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Who Dunnit Birthday Parties for Teenagers

by Rosenya Faith

Whether your teenager is planning for a career in police work or crime scene investigation, or is just a die-hard mystery fan, you can organize a whodunnit-themed birthday celebration for her that your teen party group will talk about long after the event is over. With a little planning and creativity, you can incorporate the theme into every aspect of the party and spend at least a little time as the coolest mom in the neighborhood.

Invitations

Give your teen's party guests a hint about the theme of the event with custom invitations. You can attach an ordinary invitation to a magnifying glass to hint toward the theme of the party, or make the entire invitation yourself. You can cut shapes from poster board to coordinate with the theme, such as trench coats, foot prints and a coil of rope. Write the party details on the custom cards and place each invitation in an envelope marked "Confidential." If you're up to hand-delivering the party invites, pick up a few rolls of crime scene tape from a party supply store. Unravel a few feet of each roll of tape and write the party details along the unmarked side of the tape. Roll up the tape and deliver each invitation.

Decorations

If you've purchased a script for your teen's whodunnit birthday party, use the script as a guide to the perfect party decor. You can transform the party venue into a crime scene with a chalk body outline and crime scene tape. Make bloody-looking hand prints and foot prints with red paint on white paper, cut out each one and lay the decorations around the room. Hang white or red strands of Christmas lights from the ceiling so you can dim the lights during the event, or set up a bunch of LED candles instead. If your teen's birthday party just wouldn't be complete without balloons, inflate some black helium balloons, drizzle watered-down red paint over each one and let the paint dry. Let the eerie balloons float freely overhead during the party.

Activities

You can pick up a murder-mystery kit, which will provide you with the script or clues to solve a teen-appropriate mystery. A typical murder-mystery game generally takes about two hours to complete, occupying a significant portion of the birthday party. While each script has a murder or other tragedy to solve, you can choose from a variety of humorous scripts to fill the event with plenty of giggles and laughter. If you have time leftover after the main event, you can entertain the group with other activities, such as a mystery-themed trivia game. Create the game using questions from your teen's favorite mystery books and movies. You can also teach your teen group about real mystery solving with finger print or shoe print collecting with a glass surface, talc powder, a dusting brush and clear tape. If you're hosting the party outdoors, help the group burn off a little energy with a mystery-themed race. Divide the group in pairs and have them wrap themselves together with caution or crime scene tape before racing across the yard to the finish line.

Favors

Send the party group of teens home at the end of the party with a favor that coordinates with the theme. You can pick up a teen mystery novel for each of your guests or a copy of the latest teen mystery movie. Provide the teens with even more mystery fun after the party has ended by presenting them with popular mystery-themed board games. If you're planning the party on a tight budget, present the teens with a simple favor: a plate full of mystery-themed cookies. Roll out a batch of sugar cookie dough and cut it into shapes, such as candlesticks, magnifying glasses and foot prints. Decorate the cookies with royal icing and arrange a bunch for each teen on paper plates.

References

  • How to Create Your Own Murder Mystery Party; Joseph J. Franco
  • Suspects & Sleuth's Murder Mystery Design Guide; Steven E. French, et al.

About the Author

Rosenya Faith has been working with children since the age of 16 as a swimming instructor and dance instructor. For more than 14 years she has worked as a recreation and skill development leader, an early childhood educator and a teaching assistant, working in elementary schools and with special needs children between 4 and 11 years of age.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images