When kids are young, party planning is relatively easy. They are not as fussy and as a parent, you are trying to create special memories and images for your children to look back upon fondly. Some popular ways parents celebrate is to pick a favorite television character and build a themed party around it. Or choose a fun place to visit like a petting zoo or kiddie gymnastics center and the kids will be busy and happy.
Things become a bit more tricky as children grow older. Their tastes begin to mature and the old standbys are no longer an option which means it's time to get creative and actual listen to their needs. So what can be done for those kids who are long past purple dinosaurs, but too young for a night on the town? Consider hosting a mystery party for those tweens and young teens.
A mystery party provides enough interest and challenge to keep those older kids as amused as they were back in their young party days. With a mystery party, the children will play act from a script or character clues, gather other clues, and attempt to solve a mystery. Some of these games involve murders for older teens to solve. Others are toned down for younger players and just have a non-deadly mystery to solve. Since mystery party kits come with a set of instructions for the party host, it's easier to organize and prepare for than other types of home parties.
Before You Get Started
- Check through the resources below to find a theme that works with your child's interests.
- Order your kit as soon as possible since you, as a party host, will need to be familiar with the story before you send out the invitations. Some companies sell kits that can be downloaded immediately upon payment.
- Once the kit arrives, read through it carefully so that you understand the flow of the story and the amount of time you'll need for the party.
- Be prepared to supervise the party from behind the scenes to make sure the kids understand the sequencing of events from reading the script to acting out the parts, to serving and eating the food, to solving the mystery.
- Depending on the age of the kids, you might want to enlist the help of another adult assistant.
Setting the Stage
It will easy to decorate for a mystery party since the mystery story will be staged at a particular time or place that will provide enough suggestions for an appropriate setting. Mystery party kits will come with ideas for just enough decorations and props to suggest the setting for the story line. The scripts will also list the characters and suggestions for costumes. On your invitations, you will ask your guests to come dressed as their character with the costume suggestions given in the kit.
Likewise, the scripts will often suggest menu ideas that will fit the story line. If not, choose kid party favorites such as pizza, sandwiches, snack food, and cake.
You might find favors that fit the story line.
Or you might go with favors that remind guests of the mystery idea such as a flashlight, a secret journal, or a magnifying glass. Bundle any of these items up with candy treats and guests will go home happy.
- SimpliFun Children's Birthday Parties sells seven different mystery theme party kits for both boys and girls. Kits include scripts, invitations, thank you cards, place settings, and t-shirt iron-on graphics.
- Host Party.com has a very large selection of mystery games from which to choose. The games are rated and labeled for the appropriate teenage. They also offer electronic invitations and response tracking as part of the package.
- MerriMysteries sells a dozen mystery party kits, many useful for large groups of kids.
- Kids Mystery Party Games offers nine different kid-friendly mystery scenarios.