For my Cluedo themed birthday dinner party (more on that later), we decided to play a murder mystery game, something I’ve always wanted to do. I wanted my nephews to join in the fun, but of course a murder mystery is terribly inappropriate for a 5 and 7 year old! So instead we planned a mystery game that we could solve together. The object of the game: collect the clues and find out who stole the birthday afternoon tea.
Before the boys arrived, we set up their wee table with cups, saucers and two plates, one with cookie crumbs and the other with the remnants of a jam sandwich. On the plates we added different coloured thread for each thief's hair and left their pawprints nearby (oh, did I mention the suspects were woodland animals?). We cordoned off the area with crime scene tape and set up each suspect’s home with their "hair" and footprints.
The boys were each given a detective kit containing:
- a detective badge
- a magnifying glass
- evidence bags
- an instruction booklet and a pen
The detective badges came in a pack with a toy gun so that went in the kit too, but in retrospect that was a mistake – they were very distracting!
The instruction booklet included a checklist for the clues and a map of the house, with the crime scene and each suspect’s homes marked and numbered. Detective Flynn’s instructions had him on the tail of the cookie bandit, Detective Noah’s brief was to catch the sandwich thief. They collected their evidence, bagging the crumbs and hair left behind and taking a polaroid of the footprints.
The game was afoot! Using their maps they visited each suspect and compared their evidence. The boys had a blast, and they solved the mystery. They even passed judgement, Ricki Raccoon and Bernie Bear was sentenced to hard labour - dishes for a month!
If you'd like to give the game a go as well, click here to download a pdf of the instruction booklets and mugshots, and let us know how you go!