Full descriptions of activities are listed below...
1. Ice Breaker Activity (10-15 min)
2. Mystery-Memory Game (10 min)--optional
3. Select a Character and Secret Mission (5 min)
4. Fill out Personal Character History (10 min)
(Good dinner break or cake and gift break)
5. Explain Clue Game Rules (5-10 min)
6. Play Clue game, Clue Card game, or modified whole house Clue game (45 min to one
hour)--Adult help suggested
7. Play Detective/Murderer Game (10-15 min--though this was quite popular, so it
could last longer)
(Good dinner break or cake and gift break)
8. Craft--decorate shirts (15-20 min+)
9. Scavenger Hunt following clues (15 min)
10. Movie (suggestions: an age-appropriate mystery. We used Nancy Drew(2007). Clue
(1985) the movie--preview first to decide on your audience)
(sleep over option)
11. Prepare for sleeping
2. Variations of Detective/Murderer game
** Can play any activities you did not get to or let the kids select own activities!
Full Activity Descriptions:
Ice Breaker Activity:
Prep: Printed pictures from Internet or magazines, cut out, and tape. At least one
picture per guest -- have extras as a precaution. Put into envelope and keep them
secret and together until the party.
For this activity, use images from the Internet or magazines of pop culture kid shows,
movies, characters, movie stars, singers, cartoons ...suggestion would be to consider
your invitees. Will they know Hannah Montana or Spiderman? Use Google Images (or
other sources like magazines or teen magazines) to find pictures to copy and paste
and print out. We used Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus, Full House, Minnie Mouse, Hermione
Granger, Hilary Duff, Suite Life of Zack and Cody, High School Musical. (Obviously
a girl party!) Suggestions for boys: Harry Potter, Batman, Spiderman, Jim Carrey,
Grinch, Myth Buster's, Suite Life of Zack and Cody, etc.
Tape a picture on each guests’ back so the person getting the picture does not see.
(Others may look at each others backs, however) Say the categories for all to hear
that could be taped to their backs."Categories could be movies, singers, cartoons,
characters, shows"...then have the kids to ask each other questions that can be answered
with only a yes or a no from other guests. Example: Is mine a TV show? Other may
only answer with a yes or no.
If those having difficulty, additional information can be supplied to hint! Do not
let this be a frustration...it is supposed to be a FUN ice breaker!
Mystery Memory Game: (optional)
Prep: Tray or platter, odds and ends of about 20-25 smallish items...(examples: bouncy
balls, spatula, book, pencil, markers--whatever you can find in your junk drawer
or raid the kid junk toys!),
Blanket/towel, timer, pencils, paper
Load up a tray or platter with odds and ends from your house. Cover it with a blanket
or towel. Give the kids about two minutes or so to look at it. Cover up the items
again at the end of the two minutes and let kids write what they remember on their
papers. You can go over whom had the most. (I am of old-fashioned beliefs though
that you do not "get" anything if you have the most or won except the privilege of
knowing you won...but others may feel differently and small token like a piece of
candy could suffice. Prizes tend to drive up overall party costs...so choose wisely.)
Can be played more than once. Turn the tray or platter to a different direction.
Pointing out that you are sharpening their memory skills for helping to solve mysteries
is a good tie in back to the theme!
Prep: Gift bags (one of each color) with t-shirts (one of each color) for each player
(i.e. Red for Scarlet, Blue for Peacock, Yellow for Mustard, Green, White, Purple
for Professor Plum, etc), (optional items: matching bandannas, colored bead necklaces,
pencils--Note "gift bag" portion is strictly optional as they will be wearing the
Slips of paper with each color written on it.
For the selection it can be done in multiple ways, the way we did it entailed each
kid selecting a slip of paper with a color written on it. They could keep the color
or trade with someone else who wanted to trade. You could also draw their names to
let them pick first and then trade for those who did not like what was left at the
end ...purely your choice. An additional option is to assign a color for each child
to wear to the party and forego the cost of t-shirts but additional craft option
Prep: Type or write out missions one per kid. Put in gift bag with other items or
hand out Secret Missions.
Each child will receive a Secret Mission to perform covertly through out the party.
The list of activities can be quite silly. Examples include ...working Barney into
the conversation at least five times through out the party without anyone figuring
out that that is your secret mission. Doing at least five somersaults ...again covertly!
Singing ABC's five times. Making animal noises. Snorting like a pig. Finding out
Be sure to explain that no one should be able to guess what your secret mission is.
So to be sly about the mission...that is what makes it SECRET! This is a mystery
type party after all! Can discuss at the end of the party if anyone guess their mission
or what their missions were. ;-)
Personal Character History: (optional)
Prep:Personal Character History and pencil
Have the kids fill out the Personal History Description sheet for their character.
This is a good activity to do to help get them into character and if you are planning
to serve dinner.
First you have to decide your level of intensity and creativity. If you do not have
a Clue game-options could be to buy it or an additional cost-cutting measure would
be to borrow it from a neighbor or relative. Clue Card game...buy or borrow. Or modifying
the game to play using your house takes a bit more planning and creativity but equally
For the first two game ideas, follow the rules for the specific game...read them
ahead and be able to explain to the kids playing. (Note: Playing Clue, Jr. is an
option but the Characters are not the same in Clue, Jr. and would not make sense
with the characters wearing red and being Miss/Mr. Scarlet but Characters could be
modified to match the Clue, Jr. game.)
