If you’ve got a child of a certain age and you allow him or her to play computer games, chances are that you’ve heard about Minecraft. In fact, you’ve probably heard a LOT about it. (And, as long as you’re not letting your children escape into the world of Minecraft all day, every day, you don’t even have to feel guilty about it. Minecraft is actually used as an educational tool (http://www.edutopia.org/blog/minecraft-in-classroom-andrew-mille) in many schools.)
Education aside, though, kids love Minecraft because it’s lots of fun – for many of them, it’s hands-down their favorite pastime. So it’s a popular request when it comes to planning the theme of a birthday party. But how do you design a fun, interactive party for a group of kids on the basis of a video game? After all, no parent wants to see a roomful of kids staring into their iPads or other handheld devices on what should be a social occasion.
Well, we here at Riddle Me have got the answer for you. This post will tell you everything you need to know about hosting a Minecraft scavenger hunt party activity complete with a riddle-based scavenger hunt and a lot of fun activities to stop and do along the way.
First of all, login to your Riddle Me account, create your event, and then go into your Object Inventory. Make sure that you have selected all the common items that you have in and around your home. (If you want to be sure to have plenty of Minecraft riddles to choose from, be sure to include the following objects in your inventory (assuming you have all of these): Closet, Piggy Bank, Charcoal, Stairs, Table, Tree, Milk, Cake, Apple, Book, Bucket, Fishing Rod, Shovel, Dog, Cactus, Classroom Window, Fence, Door, Chest, and Bed.)
Then do a tag search for Minecraft. When you click on an item, the column on the right will show all the riddles that are on the subject of Minecraft. So that you can find them more easily, they all start with the letters MC. Add these items to your inventory.
Next, go to the Riddle Scavenger Hunt activity and assign this new hunt to your event. Then select age 10 because all the Minecraft riddles have been created with this median age in mind. Name your hunt and select how many clues you want. At this point, you should create your own introductory and final clue statements on the Minecraft theme. It’s also a nice touch to upload Minecraft-related images as backgrounds for the clues. You can find some great images simply by doing a Google search for Minecraft and clicking on the Images page of results or by searching for Minecraft on Pinterest.
Now it’s time to generate the riddle hunt. Select “Minecraft” under “Filter by Tag” and then click “Generate a New Hunt.” A number of objects with their associated riddles will appear. Scroll through the possible riddles (shown in the column on the right) and click on the riddle that begins with “MC.” Do this for all the objects on your list.
Note: if you don’t have enough objects in your inventory that have Minecraft riddles associated with them, the system will randomly pick other objects to fill in. Of course, if you wish to use objects that don’t have Minecraft riddles, you can make up your own or just use a generic riddle for those particular ones. And remember that you can always drag and drop objects to rearrange them in an order that appeals to you. (For instance, you might want the “Cake” riddle to be near the end of the hunt.)
This is an optional step but it can really elevate your party to the next level. It’s okay to stop at Step 3 and have the children simply move from object to object around your home. But it’s especially fun if you include an activity that must be performed when each object is discovered, before the search for the next object begins.
In order to do this, simply scroll down to Add Clue Activities at the bottom of the page and choose Minecraft as your Category. Then hit Randomize. This will print out, on the bottom of each of the clue cards, an activity that should be performed at each stop along the hunt. If you choose to do this, you will need to do a little extra preparation for each of the activities. Here are the ones we have suggested for a Minecraft hunt, along with more information about how to prepare for them, when it’ relevant:
Act like a creeper.
Throw water balloons at the zombie villager.
Either prepare a cardboard zombie villager (or even just draw one on a large sheet of paper and attach it to the garage door) or convince an adult to dress up like one, which would probably be a lot more fun.
Put up your hand if you know the answer to this trivia question: Who is Herobrine and is he “real”? Answer: Herobrine is a story that users of Minecraft have made up. So he is not “real.” In the story, he is supposed to be Notch’s dead brother, who haunts the Minecraft world. (Notch is the creator of Minecraft.) He is not in any of the official versions of the game, although some people have made mods with him in them. Parent note: children may argue enthusiastically about whether or not he is “real” in the world of the game, as this is a hot topic in the world of Minecraft – so you might want to be willing to accept either answer.
