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That Amazing Race Party Idea

 Peppers & Pollywogs

My favorite reality TV show is “Amazing Race.” Pre-teens and teens will enjoy this party theme and will be quite an adventure. Still, it is an ambitious theme that will take some good organization and planning. Here are some tips on how to approach planning this party, and may make it a bit more doable as a kids’ party:

First, have enough kids attend the party to sub-divide the kids into groups of 3-4 kids. You can decide the groups by the arrival of the kids to the party. The first 3-4 kids who arrive are considered “Team #1″ and will be the first to leave on the race with their first clue. Make up Team #2 and so on. It may be a good idea to have an adult supervisor in each of the teams who has a cell phone on hand in case the supervisor needs to contact you.

This is clearly going to be an “Out and About” party and will need very good planning skills. If you live in a town where kids can race around a town center safely that would be one good suggestion. Other ideas: have the kids race around a mall or the local neighborhood.

You will need to do some pre-planning of activities, including:

  • Devising the routes that the teams will take to complete the race.
  • Thinking through the various activities that will be done at each locale.
  • Making up clues, roadblock and detour envelopes.
  • Provide an envelope of money to each team depending on activities.
  • Scouting out stores that the kids will go to and tell the store’s manager about your party activities.
  • Recruiting enough adult volunteers to hand out the clues to the teams when they complete their tasks.

So, some sample tasks that can be done include:

  • Find a town marker or mall marker and have the kids take pictures of themselves and sing a silly song to get their next clue.
  • Go to the library and look up some interesting facts on a topic that they must tell the adult helper in order to get the next clue.
  • Go to a coffee shop and order a particular drink in a particular way. They must drink it in a particular way to get their next clue.
  • At a fast food restaurant, have the teams sing a silly song for their fries and shakes. Have them put together the “Happy Meal” toy before getting their next clue.

No matter how many activities you have the kids do at different places, send each of the teams on a different route to complete the tasks so that the teams are all separated. On the show all the teams follow the same route, but it may be an idea to divide these teams up for a little more fun as the kids won’t know exactly where everyone is. Invariably, the teams will run into one another, but it will keep them guessing.

Don’t forget about the “Roadblocks” (a task that only one member of the team can do) and “Detours” (a task that the team must do together.) Given that the teams are larger, you may only want to designate 1-2 people to do the tasks, rather than only one person or the whole team. Some examples:

  • At a coffee shop, one or two of the kids must drink a black coffee…probably not a favorite drink for the pre-teens. So, this is considered a roadblock.
  • Or, if the kids are at a neighbor’s house, one or two of the kids will have to eat something disgusting.
  • For the Detour, have one or two kids choose between untying ribbons that are tied throughout the yard to find one marked with a black “X” or they can decide to count a jar of buttons. Once they know the number of buttons or have found the black “X” they will receive their next clue.
  • If you are at a mall, a Detour could be one or two of the kids need to count up the number of mall benches throughout the entire complex, or going to a clothing store and finding a yellow ribbon among piles of clothes. (Of course, you will have to ask permission from the store to plant the ribbon.)

The team that arrives to the final destination FIRST WINS!! Of course!

The majority of the party will be taken up with the race. To end the party, serve pizza, cold drinks, cake, and put on a taped episode of the actual “Amazing Race” for everyone to enjoy as a final activity.

It’s complicated, but this age will love it!!

By Lisa Kothari, Peppers and Pollywogs

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