9-Year-Old Birthday Party Scavenger Hunt Ideas

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr, Demand Media Google

    Children love birthday parties with creative activities. You can surprise your 9-year-old son or daughter with an exciting scavenger hunt during the birthday party. Indoors or outdoors, you can make the party a hit with your child and all the party guests with a little preparation. Whether you provide detailed lists or item characteristics, the kids will enjoy competing for the prize and will learn cooperative skills in the process.

    Indoor Parties

    With an indoor party, you can scatter necessary items around the house or provide magazines in which the children can find their loot. Give each group a different list to make things more competitive. Alternatively, assign each group a theme instead of a list, and let the group come up with creative ways to meet the challenge. For example, assign team A "Countries of the World" and team B the theme "School Days." Team A can bring in magazine pictures of different countries and cut out magazine or newspaper words with the country name or items that represent different countries, such as postcards, dolls of different countries, or items that carry a label such as "Made in China." Team B can bring in school backpacks, schoolbooks, school supplies or school uniform parts.

    Outdoor Parties

    Nature offers plenty of potential for scavenger hunts. Team A can have a list of things to find, such as a dandelion, an acorn, a bit of moss, a pebble, a dried cicada skin and a piece of tree bark. Team B might search for signs of human habitation rather than a list of items. The group might bring back items such as candy wrappers, a tool, a small toy, a pop bottle or can and a piece of shingle or concrete. Instruct the children not to take anything without asking and not to harm property in their search.

    Colors and Shapes

    Indoors or outside, the children can define their loot by color or shape. Team A may search for yellow items and bring in a book, a cup, a shoe, a blouse, an artificial flower and a toothbrush they found in the house. Indoors, team B can locate heart-shaped items and return with a valentine, a pillow, a rock, a candy tin or box, foam shapes, cookie cutters or a valentine cake pan. Outdoors, team C finds green things, such as a blade of grass, a leaf, a rock with green flecks and some green litter.

    Photo Shoot

    If your creative kids have camera phones or small digital cameras, you can assign them to take pictures of their items. This allows them to include items too big or too messy in their loot, such as a tree knot in a heart shape, a squirrel's nest or a piece of chewed bubble gum. The camera also allows the children to include items that do not need to leave their current location, such as a bird on the wing, a garden of flowers or an aquarium fish.

    About the Author

    Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

    Photo Credits

    • Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images