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A scavenger hunt is a fun activity for a kid birthday. Depending on the age of the kids, you may limit the hunt to your yard or home. Older kids will enjoy going around the neighborhood but make sure you have one adult with each group and set some clear boundaries about where they may and may not go. It's a nice touch to alert the neighbors ahead of time if you're going to be doing this.
Divide the kids into teams and give each team the list of items. The lists should be identical for each team to make it fair. Set a time limit for the game of 15-30 minutes. The team that collects the most items in the allotted time wins. Make sure your list of items include things that are easily found and that people are willing to give away, such as an old newspaper or magazine, a rubber band, and a flower.