Idea No.


Zoo Party Hunt -10yr- Cryptic Rhyming Clues



June 2003


Janine in Perth, Western Australia

Honorable Mention

Zoo Party

My son wanted to do something a little different for his 10th Birthday Party and just loved the Amazing Race and enjoyed Treasure Hunts so after visiting the Perth Zoo one day we both sat down to design and organise his party. 

We had 3 teams of 3 boys, each with an Adult Guide (dads).  I did up 3 Team Packs each team having their own logo ie. The Cats, The Rhinos and the Crocodiles.  Each Team was given a back pack with a bottle of water, set of rules, name tags printed with their team logo, a mobile phone, a watch, a pen and 20 clues (10 for each round).  Each Team member were given a role in the team ie. 1 to keep time and carry back pack, 1 to open clues and navigate and 1 to write down answers and stay in contact (mobile phone) etc. 

Each Guide (Dad) was there purely to ensure they got to the next place and were supervised in a public place, although my father took his role very seriously and made the boys have photos at every exhibit…hence probably why they came in last:) 

When arriving at the Zoo we found our picnic spot (destination spot) where the mum's and I would be waiting for their return.  The back packs were issued to the Teams and name tags placed on their shirts, the rules were read out and each team were shown clearly where they were to return to at the end of the rounds ie. 12 mid day for lunch etc. 

Then the clock was started and they were allowed to open the first clue.  The clues were cryptic rhymes and were about how to get to a certain Zoo exhibit, once they found the correct exhibit there was question located at the bottom of the clue sheet that had to be answered about the animal/exhibit before opening the next clue…the next clue would then get them to the next exhibit.  All information on each exhibit was obtained from the Zoo website and from liaising with their Public Relations Officer. 

At the end of the 1st round it had been timed that they should have completed approximately 10 of the clues but it did not matter if they did not as long as they were back at the destination by 12 mid day for lunch.  The team that came in first however could not come in until it was 12 mid day and the following teams were penalised for every minute that they came in after.  We sat and had lunch and it was interesting to see the Dad's lieing about which clues they were at and exactly how competitive and sneaky that the boys could be!! 

At 1pm the first team to arrive at the destination was allowed to set of on their final round and then followed by the other teams on their time penalties.  They then completed their clues and had to return to their destination by 2pm.  2nd and 3rd teams were again penalised on time.  We then opened all the clues from each team which were logo coded and marked their answers…one point for each answer and then subtracted any points for time penalties.  It was interesting to see how different some of the answers were..some teams went to completely different exhibits after reading the clues ie.  Fairy Penguin or the Fairy Gull (both birds that have the same diet). 

We had a presentation where the winning team received a prize from the Zoo Shop and we also included 2nd and 3rd place prizes to ensure there was no disappointment and they received their treasure bags of lollies etc.  It was extremely educational and the boys loved it…even the Zoo Staff started joining in … the dads however were thoroughly exhausted!!  The boys are looking forward to the rematch this year!

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