As is often the case, my life partner astounded me this weekend with a fresh perspective.
For our daughter’s birthday party she modified the scavenger/treasure hunt in a way that maintained the kids’ interest while de-emphasizing the ultra-competitive, capitalistic nature of many of these games.
Each child’s digital picture was printed onto a single envelope, in which was deposited a clue (in this case a picture of a place or an object in or around the house) to the location of the next envelope. The final envelope contained the location of the treasure, which was a communal treasure (in this case Witch Pez dispensers). In this way, every child was the center of attention for at least one portion of the game, and the children ran from envelope to envelope, pausing to cluster around each new clue holder with sincere anticipation. At the end, they loaded and emptied the Pez dispensers with great gusto.
Not something they played in the Missouri Zion, but we’re hopeful that when the Sacred City returns to the Gulf of Mexico her idea will be an option for birthday parties.
There were 9 kids (ages ~4-6), it took about 60min total to set up and lasted for about 20 minutes during the party. They seemed shocked but pleased to discover their photograph on the envelope. Most of the clues were culled from magazine pages, but for the treasure location, a doll’s pram, I just photographed the actual pram and put a printout in the last envelope).