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Children’s birthday party | Robinson Crusoe day

A scavenger hunt with treasure, tasks and super adventures: exactly the right thing for an outdoor children’s birthday party for children between 6-12 years. Length: approx. 3 hours.

The idea came from Sebastian Pesch from Schleswig-Holstein (camp advice service and was extended with some particulars.

Preparation of the game ideas

  • Choose a suitable area
  • Purchase/put together the materials and provisions in good time
  • Think about the story/storyboard and apply it to the games
  • Prepare the games (utensils, write messages, hide them)
  • Draw a map/treasure map or camp plan

Material list for the game ideas

  • Clothing for the natives (youth leaders/game leaders)
  • Story scrolls (tarnished rolls)
  • Natural materials (bark, twigs, leaves and fruits)
  • Treasure map (old fabric or leather with a map drawn on it)
  • Large pan with a lid
  • Water
  • Bottle with a top
  • Note with a message
  • Bananas
  • Fire wood etc. or gas cooker
  • Little sack
  • Ladle, whisk
  • Ropes and wooden poles
  • Soup bowls, soup spoons, flavouring and herbs for soup, bread buns (if required).
  • Ball, Indiaca or other games

Game plan for the children’s birthday party

First of all the participants are welcomed by a “native” (youth leader/game leader). He tells the kids the "story of an explorer” who lived in this area years ago. In order to survive in the wild, the explorer had to come to terms with the pitfalls in nature. In order to travel in the wild, the “native” gives the “explorer group” a task:

  • Task 1: "Nature memory":

    Bark, tree trunks or (leafless) twigs must be matched up to their fruits or leaves. In exchange for the correct answers (the natives can help if required) the group receives a special “treasure map”. On this map, the location of a “water source” in the wild is marked.

  • Task 2: Reading and solving the treasure map

    Reading and solving the treasure map

    Using the treasure map, the group must find their way to the water source. This can be extended dependent on the age of the group to include distances, directions (e.g. with the help of a compass) and special landmarks which makes the whole thing more difficult.

    Possible speech for the task:

    "If you want to survive in the wild you will need fresh water. Sometimes the path through the wilderness can be long and difficult. There is only one source of water in this area. It is marked on this map. Where are you standing at the moment? – Where is the water source? – Find the right way to it!"

  • Task 3: Message in a bottle

    The "source of water" is either a little pond, a brook or, if there is nothing available in the nearby area, a large pan with a lid filled with water. The group finds a bottle floating in the water with a message hidden in it. The message can be kept simple or can be coded in the form of a clue. The (decoded) message leads the group to the “banana trail”. This leads from the water to a little spot in the “ancient forest”.

    Possible speech for the task:

    "You have found water - "congratulations". – Now take a pan of water with you on your journey and follow the map to the next point. You will meet a friend of mine there you will invite you to a meal. Follow the banana trail!“

  • Task 4: Fire in the ancient woods

    A "fireplace" is built here. The native tends to the fire (beware of fire spreading!). However the water is not only boiled but it is made into a soup with herbs and flavourings. However the group of explorers will have to perform a few more tasks.

  • Task 4a: Building a rope ladder and fetching herbs

    Building a rope ladder

    The native gives the group the job of finding the ingredients for adding flavour to the soup. However there is one problem, the “herbs and flavours” are placed in a “little sack” in a tree. To reach the sack of herbs the group must find sticks and some rope to make a rope ladder to get the sack of herbs. The material is hidden in the area around the fireplace.


    • The tree must be suitable for climbing. The sack should in a place which is relatively easy to reach and not in the very top of the tree. If there is no suitable tree in the area or if the climbing is too difficult for the group, then the herbs can also be hidden (only/as well as) in the nearby area, or easily reached from the last rung of the rope ladder.

    • rope ladder knot The knot which is used to tie the single poles is a simple noose which is pulled together. The knots must be lashed down when the poles are mounted.

    • If required you can make indents on the poles where the ropes are knotted. This prevents the poles from slipping out. In the meantime, the water is boiled by a native while the group searches for the materials and build the rope ladder. The ladder is hopefully stable enough soon. Then the “herbs and flavourings” can be fetched from the tree.

  • Task 4b: Cooking a soup

    The ingredients for the group are cut up in the group, thrown in the pot, stirred around, boiled and eaten for strength on the return journey into civilisation. The time required for cooking the soup is relatively long. You should there take a ball with you so that the kids can play a game otherwise some kids will quickly get bored.

    Recipe for “an exquisite soup: Robinson special

    The recipe is for 8 people. The herbs can be swapped or added according to taste.

    • 1 Litre of beef stock
    • 1/4 Litre of cream
    • 60 g Margarine
    • 4 pieces of each roasted vegetable: (halved and roasted in the skin: small onions, potatoes, leek)
    • approx. 3 heaped tablespoons of flour
    • The juice of 1 lemon
    • 1 teaspoon of at least 14 herbs: celery leaf, estragon, chives, basil, parsley, rosemary, chervil, water cress and garden cress, sage, thyme, marjoram, salad burnet, dill, 1 pinch of Muscat.

    The plan for this adventurous terrain game has only been sketched out roughly. The game can always be adapted according to the occasion and the surrounding area.

Further ideas for a child’s birthday party

If the outdoor children’s party goes to the dogs because it is pouring with rain or if the above game does not meet your needs – don’t worry: You will find more ideas for a children’s birthday party or a fete which have often managed to save a party spontaneously:

[ © | 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work ] - 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work
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