I remember playing outside with my cousins until well after dark. Running barefoot in the cool grass chasing lightning bugs until we were exhausted and making up our own games to entertain ourselves.
Fast forward a few decades. We now have cell phones, our kids have cell phones, video games and we enjoy full access to the outside world from the comforts of our home via the internet.
So when my teen daughter has friends visit we always create something fun we can do outside together which is how this game was born.
I was excited to share the game with the kids but knowing how teens can sometimes be I was also a tad anxious that they wouldn’t like it. Turns out they loved it and I bet your kids will too. Plus, it was a ton of fun for us as parents too.
We chose to do this after sunset because our kids love to play tag at night but you can play it anytime inside or out. Great for rainy days too.
Here’s what you will need.
Cell Phone - Each Person needs one or you can work in teams if every kid doesn’t have one. We had this situation and it worked out perfectly.
Head Lamps (optional) or Cell Phone Flashlight - They will need their hands free. (Walmart has headlamps for $1)
Prize - We went with a Chick-fila gift card since the kids are always eating there but you can get as creative as you want on this from candy, to cash to ice cream vouchers. Whatever you want as a prize will work. If the prize is bulky like a bag of candy just hide a placeholder.
Map - I created a map so the kids stayed on our property plus it gives them an area to work within. Created to the size of an Instagram or SnapChat story insures it fills the screen perfectly. Being an illustrator, I created our map in the Procreate App on an iPad but you can use whatever you wish. You don’t even have to draw unless you really want and can simply use google maps if you need. Add area names on top of that from your cell phone or iPad and you have a map. I do recommend sticking to the story size of 1080px by 1920px since it will be easy to read on all cell phones with little to no scrolling. So keep that in mind.
Hide the prize.
Setup a Group Text. Make sure everyone in the search party is added.
Text the Map out to the group text.
Ready, Set, Go
Set a number of Hints each person can ask. We said one hint per player.
Replying with Hot, Cold ❄️ , Warm, and on Fire 🔥 keeps the game going without giving the game away.
Make sure you only relay hints to the person who asked.
Play fair and have a good time.
After all hints had been given we started texting small hints to the group. Which created so much excitement! Imagine hearing 10 cells phones go off at the same time and everyone scrambling to read the hint and figure them out. It was beyond funny to watch and they had a blast.
You can also rev up the game by telling them who has used up their hints or who still has hints left.
Lastly, telling them someone was just on FIRE 🔥 and right next to the prize builds incredible excitement.
Our game lasted for a good 45 minutes with the winner not only winning some grub but also touting bragging rights. After the game was over all the kids asked if we had another prize to hide. So that should tell you how successful the night was.
Cant wait to hear how your game goes. Happy Hunting!