Boys tend to like the mysterious, spooky and unknown. Planning a mystery birthday party takes consideration of who will be attending, their temperaments and how many will be attending. Be sensitive to shy boys who scare more easily than other boys. Create a mystery birthday party that has elements of the mysterious, isn't overwhelmingly scary and is just plain fun.
Make It Official
Design an invitation that serves as an invitation to detective, CSI or investigative reporter training. When boys arrive, have them fill out a short application with their name and favorite fictional detective. Take them to a table where you fingerprint each child, adding the fingerprint to the application page. Have an official-looking adult take them through what questions to answer in their investigation --- who is involved, what happened, when did it happen, where did the crime take place, why the deed was done and how it went down. Provide pens and notebooks to jot down information. Provide badges with their designation --- detective, crime scene investigator or reporter.
Plan a sleepover boys' mystery birthday party. Start it later in the evening such as 7 or 8 p.m. Turn the kitchen into a lab and provide lab coats for the boys. Lay out a crime scenario for the birthday party. For example, someone stole the birthday cake and the boys must follow clues such as frosting on the edge of a chair and doorknob, a footprint, a note and other clues that lead the boys to the cake. Plan the sleepover as a backyard campout in tents. A strange moan and someone rushing by starts the hunt for what is going on. The boys follow whispered directions and find clues in trees, on the porch, even on the dog's collar. Use your imagination in planting clues. The boys end up in the room where you have the cake and ice cream set up and where they discover the answer to the mystery. This might be a special guest or a pet.
When the boys arrive for the party, they are given a newspaper article saying an important person has been kidnapped. Form teams and present each with vital information. One team will have background on the kidnapped victim, another descriptions of suspects and another the time, location and other details. The teams are told to work together to solve the crime. Leave bits of cloth, a hat, a scribbled note or a picture as clues. Family members serve as witnesses to be interviewed. Make the kidnapped victim the birthday boy. Greet the guests in your home, but spirit the birthday boy to another location where the birthday will be held. This might be in another part of the house, the backyard or another location. The guests ask questions that lead them to the celebration or the ride taking them to the party.
Lower the lights and play recorded spooky sounds during the birthday celebration. The boys are told a ghost is haunting the house and they must figure out who the ghost is. Each time the ghost whispers, the boys can ask one question that requires a yes or no answer until the name of the ghost is guessed. You can also let each boy become the "ghost," taking on the role of a person and answering questions as to his identity. Plan a party with kid-friendly ghostly movies with hot dogs and popcorn and telling scary stories.
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