Amazing Race 12yr - Teams with Cameras
KH in Colorado Springs, CO USA
My daughter's 12th b-day we wanted to do something similar to Amazing Race. It seemed too good an idea to do with just a few so we invited all her classmates (yes I plead temporary insanity). All but the boys showed :) Didn’t want to have to deal w/the issues of finding folks with right size cars to hold a team etc, parking etc, so found a covered park pavillion to rent near downtown and we were within decent walking distance to nearest free downtown shuttle bus stop which runs a route through downtown every 30 minutes. Scoped out various routes and shops for the kids during prior week and talked to some shop owners ahead about the plan.
When kids arrived, we had them pop a balloon that told them what color team they were on(wanted to mix up classmates- not the same old clique stuff), and gave them same colored bandana(.25 on sale Hobby Lobby) that they had to put on somewhere it could be seen(so sponsors could keep track of them).
Paired each team up w/adult sponsor who had a cell phone to call me if needed. They wrote their team color and names on master list w/sponsor name & cell,so I would know who was with whom. (Don’t want to lose any kids!) Had avg 5 kids per sponsor, 4 teams. Gave ea team a disposable camera and their first clue. Gave them some rules, like no running(their sponsors would lose them otherwise!) etc. Sponsors were there to keep them together, not to guide or tell them where to go.
Routed the kids near local sculptures(take pics of themselves with them), where they had to answer questions on the sculptures and then make a song out of the answers to sing to passerbys, then onto shuttle. Once they arrived dwntn and finished their task at each spot, the sponsor had envelopes to open with the next clue for them to find their way to the next stop. (Sponsors also had the master route plan for their team-just in case they needed to give them addtl hint). Had 4 separate routes but ea team ended up in same Game shop, a magic shop, library to look up a fact or two, into coffee shop to find sweet older woman(Grandma) that they had to read a poem to (Homework, oh homework, I hate you, you stink!)and catch the shuttle back to the park.
At the game shop and magic shop, had envelopes w/$ for ea team and instructions like team was to buy 1 item $5 or under, and 2ea $1 items. Win points for teams showing up first back at park, and then also had games at park for ea team, so that ending team winner wasn’t just based on the excursion.
Afterward, did a pinata-gave them gift bag beforehand for picking up candy from the pinata, and routed them to picnic table with birthday favors to choose(asstd $1 journals on sale from Michaels and choose indiv gel pens(pkgs on sale at Big Lots). Then put all the items the girls had bought during the excursion on the table (it was funny to see the choices they made), then had 1st & 2nd place team members pick an item they wanted to add to their gift bag, then the other 2 teams members followed. Had pizza delivered to park etc, had cake & daughter opened presents. Had planned for 1-5pm which wouldve worked out perfect timing wise. But we actually started rushing activities when they got back to the park @ 2:30pm, because by 3pm we had unusually cold weather for last day in April and we started getting really cold. If it hadnt been for the weather we wouldve scored a perfect time.
This party was a bit costly, since I had the kids buying stuff and we had so many kids, but I had forewarned my daughter that since she wanted to invite so many, that the $ I would normally spend on her presents would be spent on the party, and in return, she would end up getting presents from more different people than usual. It really did work that way. She ended up quite happy and agreed she didnt miss what I wouldve done personally (12 is a good age to begin to understand these things!). The feedback from the kids: all really seemed to enjoy the adventure, will have good memories(all but the cold weather)!