Little boy pointing at goal

Hunting for the Perfect Party

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.

Teens Partying With Beer

Play It Safe: Navigating Parties, Alcohol and Teens

Teenagers are in an awkward phase of life. They desperately want to have the freedoms of an adult, and you want them to learn the responsibilities of adulthood. But you can’t have one without the other. The only way an independent teen is going to accept responsibility is if there are benefits that go with it.

The result is a constant tug-of-war between teens and parents as teens push for independence and parents rein them in. But parents have to decide when they’re going to loosen the leash, and one potential issue is alcohol.

A lot of argument can be made for hosting a party for your teen which provides alcohol. A majority of teenagers drink at least occasionally behind their parents’ backs. If they’re going to be drinking, they’re safer under your supervision, right?

It might be philosophically sound, but it leaves you legally liable for a lot of unpleasantness. First, providing alcohol to minors is illegal. Like, potentially a year in jail illegal.

Teens in a Car with BeerSecond, if something happens to those minors while under the influence, you may be held liable for that as well. And you can’t depend on a policy of barring intoxicated individuals from leaving. Teenagers lie. Teenagers sneak out when no one’s looking. Some of them probably sneaked out to your party in the first place. You can’t risk it.

But what if they brought their own alcohol? Then you’re not providing it. Sorry, doesn’t work. Providing a space for minors to drink is against the law, even if you aren’t handing out the liquor.

What about providing alcohol at a party with both adults and teens, with the understanding that teens will not be drinking? Still not enough in some states. Your alcohol, your responsibility. If the teens sneak off with beer and crash a car, you might be held accountable for property damages and medical bills as well as criminal charges.

Teaching Your Teen To Avoid Alcohol at Other Parties

Teen saying no to beerHow do you get around the great fear of teens drinking in places outside your home? The first answer is education. Have them understand the dangers of drinking. Also, make clear you have zero tolerance for underage drinking, and carry through on threats if rules are broken.

Second, if your teen is going to a party, be in contact with the host parent. If your kid doesn’t show up (because he’s sneaking off elsewhere), have that parent tell you. If a parent won’t be in attendance, don’t let your teen attend.

Third, make your teen understand that you will always pick them up from a party if they feel uncomfortable. Maybe a friend is driving, then subsequently gets drunk. It can also come into play if your driving teen drinks but realizes he shouldn’t get behind the wheel. Even if it’s three in the morning, make it clear you will be there if needed.

Dealing with alcohol at parties where teens are present is an important topic. Besides the obvious safety dangers posed by inebriated teens, there is also considerable liability involved for you. Play it safe. Don’t involve alcohol when teens are involved, and make sure your own teen knows the importance of avoiding alcohol and those who have been drinking.