Detective Themed Party Games

The birthday girl chose the detective theme, but asked me to do the games, which meant a little bit of pressure for me.  Honestly, I wasn't sure if I should make one big mystery with evidence or do multiple games with a detective theme.  In the end, I chose multiple games because the children coming to the party ranged in age from two to thirteen.

Initially, the children began in the back room (our school room).  The children's tables were set up as game stations which the children could complete independently.  Before they began, I gave each child a folder containing a few word games, such as a word search and a word unscramble, to do if needed while waiting for a game. 

The games stations are described below.  The games were targeted for elementary and middle school students.  For most games, I had devised a "Younger Detective" activity as an alternative for the preschoolers.

Scented Balloons
Using an activity from a past science co-op class, I scented different colored balloons.  Children had to use their keen sense of smell to decide what each scent was.  Younger detectives had colored strips of paper to match to the balloons.

Word Find
Taking a few printed pictures on regular paper, I wrote words within the pictures.  I tried to write very small so the children would need to use the magnifying glasses to see each word.  The children recorded their findings on paper.  Younger detectives named shadow shapes.

{to make "Shadow Shapes" for Younger Detectives}
trace shapes on black paper with white pencil
cut out shapes and paste onto contrasting color cards
In the Bag
Eight different brown bags held regular household objects.  Children were instructed to identify what the object was by using only their sense of touch.  No clues were given as to the contents.  Younger detectives continued their shadow game by trying to find objects within the room to match the turkey shadow shape card.

Thumb Print Art
At this game station, children were encouraged to use their imagination to make pictures out of their thumb prints.  We had found a book by Ed Emberley (Thank you Jessica for mentioning him!) which gave us lots of ideas for thumb print art.

After completing all the games, the children were given a puzzle to assemble.  The puzzle pictured where their prizes were located. 

Only once they found the prize location, it was empty.  A letter started a series of riddles and clues which moved the children inside and outside the house in search of their next clue and eventually the prizes.  Then, when the prizes were found, the children had to determine who had hidden their prizes.  Using several clues the children eliminated potential culprits (attendees to the party).  After a few guesses they finally pronounced Nana as the guilty person.  {She had volunteered to be guilty prior to the party.}

All in all, the children had fun and the games seemed to work well for such a large age span (2-13 years old).  More importantly, my daughter, the birthday girl, liked it!

1 comment:

  1. Very clever implementation of a unique party theme!!


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