Nine-year-olds are too young to go out on a scavenger hunt on their own, all over town, but are too big to find a simple list of things around the house. Planning a scavenger hunt for a ninth birthday party requires a delicate balance of challenge and supervision. There are several entertaining ways to conduct a scavenger hunt with this age group that will turn a run-of-the-mill birthday party into something unique and memorable.
A video scavenger hunt can be a simple at-home hunt or it can be one that leads the teams all over town, under the supervision of a chaperon. The trick to winning a video scavenger hunt is to get back to the party before the game ends with videotape evidence that you saw the most items on the scavenger hunt list.
Each team will need a charged video camera and blank tape. They can go about town in different cars (one car per team) and look for the listed items. These items may include a number plate from an adjoining state, a white poodle, a man walking with a cane and a mixture of challenging and simple items that you can conjure up.
Go Door To Door
If you live in a very safe neighbourhood and your neighbours won't be annoyed, try putting together a door-to-door scavenger hunt for your child's party. This type of hunt requires a list of common and not so common items found in people's homes that they wouldn't mind giving away.
Divide the teams and send them on their way, knocking on neighbours' doors and asking if they have certain things. One way to play it is to prohibit the teams from asking for more than three items at one house. Items may include a cotton swab, a blue umbrella (you'll return it of course), caramel candies, Fruit Loops cereal on a pencil or anything else you can dream up.
An Amazing Race
The children at your child's ninth birthday are probably familiar with the television show, "The Amazing Race." If they are, then they will quickly understand the concept of your scavenger hunt. Even if they aren't familiar with it, they'll catch on quickly.
Randomly hand out coloured T-shirts or arm bands to pair the children into teams of two. Create challenges that will lead to clues to different locations. At each location, have them complete another challenge. The final location will get them the clue to the finish line.
Start the game by handing each team an envelope with the first destination listed on it. For example, it could say, "Go to the pool," if you happen to have a swimming pool. When they arrive at the pool they will open a challenge in an envelope corresponding to the colour of their team. The challenge could be for the team to jump in the pool and dive to the bottom, trying to locate 10 coins that are painted the same colour as their team. When they complete it, they receive another destination command, such as "Run to the backyard." When they get to the backyard they may see a horseshoe pit. Perhaps each of the players has to score a ringer to get the next destination that will send them to the finish line.
You can adapt the game to your own party location and have as many or as few challenges as you wish. It makes for a fun alternative to a typical scavenger hunt.
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