Hunting for the Perfect Party

Little boy pointing at goal

Scavenger Hunt parties are infinitely customizable. For very small children, you can plant items in a backyard or park and let them seek them out. As participants get older, the game can expand around the neighborhood, then around town as cars become available.

And scavenger hunts don’t have to involve picking up objects. If you can trust players with cameras, they can simply photograph the desired object. This means targets can be buildings, monuments, places of interest and anywhere else.

You can also require actions to be performed and photographed, such as cracking an egg over a teammate’s head, doing a head stand in an elevator, or sitting with police officers in a donut shop.

Different goals can have point values as well. The harder it is to accomplish, the more points are rewarded on completion.

Scavenger Hunt Themes

A boy and girl search for objects to collectScavenger hunts certainly don’t require a theme. You can grab a bunch of things that amuse you, give them point values, and send everyone on their way.

But themes can really turn the game into an adventure, especially for children. You can focus on historic landmarks and have them collect information from information plaques. For small children, you can use plastic dinosaurs or other coveted items and hide them around the game space.

The mall can become a great location for a scavenger hunt. Just make sure it’s clear what items need to be photographed and what items need to be brought back in person. The latter are generally things you can get for free, like a restaurant menu, not a new sweater.

You can be as general or specific as you want. Make them search for neon blue athletic shoes. Have them photograph the ugliest prom dress, with you awarding points based on hideousness. Make them return with a free sample of cologne.

Or get the kids out into nature. They can search for different colored plants, different shapes of leaves, kinds of trees, animals, bugs, etc. The possibilities are endless.

Preparation and Rules

Before you put together your list, scope out the area of play so you know what’s available. It’s no fun to look for acorns in a forest with no oak trees. Make sure what you want is available, and gauge how difficult it will be for players to find it.

Before handing out lists, make sure everyone understands the rules. The can include:

  • When everyone has to return to submit their finds
  • The boundaries of the game area, if there is one
  • Rules regarding children’s relationship with an adult supervisor, such as how far they can wander from the adult
  • Whether teams can divide up, or whether they are required to work together
  • Respecting other people’s property. No trespassing, no damaging of items to reach a goal, no taking of objects that are meant to be photographed.
  • Safety first. If you cannot find a safe way of reaching an objective, move on to another one.

There’s a million things you can do with scavenger hunts, and they’re super scalable. Small groups and big groups, young kids, teens and adults, this is an adventure which can entertain all of them.


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