Go to an imaginary Minecraft bed and “sleep” for a count of twenty (just as you would in the game).
Create a Nether Portal using stones, branches, or other materials in your backyard.
Discuss this open-ended question: Which Minecraft parody song is your favorite?
Answer: Many Minecraft parodies of hit songs are available on youtube. Most kids who play Minecraft are familiar with these. Some examples: “Dragons,” a Minecraft parody song of “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, “Where My Diamonds Hide,” a Minecraft Parody Song of Imagine Dragon’s Demons, and “New World,” a Minecraft parody of Coldplay’s Paradise and so on! Let the children share their favorites. Click here for a playlist. If you’re very ambitious, a CD of some of these songs makes a great party favour, which could be discovered at this point in the hunt. At the very least, this playlist could serve as the background music for the party.
Pause to “mine for diamonds.”
Essentially, this requires you to hand out plastic cups of frozen juice, in which “diamonds” are buried, and spoons. To make these treats, simply purchase some acrylic jewels on Amazon or elsewhere, place them at the bottom of each cup, pour juice over top, and then freeze. We found this idea on the Apple Falls blog. If you want, the kids can race to see who reaches their diamond first.
Put up your hand to answer this trivia question: What is the rarest material in Minecraft?
Answer: Emeralds. Bonus question: Explain how you get it. Answer: Mine in extreme hills biome or trade with a villager.
Explode some TNT!
Blogger Paula Gilarde suggests placing large diet coke bottles inside paper cartons that have been decorated to look like Minecraft TNT and then dropping mint-flavored Mentos candy into the bottles to create dramatic explosions. You can watch a video on this explosion here to see how this works.
Put up your hand to answer this trivia question: What is a griefer in the multiplayer version of Minecraft?
Answer: A griefer is another player who destroys things and steals things simply for fun.
Take turns pretending to be one of the many mobs found in Minecraft. The others must try to guess what you are.
The list of mobs includes: chickens, cows, pigs, sheep, bats, mooshrooms, squid, villagers, wolves, cats or ocelots, horses, zombies, skeletons, creepers, spider jockeys, blazes, silverfish, ghasts, magna cubes, slime, witches, chicken jockeys.
Try to build something with Jello “Minecraft” blocks.
This is a silly activity that plays with the notion that everything in Minecraft is built out of blocks. Simply prepare several different colors of Jello in flat pans, cut them into wobbly blocks, and let the kids try to build things with them. This will be messy and mostly unsuccessful but it is a lot of fun.
Use this pickaxe to “mine” for treasure.
At this point, present the kids with either a handmade Minecraft axe or a foam one that has been purchased on Amazon. This also makes a terrific birthday gift for the Minecraft-obsessed child. And then bring out your piece de resistance: either a Minecraft piñata (which can be made out of cardboard boxes and tissue paper in the shape of Steve, a creeper, or a ghast) or, if you are really ambitious, a Minecraft wall. The one pictured here was found on Pinterest.
The anonymous pinner explained that she cut Xs into the tops of 30 soda can boxes (so that the boxes wouldn’t simply collapse when hit). She then taped them together and covered them with a thin layer of papier mache. (You can see a bit of the newspaper on the right.) She then printed out the Minecraft “dirt” pattern (you can google this) and glued those sheets over the boxes. Some of the boxes contain little treats and treasures; others do not.
Obviously, some of these activities require more parental effort and input than others. Don’t be put off by that! You can simply delete those activities you don’t have any time for or any interest in preparing. Each clue card can be tailor-made to your specifications.
And that’s it. The scavenger hunt itself and these suggested activities should keep the children busy for most of the time allotted for the party. Of course, there are also the decorations, food, and cake to consider, as well as suitable presents, and we’ve collected some ideas for these as well, which we’ll share with you in our next post!