Aside from the presents and cake, birthday party games make the gathering stimulating and fun.The classic game of "seek and find" allows kids to focus on a task while running around and solving an interesting challenge. Seek and find also gives children a concrete sense of accomplishment when they find the hidden treasure. You can adapt the game depending on the ages of the children participating and the theme of the party.
Gather items to hide appropriate to the ages of the party guests and the theme of the party. For example, for a space-themed party for elementary school children, you could hide small stars, astronauts and rocket ships around your yard or home. For a regular birthday party for toddlers, simple colorful items like silk scarves, round plastic eggs, small pillows or plastic flowers will do. For older children, hide prizes they would want to find, like DVDs, gift cards or small presents.
Hide the items around your house or yard according to varying levels of difficulty. For small children, hide them in places the kids can reach without assistance and without hurting themselves. Good places include behind couch cushions, under tables, behind pillows, behind curtains or under beds. Good outdoor hiding places might be under bushes, behind trees and in tall grass. With older children, hide the items in more challenging places to keep their interest in the game. For example, behind books, in drawers, under lamps and in cupboards.
Devise clues for the children. For toddlers, use one-word hints or clues to help them find an item or lead them to the general hiding area. For older children who know how to read, write out actual clues to lead them to the hidden objects. For example, write "Find a treasure under the item with two hands and a face but no eyes or mouth" to lead them to a prize hidden under the mantle clock. Older kids enjoy solving riddle-like clues.
Tips & Warnings
- Give all the kids who played seek and find a prize, or allow them to keep the items they found. You can even offer a prize to the group that found the most items.
- "The Ultimate Party Planning Guide"; A. Olson; 2007
- "2,000 Best Games and Activities"; Susan Kettmann; 2005
- Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images