A detective-themed party for children gives them the chance to pretend to be sleuths for a few hours. Many children are familiar with detectives from television and books such as the classic mystery novels starring child detectives Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys. Design a detective party to include mysterious elements in each aspect of the party.
Get children in the spirit for a detective party with invitations that make them solve a puzzle. Write "Top Secret" in red ink on the front of the invitation and write the information inside in the form of a clever mystery. Print the text backward so they must hold it up to a mirror to read it, or write the invitation in a secret code and include the key to decipher it.
Make the party area look like a crime scene by decorating it with yellow police tape, footprint cutouts and question marks printed on paper. Post "Wanted" signs that feature the birthday child's name and photograph. For the party table, place an open briefcase in the centre of the table and fill it with detective items such as manila file folders, binoculars, a magnifying glass, gloves and a camera.
As children arrive at the party, have them make detective badges. Each child can draw his own picture in a photograph box on the badge, write his detective pseudonym next to it and stamp his fingerprints on the back of the badge in case anyone needs to verify his identity.
For the main activity at the detective party, the parents should plan a treasure hunt. Aspiring detectives need to solve riddles to find the next clue. For example, a clue could read, "You warm up by me when the weather is cold" to lead children to the next clue hidden by the fireplace.
Send each child home with a miniature detective kit. In each bag, the detective will find a magnifying glass, plastic glasses with a fake nose and moustache for a disguise, a pen and notebook for keeping track of clues and a chocolate bar to snack on while solving mysteries. These favour bags could even be the treasures at the end of the treasure hunt activity.
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