A basketball scavenger hunt is an activity that can be played indoors or outside and is fun for as many people as you want to get involved.
I coached my daughters basketball team last year. It was my first year coaching and it was my daughter’s second year playing. I had a lot of fun coaching and watching the kids get better, and I am convinced that I had the most awesome set of parents for all the kids on the team that has ever existed in youth league sports. At the end of the year one of the parents decided to throw a season celebration party and we all got together (parents and siblings of players), had pizza and cake, and the grown ups hung out relaxing while the kiddos ran around playing together.
There were a couple of games organized and played, but the one that the kids all seemed to have the most fun with was a variation on a scavenger hunt in which they scoured the house looking for little tokens that looked like basketballs. I don’t know what they were made out of, probably orange construction paper cut in a circle and then black lines to finish out the basketball look – you can get as creative as you want to get with making the “tokens”. The kids were then given the goal of finding as many of them as possible. The one with the most in the end was the winner. That’s it! That’s the whole hunt. It sounds simple, and the beauty of it is that it IS simple and that the kids still had a blast.
Tips for a Great Token Based Basketball Scavenger Hunt
If you decide to use this very simple but entertaining activity at your next party I’ve got a few tips.
1) Make sure you know exactly how many tokens are hidden so they all get found. This also lets you give bonus time if it turns out there’s a tie and one is still missing.
2) Let the participants of the scavenger hunt know that they are not allowed to open any doors. You should make sure there’s nothing unsafe behind an unlocked doors even if they’re closed, but having this rule will help make things even safer and keep kids from wasting time on areas that are out of bounds.
3) Create one or more BONUS TOKENS (make them a little bigger or just write BONUS on them somewhere) and make the value of those tokens be more than others.
4) For a little extra difficulty (and deviance) try putting each hunters name or jersey number on one of the tokens. That is their token only they can take it. Players get an additional bonus if they find their own token. Note, I found some very nice handmade basketball tokens with players names on etsy that would be great if it fits into your budget and it gives each player a keepsake to remember the season by. If this is a budget blower then no problem, simply write the names / numbers on your tokens.
5) Tell the participants if drawers or things like that are off limits. You can simply say “no tokens were hidden in drawers” and that’s usually enough. They don’t want to waste their time looking where there’s not going to be a payoff.
I watched this basketball scavenger hunt play out and it was AMAZING how fast a group of 15 kids can completely canvas an entire room leaving no traces of even the most well hidden tokens. Amazingly they managed not to break anything either!
Try it out for your kids next end of season party or birthday party and you won’t be disappointed! They’ll have a blast and you’ll have a good time watching and setting up. Also, keep in mind that this same scavenger hunt idea is applicable to basically any sport.