Idea No.

9031

Mary Kate Ashley Mystery -8yr- Dective Favors

Award

Date

June 2004

From

Jennifer and Ken in Coquitlam, B.C., Canada

Special Mention

Mystery Party

MARY KATE AND ASHLEY MYSTERY BIRTHDAY PARTY  For my daughter's 8th birthday, she decided she would like a "Mary Kate and Ashley mystery birthday party" since she LOVES their books.  Unfortunately since Mary Kate and Ashley are obviously older now, there is virtually nothing on sites or in stores for birthday paraphanalia or ideas. 

INVITATIONS: I ended up color photocopying the magnifying glass on the back of the Mary Kate and Ashley mystery books which shows them in trench coats, fedoras and sunglasses; cutting out the magnifying glass; and pasting them on the front of a blank invitation.  On our computer, using a card software, I typed "Come Join LEXI for a" (then I pasted the magnifying glass)and under it read "Mary Kate and Ashley MYSTERY Birthday Party".  Inside were the details of when and where the party was.  Our party was 2 and 1/2 hours but I could easily have used another hour. 

PARTY CRAFT: As the kids started coming, we got them involved in making friendship bracelets.  I opted for the very simple twisting one using 6 strands of 24" long embroidery thread with colors they chose themselves.  Knotted at one end and taped on a table, they separate the 6 strands into 2 - 3 thread strands and just keep twisting them tightly round and round until they come to the end.  Folding it in half and holding the unknotted end and the knotted end together, it "MYSTERIOUSLY" twists together to make a really cute bracelet or anklet.  I numbered the girls off and then they each picked a number and that was whose bracelet they got it was a MYSTERY which bracelet they would get.  PARTY

ACTIVITIES: TREASURE HUNT: I always have a treasure hunt at my parties but this was the most detailed yet.  We divided the 16 girls into 2 teams of 8 and randomly gave them nametags showing whether they were on the "Mary Kate" team or the "Ashley" team.  Each nametag on the team was a different color and the kids were instructed that in each envelope they would find 8 clues that would be the same colors as they had on their nametag.  They should take their "color clue" and work with their team to solve the puzzle together. 

This ensured each person had an active role in the treasure hunt.  Each clue also had a number in the back so they could read their clues in order.  The clues ranged from riddles to limericks to letter codes to number codes to words recognized only if held in front of the mirror.  One clue had 8 color coded balloons with the clues inside (the kids had to pop the balloon to get the clue out.  Another clue we planned for but didn't have time to do was a treasure map cut into 8 puzzle pieces. 

The kids were given pens and notepads to help them work out the codes.  My husband and I each stayed with a team to help them along, especially since we had 2 5 year olds who needed a bit of help with the reading but could still be very active in participating. An example of a clue was:  I have a lovely face (red)But don't have any eyes(blue)I'm very very old(green)But really not that wise(yellow)I'm very very tall(white)Just like your "father's father"(purple)You could ask me the "time"(orange)But since I'm broke don't bother(pink). They figured out what it was and found the clue taped onto the back of our broken grandfather clock.  Each team had a treasure of 8 wrapped little gifts at the end of their hunt but were instructed not to open the parcels.  

The first team that found their treasure, however had the advantage in the next game which was: MYSTERY GIFT EXCHANGE We placed all the "treasure gifts" in the middle of the circle. I had bought the gifts at an accessory store that had clearance sales of 10 for $10.00.  ie: jewellery, purses, hair pieces, nail polish, lip gloss, door hangers.  The winning team got to pick from the numbers 9-16 and the 2nd place team picked from numbers 1-8.  #1 picked a present and opened it.  #2 could either choose to take the present from #1 or risk opening the next "MYSTERY" present. The higher numbers have the advantage of seeing most of what's been opened and opting for someone else's gift.  The girls didn't mind if their gift was taken because then they got the fun of opening up another present. 

The craft and the 2 games took a good 2 hours so we didn't get around to the other games I had prepared for backup: WHAT'S MISSING I had a tray full of items needed to solve a MYSTERY:  a camera, sunglasses, a lollipop, a watergun, a cell phone, latex gloves, a magnifying glass, a pencil and a pad of paper, and of course, a Mary Kate and Ashley detective book.  Show the kids the tray, take it out of the room and remove one item and see who can guess which one is missing. WINK: Everyone sits in a circle and is given a piece of paper, one M for murderer and the rest D for detective.  The Murderer tries to wink at someone without anyone seeing.  If you're winked at, then you have to turn around and wait until the Murderer is detected. 

MEAL: We had quesadillas and nachos with all the fixings.  The mystery dinner with the different menu items is often mentioned on this site but I found that too overwhelming for the number of kids we had and the limited number of adults (my husband and I and my mother) For desert we had a cake in the shape of a magnifying glass - a layered round cake and a loaf cake cut in 2.  We iced it with chocolate icing, put licorice around the outside and on the handle and wrote Happy Birthday Lexi on the "glass part".  Inside the layers we wrapped money anywhere from a nickel to a "toonie"(2 dollar coin) for the MYSTERY gifts inside! 

GOODY BAGS: I ended up putting in extra great stuff I found at the accessory store but some of the things I had and you might want to have to stay on theme are pads of paper, pens, pencils, lollipops, sunglasses, watches, waterguns all available at dollar stores.  I also had a diary with a lock.  I also had Mary Kate and Ashley word searches and quizes that I found on their web site.  A bit of work, especially the treasure hunt but it was the big hit and many of the kids said it was the best party they'd ever been to so it was all worth it! Hope that's helpful!

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