Birthday Parties For Children




Age Level: 4 and up

Number of Players: 2 or more

What is Needed: clues in envelopes, hidden ahead of time (picture clues for nonreaders, printed clues for readers)

Type of Game: competitive or noncompetitive

Location: inside or outside


I SPY an envelope: Start by telling the birthday child to look in a certain place for a clue inside an envelope. The envelope has his or her name on it. When found, it is opened by the birthday child. The clue directs all the children to another spot, where another envelope is found with another child's name on it. That child opens it. This clue directs everyone to another spot, and so on. The last clue directs the children to the treasure: a box of goodies that the birthday child opens, announces "I SPY the treasure" and shares with all. Suggested treasures are lollipops, raisins, gifts, paperback books, treat bags, or bags of potato chips.


Divide the children into two teams with different clues in different spots but leading to the same treasure. The team that finds it first wins, but there are enough goodies inside to share with everyone.

Treasure Hunt Illustration


...................................I SPY GET OUT OF JAIL

Age Level: 8 and up

Number of Players: 5 or more

What is Needed: nothing

Type of Game: noncompetitive

Location: outside


It (the birthday child at first) closes his or her eyes in a certain spot called "Jail" and counts to 50 or 100 as the other players hide. Then, It goes to seek them. When It sees someone, It runs back to Jail and yells, "I Spy Danny under the lilac bush," or whatever. Danny then has to come out and stay in Jail. It goes off to search for other players. While It is searching, other players can run to Jail and free anyone there by touching him or her yelling, "I free Danny!" If It tags this would-be liberator in the act of trying to free others, the caught person must go to Jail. The last player to be caught becomes the next It.

I Spy Game Illustration


Text © Jean Marzollo, Illustrations © Irene Trivas

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