The Bone Collector Game
Supplies: 2 Bag of Bones, two bone collector’s skeleton profiles (cardboard & markers), bone cards (made from photos & card stock), space to hide the bones
Bone Collector Game Background – (Optional)
Esteemed Archeologist, Dr. Joseph VanShackel, has been working hard at an archeological dig collecting bones of two skeletons that have been found at the site. During the night, _________ (add in villains / item that matches your party theme – robbers, zombies, evil spirits or even a sand storm) swept through the camp and Dr. VanShackel’s skeleton bones have gone missing.
Now Dr. VanShackel needs our help to find the skeleton bones. Dr. VanShackel created a Skeleton Profile and had marked all the bones that he had found for each skeleton, now all we have to do is become Bone Collectors and fine the Skeleton Bones.
Bone Collector – Game Prep
1. First you need a set of skeleton bones for each team; use an existing set faux bones or purchase a bag of bones from a Halloween store. See Bag of Bone Options below.
2. Determine how many teams of Bone Collectors you’ll need to have. Most bone sets have 10 – 13 bones, so we recommend 6 – 10 guests per team. On a 6 person team each person goes twice but on a 10 or 12 person team each person would only get to go once.
3. Create Bone Collector’s Skeleton Profile – On a piece of cardboard (you’ll need one Skeleton Profile per team), lay out the bones (like a how a body would be laid out) and then trace around the skeleton’s bones. This will be the Bone Collector’s Skeleton Profile and where kids will place the Skeleton Bones once they are found. If young kids are playing, y might want to number the bones so they can have an idea of how many they need to find.
4. Create Bone Collector Cards – Take a close up photo of each skeleton bone while on the Skeleton Profile (you will want one set of Bone Collector cards for each team’s skeleton) print out the photos and attach to card stock. If you have numbered the bones on the Skeleton Profile then add that number to the card so the kids can quickly identify what bone they are looking for. This proves to be helpful when trying to determine the difference between arm and leg bones.
5. Build a camp environment. Try to create a camp / archeological dig scene to set the stage for your game, for Halloween parties you can make it a haunted dig. To create a expedition look, set up a canopy tent (like ones used a tailgates), take boxes and trunks and stack them to create a wall effect, use a marker to add shipping labels marked fragile and noting Dr. VanShackel as the owner, This should help create a unique environment and staging area for your party game.
Bone Collector – Game Set Up
– Divide the guests into Teams
– Place one Bone Collector Skeleton Profile per team on a table or lie on the ground. Each team should have their own Skeleton Profile and the profile’s should be place several feet apart so guests can easily move around them.
– Place the Bone Collector Cards on the Skeleton Profile board next to the where the skeletons skull would be located. Cards should be place skeleton bone image side down.
– This needs to be completed before you lead the kids out to the game, it is best to be in an area that is off limits before the guests play the game, as sometimes guests might move or play with the bones before the game begins. Scatter / hide bones in the game play area. (Back yard or specific room) Some bones can be easy to see but others should be a little more difficult, adapt difficulty based on the age of your guests.
Bone Collector – How To Play
– Share the story of Dr. VanShackel, create your own story or just instruct guests how to play the game and ask your guests to help you find the missing skeleton bones.
– Walk the teams over to the Archeological Camp and the Skeleton Profile’s. Then explain that one team member at a time will be shown a missing skeleton bone on a card and then must head off into the wilderness (back yard or room) to find that specific bone and return it to the Skeleton Profile.
– Once that team member completes the task of finding the missing bone, then the next player is shown a Bone Collector Card and is sent off to find next Skeleton Bone. This process is repeated until one team finds all the skeleton bones.
– Note: As teams play the game, find the bones gets harder because there are fewer bones to be found.
– The first team to find all the Skeleton Profile’s missing bones will be the Winners.
Bone Collector Variations
Time Each Bone Collector Search
Instead of allowing kids unlimited time to search for the bone on the Bone Collector Card, each player is given 20 or 30 seconds to find the bone and return it to the Skeleton Profile. If no bone is found during the time limit then the next player is given the same bone to collect. If the bone is found by the team then you flip over the next card for that team.
This changes the pace of the game, increases urgency and gives guests more turns.
Thanks Samantha – Rye, CO