Things You'll Need
Planning a child's birthday party can be fun but expensive, especially after ordering the cake, buying decorations, making goody bags and purchasing refreshments. You can save some money on games, though, by creating a simple but fun seek-and-find game or two for the partygoers. As with hide-and-seek, seek-and-find games bring the excitement of the search and the reward of the find. One can even double for the goody bags.
Seek-and-Find Scavenger Hunt
Hide items around your home or in the yard that you'd like the party guests to find, and make a scavenger hunt list with copies for each child. Bring a nature angle to an outdoor game of seek-and-find by making a list of items such as red leaf, a twig, a wildflower, stone or feather that can be found in your yard, on a nature trail or at a park. Be sure to leave off the list toxic plants or items that are not allowed to be removed from an area.
Give the lists to the children, explaining what needs to be found, how much time they have and what the prizes are for finding all items on the list. You may also want to offer runner-up prizes. The younger the children, the easier you want to make it for them.
Start the scavenger hunt, and keep track of the time. When time's up, round up the party guests and see who has found all the items, so they can claim their prizes. If no one finds them all, give prizes to those who found the most items on the list.
Seek-and-Find Bottle Game
Gather clear plastic jars with lids or clean, empty plastic water bottles with lids for use in creating individual seek-and-find bottle games for each guest to take home in place of the usual party goody bags.
Pour rice, beans or split peas through a funnel into each jar or bottle, leaving about 1 inch of free space at the top.
Drop small trinkets into each bottle for the kids to search for. The trinkets could match the party theme's if there is one; for example, miniature bats, baseballs, basketballs and soccer balls for a sports theme or miniature tiaras, princesses, thrones and magical wands for a princess party.
Write down in duplicate each item you've placed inside the bottles, so each child gets a bottle with a list of things to search for.
Place the lids back on the bottles or jars, and tighten them securely. Then shake the bottles so the beans or other material hides some of the trinkets. Because small objects present choking hazards to children under 3 years of age, do not play this game with these younger kids without ensuring they cannot place the trinkets in their mouths.
Set a timer and give each child a list of things to seek and find. Tell the kids how much time they have and to shake the bottle or jar to make the contents move around inside, revealing hidden trinkets. Whoever can find each item on the list first is the winner.
Glue lids onto your jars and bottles if you're giving them to young children.