Idea No.


Mystery Puzzle -8yr- Puzzle Invitations



Jan 2003


Anna in Copperas Cove, TX

Honorable Mention

Mystery Party

For my son's 8th birthday I gave him a mystery puzzle party.  The invitations were puzzles (cut up invitations in puzzle shapes). 

While the guests were arriving they each made their own puzzles (coloring book pages glued on to back of cereal boxes - after colored we cut them up).  The first game was musical puzzle pieces (musical chairs but we used giant foam puzzle pieces instead of chairs.  Alternatively you could cut out puzzle shapes from card or construction paper and laminate them).  The winner had the first clue on the underside of his puzzle piece which started the mystery part of the party. 

Each clue was a riddle or a puzzle like a word search, or a code to crack that led them on to the next clue.  We used the clues to tell the boys what game or activity would come next. For example one clue was a code A=#, B=%, C=@, etc... and when they solved the mystery puzzle it said something like "sit down around the table like mice, when all is quiet you will see something nice."  And it would then be time for cake and ice-cream. 

The next clue would be on the bottom of someones plate, etc...We played a memory tray game.  They had 2 minutes to observe certain objects on a tray and then it was taken away and they had to write down as quickly as they could how many items they remembered.  The cake I made into the shape of puzzle pieces or alternatley you could do lego pieces or write Happy Birthday in a secret code on a plain cake.  The clues worked really well in making the party go smoothly.  Transition from one activity to the next went really well as everyone was involved in solving the mysteries along the way and each clue would promt the next activity. 

After the birthday boy opened his presents, we played "pass the parcel"  where the birthday boy gave the last "present" to everone to hand around in a circle, while he played music.  When the music stoped whoever had the present would unwrap one layer and there would be a small prize or candy there for him.  The music would continue until all the layers were unwrapped and the final layer was a "big present" (a dollar store puzzle) for the winner.(I used newspaper and old wrapping paper to make this, making sure each layer was different paper from the next so  there was no confusion about which layer to unwrap). But because there were prizes all along the way everyone got something and no one felt left out.

The mystery was to guess what was under the final layer and who would get it!(The birthday boy playing the music is not allowed to look when stopping the music).  I also had set up in a corner a mystey box which the participants could only insert their hands in two holes and feel what was inside and try to guess what it was.  Inside this box I put raw pasts noodles along with cooked spagetti, jello cubes and pudding.  But you can use anything at all.  The winner is the one who guesses correctly what is inside the box.  

For party favors, they took home the puzzle they made home in a paper sandwich bags decorated with puzzle pictures and riddles and jokes,(that if time permits the boys could decorate themselves also) prizes received along they way for all the games played (dollar store puzzles, small lego kits,)and baby jars full of candy decorated with question marks and the question "Guess How Many?" - the answer was taped to the bottom. It was a great party!!

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