Scavenger Hunt Party
- Treasure Chest Cake (9x13 inch sheet cke cut into three rectangles) Two rectangles are stacked to form bottom of chest. Third rectangle is placed on cut cake board and becomes the propped opened lid (use straws or dowels to prop up the top at an "opened" angle) Cake is decorated with candies and filled with gold wrapped chocolate coins, candy necklaces, and other "jewel" candies.
- Treasure Map Cake: Bake a sheet cake, frost it white, then with black or red icing make a dotted line leading to a big X. Decorate the rest of the cake with gold chocolate coins, gummy candies as jewels and mini plastic palm trees.
X marks the Spot
Cut a large X from black construction paper and tape it to your front door.
Hang up maps made to look old with burn marks or torn edges, then fill the room with potted plants, fish netting and seashells.
Decorate an empty chest with streamers and use it to collect the birthday gifts.
A Bag All Your Own
Have the kids decorate brown bags with stickers, markers and crayons, then use them to collect treasures.
Unwrap the Map
Wrap a prize in several layers of photocopied maps. Have the guests sit in a circle and pass the prize from one to the other. When the music stops, the one holding the prize removes a map, and the guest who removes the final layer wins the prize.
Buy three puzzles appropriate for the guests' ages, then for each puzzle set up a team of three. Prizes go to the team that's first to complete its puzzle.
For this game you may want to ask your neighbors for the use of their yards or to help with clues. First, try to find a piñata in the shape of a treasure chest, and decide on a suitable hiding place, such as in a garage or under a large bush. Then, using an instant camera, create clues by taking photos of objects around the house, yard and neighborhood, and put them in envelopes. One clue should lead to the other, for example, the neighbor's front door leads to the mailbox, which leads to the swing set, which leads to the streetlight, etc. Label each envelope with a guest's name so that everyone gets to open a clue. When they finally find the piñata hang it from a tree and let the fun continue while the kids take turns cracking open the treasure chest.
- Let the kids fill the bags they decorated with goodies from the piñata. You can also add a plastic magnifying glass.
- Give guests pirate headscarves personalized with fabric markers.
Not all activities or party ideas are recommended for all ages. For the safety of all in attendance, no party should be held without adult supervision.
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