Birthday Party Time! Scavenger Hunt!

Jessica requested a scavenger hunt at her party. This turned out to be a lot of fun for me, as well as for the girls. And, it was a truly free party idea!

After figuring out what she had in mind.... this is what I came up with:

The Puzzle (Jess envisioned puzzle pieces, and the girls working together to read a message)
  • Cut a piece of cardboard about 12"x15",
  • I wrote "Let's stuff some bears" using sharpie markers
  • Some words in one color /one size lettering
  • Others in different colors/different size lettering to make it a bit harder. :)).
  • Drew some swirls and hearts - to add more design to guide putting the pieces back together.
  • Randomly cut the cardboard into pieces (using my electric scissors, of course)
The Clues
  • Made 2 clues on paper for each girl, plus a small envelope for each with puzzle pieces inside.
  • The paper clues were folded in half, with the girl's name on the outside. Then folded in half again. We knew some clues would not really be hidden, so we wanted to be sure each girl had to find her OWN next clue.
  • I wrote each girl's name on the inside flap of the envelopes
Example clues
  • Buzzzzzz - the clothes are dry (next clue is on top of the dryer)
  • I'd like some ice, please (next clue is in the ice dispenser on the fridge)
The Hunt
  • I demonstrated where to see the names on the paper clues and envelopes, and gave a few sample clues and how to think of the answer.
  • I stressed that it was NOT a race and NOT a contest.
  • Handed the first paper clue to each girl (names were on these as well)
  • The teen girls and I did help out if the girls needed it to figure out the clue.
  • Once they had their 2nd paper clue and their envelope, they were to bring it all to the table.
Solving the puzzle
  • Once everyone was back at the table, they dumped out their puzzle pieces.
  • It did turn out harder than I expected for them to put the puzzle together. If I were doing it again for age 7 girls, I would make less pieces and perhaps use a background image (rather than plain cardboard) to give them more to go on to match up the pieces.
The Surprise
  • With my help, they solved "Let's Stuff Some Bears" (they never did get the puzzle pieces fully put together, but enough to figure the words)
  • I had purchased a Lil Lovables Stuff n Fluff factory and some extra bear 'skins" so each girl could stuff her own mini bear.
  • The girls "freaked out" when they realized this was what the puzzle said - and loved making (and thus getting) a new little bear. Not even jessica knew we were going to be doing this.
This scavenger hunt idea could be done with girls or boys, at birthday parties for age 7 and up (its best if the kids can at least read most of the clue, but it will also be fine if there is a non-reading child, as long as someone remembers to help him). Can also be fun for adults!

You can easily vary how easy/hard the clue is, as well as how simple the reading is (even use a picture if you have a younger attendee) thus accommodating - and making it fair - even with a wide range of players.  (I also took into account the kids who had never been to our house before)

It could be done outside in a yard or playground - or - inside a home, classroom, or other familiar space.

If you try it - be sure to check and double check your clues. When writing the clues, you might also write the answer to the previous clue, so you will know where to hide it! I found it easiest to make all clues for each child, then move on to the next child.

While I did spend money on the "surprise activity", I spent nothing on the scavenger hunt itself
The message could read "time for cake" or any other activity you were already planning on.


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