Heslip says:

    Thanks so much, am about to start this in conjunction with a road on my library wall with a matchbox vehicle for each class. When the classes reading mileage gets to the next continent signpost (20 books read & reviewed per continent) they will get next direction/roadblock/detour. First to the chequered flag gets a class party in the library at the end of term!

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