Playing the game of Clue:
Prep: Choose your variation to play. Clue game, Clue Card Game or Clue Modified Whole
house game version . Make sure to have the game and a space to play.
Clue Modified Whole house game: (optional)
prep: Cards, signs for rooms, basket of weapons, Detective Notes and kids divided
into teams of 2-3. Follow similar game rules to Clue game, but use your house as
the board and the kids are the characters dressed in their colored t-shirts. Prep
envelopes (9”X 12”) with Cards, and Detective Notes (click links above) for each
team. Remember to put one card of each category aside.
Put guests into teams of two to three. Give each team an envelope containing groups
cards like in the original game. Allow time for teams to record what they have or
figured out on Detective Note recording sheet. Give each team a number (that will
help keep the teams to know who is next and who shows cards to whom during each turn).
Have the guests move from room to room for each turn. Use a basket for the weapons
and bring it to each room. Have the appropriate character stand in middle of the
room with the weapon for each teams turn (like in the real board game--just this
is the LIVE version!). Let teams work through lists and take notes on their Detective
Notes. Accusations will be just like the game rules.
Prep: On small slips of paper write on with "M" for murderer and one with "D" for
detective and the rest leave blank. Fold and put into a hat, bowl, basket... One
for each player.
To play the game, each player picks a slip of paper. The player with the "D" announces
himself as the detective and can leave the room, but the murderer and the regular
people remain anonymous. The other players wander around a bit with their eyes closed
(bandannas work well here if the optional item was purchased) until the murderer,
who is innocently hiding among the normal people, taps one person twice on the back
of their neck. That is that person's cue to scream loudly and drop to the floor--dead.
Everyone once they hear the scream should sit where they were, when they heard the
scream. The detective may now re-enter the scene. He/she observes the scene and may
ask the other players questions. Only the true murderer can lie; others must reply
honestly to the questions. His/her goal is to figure out who the murderer is by finding
out who was close enough to commit the crime by asking good questions and observing
the scene. He/she may only accuse two people of being the murderer. Stumped or a
good detective?? This game can be repeated! It was a big hit even the next day!!
Prep:Plain solid print colored t-shirts (100% cotton)--pre-washed and ironed (and
if have bandanas decorate too, but they are optional), Pentel fabric crayons (found
at craft stores ), stencils (optional), iron, ironing board, scrap pieces of white
paper to cover drawings while ironing shirt.
Let the kids design their own shirts. They may or may not be interested in having
it relate to the theme of the party. Can have stencils or sayings available if interested.
The fabric crayons that I purchased can be drawn directly onto the fabric, but the
t-shirts need to 100% cotton and pre-washed. Then follow the directions provided
with the crayons to iron shirts. Adult should iron.
Prep:On slips of paper write or type CLUESfor Clue hunt (see examples--will need
to be changed to fit your party situation) and hide them in the appropriate order
to find the next clue. Hide the movie for the treasure.
This part takes a bit of creativity with rhymes and clues for your specific house
set up. Depending on the weather, some could be outside. The guests have to solve
the mystery or clue to get to the next clue puzzle. Ciphers (secret codes) could
work well to spell out the next place to look if you need other ideas. Blank puzzles
that you can write your own clues or messages on work well also (see craft stores).
Be sure to save the first Clue to get them started. Hide CLUE #2 wherever CLUE #1
says to look...etc!! The movie, or whatever your treasure is, should be hidden in
the last spot. You could hide the cake instead if you do not have time for a movie...just
pick a place that your dog will not find it first!!
Prep:Rent, borrow, or buy as a birthday gift the movie that you will show. We used
Nancy Drew (2007) but others could be used. Clue(1985) the movie is also another
It is a good idea to preview the movie or check out sites like commonsensemedia.org
or Rotten Tomatoes or others for reviews about movies before allowing guests to see
it at your party. Please consider all guests before showing a movie to assure age-appropriateness
Prep:Select the sleeping arrangements and area ahead of showing movie, if possible.
Do not forget the popcorn and drinks for festivities, of course!
Next morning play any games that the kids enjoyed the day before or anything you
did not get to previously-- until guests have to leave.
**This party agenda can be used as a "guide." Activities may be omitted or rearranged.
Some activities might be more popular with the kids, so feel free to adjust based
on child interest level. Kids also like to add in games that they have learned or
know. This is totally okay to allow some kid-run activities at this age!
This party was planned for ten year old girl sleep-over. It would be appropriate
for 8+ year olds--depending on your group and the nature of Clue + logic needed).
Changes could be applied to the "Characters" by making all characters either girl
or boys. (i.e. Miss Scarlet could just as easily be Mr. Scarlet, Colonel Mustard
could be a female colonel or changed to Ms. Mustard) We had seven girls and added
a character from a list for Cluedo...Miss Peach.
If you want to have a dinner as portion of the evening festivities, I would recommend
choosing a time while the kids are engaged in a game that can be done by themselves
for your final dinner preparations (the Clue game or whole house game of Clue does
not work well as an alone game if other children have not played the game before.)
Plan as much grunt work of dinner to be done before guests arrive, allowing you time
to enjoy the party and not be caught up in the making of dinner.
Note: A good party always has plenty to do to keep the guests engaged...so plan more
as a fail-safe...not enough to do can be SCARY! Also, if the guests are having fun
with one activity, no need to try to rush them through something just because you
have more planned. Use their interest level as your guide.