There are many party game ideas for kids’ birthday parties. One tried-and-true activity is a treasure hunt.

Treasure hunts are great party game ideas and there are so many variations to choose from, depending on location and age of the kids. Start with your own backyard. Spend an hour hiding the treasure items in strategic spots, or scour the yard for objects already at hand, or simply give the kids a list of objects that may already be in your backyard. For younger children use clipart, drawings, or photos to create the list. Make it more exciting with gifts for the top hunters.

The beach is another great place to have a treasure hunt. The kids can search for anything from the natural stuff found at the beach–shells, seaweed, and driftwood–to manmade objects like can tops, gum wrappers, and old beach balls.

Another variation on the treasure hunt idea is to give the kids a list of questions about guests at the party. Have the kids ask questions like “Who has a birthday in July?” or “Who played basketball in high school?” Whoever finds the most names to the questions wins the game, and all the kids achieve the added bonus of learning more about friends and family.

Make information the object of the game rather than a list of items. Pick a theme or topic you want the kids to learn more about. Provide books, Internet access, or other resources. Ask them to list as many facts about the topic as possible in a set amount of time. At the end, have each kid read out his/her fact list. If other kids have the same facts, they scratch the facts off their lists. The kid with the most unusual facts wins.

Other ways to add interest to party game ideas like treasure hunts is to assign points to each item depending on how difficult it is to find. Organize teams and give each team a color, then have the teams look for items that match their colors.

You can use a shape rather than a color. The “Round” team looks for round rocks, for example, and the “Triangle” team searches for triangular-shaped rocks. Instead of a list of objects, write notes that give clues to where the ultimate treasure lies. If the treasure hunt is in an area where objects cannot be removed, give the kids digital cameras to take pictures of the listed items.

You can make you treasure hunt unique by adding some personal details that suit the birthday child. This is one of the most popular party game ideas because it is so fun and so flexible.