Hunt the thimble
This game is simple to play and involves your quests trying to find an object. The version of Hunt the thimble that I remember was played indoors and the party was split into teams (4 people in each team works well but smaller or larger teams can be formed). One team (the hunters) goes out of the room whilst the other team hides the thimble (or other small object). When the ‘hunters’ reenter the room they begin to search for the thimble.
Hot and cold clues (hints) can be given to the hunters if they have not found the thimble after a few minutes. The way this works is that the team that have hidden the thimble tell each of the hunters that they are hot, warm or cold. Being hot means the person is close to the thimble, cold means they are not close and warm is in between. For example if 4 people are hunting then: Susan is hot, Jenny and Simon are warm and David is cold. The hunters then look at their position (and the others) in the room and adjust their area of search accordingly. When a person is very close other terms could be used, extremely hot, white hot etc.
If the game is played outside then it could be played using the same guidelines as hunt the thimble (using the clues hot and cold) and the object could be slightly bigger. Eastern egg hunts are based on this theme and placing many similar items to be found is another way to play this game.
I remember attending a birthday party (many years ago) and the hostess had prepared individually wrapped small presents with each of the guests’ names on them and hidden them around the garden. The children then proceeded to find their own present as well as help each other during the search. With this particular game I recall the hostess (my friend’s mother) had to guide me as to where my present was. The presents were all small walking toys that would move down an inclined ramp, so that after we all had found our toys we started playing with them as a group activity.
For older kids a game of treasure hunt might be more suitable with written clues and maps being given out to teams. This activity, which I will describe in a later post, is ideal for a pirate’s themed party.