Scavenger hunts give teens something to do during parties or get-togethers without seeming too childish or immature. Be creative with the tasks or items you put on the scavenger hunt lists to allow the teens to have a good time—while making them work for their points.
Set the rules and separate the teens into teams before the scavenger hunt is supposed to begin. Explain any rules or requirements, such as video or picture proof of certain activities. Go over your point system, such as certain items or lists being worth more, the first team back getting extra points and each minute any team is late costing that team a point.
Mall Scavenger Hunt
The mall provides an ideal location for many types of scavenger hunts. Some malls don't allow pictures or videos to be taken within the mall, so check with mall security prior to the hunt if you want to include proof. Birthday Party Ideas 4 Kids offers eight mall scavenger hunt lists including a one-color list in which every team is assigned a single color. The teams should find as many items in that color as possible. Other mall ideas include getting free items such as buttons or sales tags, finding items with a designated symbol such as a rainbow or stars and an A-to-Z list where teams must find items beginning with each letter of the alphabet.
Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt
Keep the scavenger hunt local to your neighborhood to avoid having to arrange transportation for each team. Set up tasks, pictures and items the teams should try to gather from your neighbors. Birthday Party Ideas 101 has a list that includes taking pictures of lawn chairs, basketball hoops or a satellite dish on top of a house, as well as collecting items from neighbors such as a cotton ball, receipt and tea bag.
Outdoors Scavenger Hunt
Allow the teens to get some air by venturing outdoors for a photo and item scavenger hunt. Birthday Party Ideas 101 offers a nature scavenger list that includes gathering photos of a waterfall, lizard, frog, bird and butterfly. The list also includes collecting physical items such as a feather, grass blades and a pine needle.
Around the Town or City Scavenger Hunt
Arrange a scavenger hunt that includes traveling around your town or city if some of the teens can drive or if you have enough adults to chauffeur the teens. Coolest Parties offers a list for around the town that includes collecting a lawyer's business card, a take-out menu and a change-of-address card from the post office. The site also suggests picture ideas, with some ideas earning the team extra points. Examples include a team member hugging a stranger, the whole team (minus the photographer) sitting at a restaurant table with a family none of them know or a team member handcuffed to a police officer.
Janece Bass is a freelance writer specializing in weddings, family, health, parenting, relationships, dating, decorating, travel, music and sports. She has been writing for more than 15 years and has numerous published pieces on various websites and blogs. Bass has also ghostwritten various fiction-based novels.