Quest is a suitable entertainment for any children’s holiday. Moreover, the game can be organized without the help of professional animators.
Think over the details
To get started, answer a few simple questions. This will give you a better idea of what the event should look like.
Who is the quest for?
How old are the participants? What do they like more: active entertainment or puzzles?
So, kids up to eight years old are interested in running and working with their hands – for example, throwing balls at a target (for example, knocking down a hat with a hint hanging on a tree) or looking for a specific toy in a huge basket with different objects.
But older children may be interested in more serious logical problems.
How many children will participate
If there are more than eight of them, it is better to divide the participants into two teams: then everyone will be able to prove themselves.
Organize your own chain of clues for each group so that the tasks do not overlap. And make it so that the teams do not have to compete. All participants should enjoy the game, not frustration, and be sure to win a prize.
Where will the quest take place?
A park, a playground, an apartment or a private house are fundamentally different locations. For example, in the park you can run or arrange a battle with balloons. In a not very spacious apartment, the same activities are fraught with broken china, a littered closet and, possibly, unscheduled repairs.
Therefore, if you want to organize an active game, consider moving the quest outside. But for logical problems, a small apartment is also well suited.
In what format will the quest take place
Do kids need costumes? Are you ready to spend money, for example, on a chest of chocolate coins, or do you make it yourself from a cardboard box and fill it with your own hand-made marshmallow?
Will it be a semi-official event – with printed invitations, beautiful envelopes for riddles, or will it be a quest “for your own”, with a minimum of props – let’s say, with puzzles handwritten on simple checkered leaves?
Think over the option for which you have enough desire, money, time and effort.
Choose the type of quest
There are several options.
Everything is clear here: the children receive the first puzzle-hint, from which they learn where the second is, then the third, and so on – until the clues lead the participants to the cache with the main prize.
The first tip may be a note with the word “window”. On one of them, children will find, for example, a bright sticker with a picture of a puppy. Some of the participants will remember that they have already seen exactly the same bright sticker on a cardboard box in the next room. As a result, there will be some kind of puzzle, which, if completed, will point to a school backpack. And so on.
A linear quest, which involves constant movement from point A to point B, is perfect for small children or for active play in the park. And it is also simple to perform and does not require ornate riddles. If you are organizing a quest for the first time, it is better to hone your skills on this option.
Quest in which you need to collect something
The task of the children is to assemble a puzzle that will indicate where the main prize is located. The difficulty lies in the fact that the puzzle is missing key pieces. To find them, you need to solve puzzles.
A classic of the collecting genre is a pirate quest. Children receive a piece of an old map and a letter from a pirate, in which the hero informs them that the treasure is hidden in a place marked with a cross.
But the map is torn, and in order to find out where the cache is, you need to find and put together its pieces. The same letter gives a hint. Participants will receive the next one when they find the first piece.
In such a game, children immediately receive a sheet of paper, which tells where the prize is. But the message is encrypted – for example, written using geometric shapes. To find the key to the cipher, you must complete the proposed tasks and thus find out what each figure means.
Let’s say a clue card with a square might say, “Look for quadrilaterals.” The children’s task is to find quadrangular objects, such as a frame with a picture or a book. In one of them the decryption will be hidden.
Quest with locks
In this case, the children are immediately given a gift. Only it is locked with a combination lock. To pick up the cipher, participants need to solve puzzles, each of which reveals one number.
Riddles for kids should be simple. For example, the first digit will be the answer to the question: “How many pigs are in the fairy tale about pigs?”. Mathematical examples are suitable for younger students. And older children can be offered more complex tasks: for example, a picture of a tree, a broom and a pineapple – objects whose first letters add up to the word “two”.
A quest with locks is good because it does not require physical activity, it can be done in a classroom or a small children’s room.
Come up with clues
For the quest to be really exciting, the clues should not be repeated. Here are some alternatives.
For toddlers, they can be the simplest. For older children – with a catch. Let’s say: “Why do students usually get kicked out of the class?” Correct Answer: Out the door. Behind it will lie the next clue. Or here’s another: “What will become one and a half times larger if you put it upside down?” Correct answer: six.
For example, like this.
On the Internet you can find many options for such tasks, here is another one.
Just keep in mind that you will need to print them out in advance or draw them beautifully on paper yourself.
This is a note that can only be read by looking at it in a mirror image. Don’t forget to put a small mirror somewhere nearby.
These are words that are formed from others by rearranging letters. For example, a brand is a frame. Or rubbing – a picture.
Invite the children to solve the anagram, saying that the answer will be the clue. Let’s say the word “Fist” indicates a doll in whose dress the next element of the quest is hidden.
These are poems in which the first letters of each line, if read together, make up a meaningful text. For example:
Atgas, faded away,
BUTX, hid us.
Draw a large recognizable moon on a landscape sheet, write down the following clue on the reverse side and hang the picture, say, on the refrigerator.
Examples of acrostics are easy to find on the Internet. But if there is no time to look for a suitable literary work, you can simplify the task. Schematically draw one under the other, let’s say, a skirt, a leaf, a watermelon – this will be a “yule”.
Take two photographs of the same place, changing something in it. For example, in the first picture there are two bananas, an apple, a book and a vase for sweets on the table, in the second there are no sweets. The missing element will be the hint.
Tell the children: “Your ears will help you find the answer.” And then while they’re thinking about what it means, put on a popular song, which is the clue. For example, “A Christmas tree was born in the forest” will indicate that the next element of the quest should be looked for under the Christmas tree. And “Clouds are white-maned horses!” it will help if you pre-decorate the cupboard door with cloud stickers, behind which the desired find is waiting for the participants.
A picture or text with a hint is on the Internet. And the link to the desired page is encrypted in a QR code that children can scan using a smartphone. Unless, of course, they pay attention to the QR code.
Prepare a place to play
If the game will take place indoors, if possible, free it up and make it safe – remove extra chairs and tables, hide fragile things, make sure that the furniture does not stagger, and the door cannot be slammed.
Outdoor play space also requires preparation. At a minimum, make sure that there are no holes or thickets of nettles in the chosen place. Also, think about how to limit the search area so that small participants do not get lost. Perhaps you should stretch a string with paper flags between the trees, or draw a border with chalk on the pavement.
Mark out hiding places with hints
Caches, on the one hand, should not be too obvious (that is, a noticeable hollow in a tree is a so-so option), and on the other hand, such that children can definitely find them.
For example, if the hint with the task is completed on a piece of paper, a vase of sweets in paper wrappers will be a good hiding place. The photo can also be placed on the refrigerator, fixed with a magnet among other pictures.
For a quest in which very young children participate, 5–6 caches are enough, otherwise there is a risk that the children will get very tired. But with teenagers, you will have to show imagination: mark at least 10-15 places for hidden clues.
Determine the place where the main prize will be hidden
This should be a real hiding place so that the children do not stumble upon it by accident.
The prize will require more space than the clue. After all, if the last piece of paper can be, then the “loot” should include a surprise for each participant in the quest. So the final cache must be roomy.