Q: Do I really have everything I need for a kid’s party?
A: You have everything you need to play one of the Gumshoe Detective Agency scenarios. Our packages give you the ability to have a great party using only the PDF – or you can upgrade it a little or a lot, as you wish. Loot bags, birthday cake, and party prizes, etc are up to you.
A: It will take you a few hours to set up a complete party direct from the PDF, using our printable clues and evidence and crime scenes; if you decide to substitute real clues and Dress It Up with our suggestions and your imagination, the sky’s the limit!
Each Gumshoe Detective Agency package includes two different games that you can play together or separately. The first is a ‘Whodunnit’ in which the detectives figure out who committed the crime. The second part is a ‘Whereizit’ that can be added on; this is where the culprit also hides something that the players want to find. Usually it’s the party loots bags or some kind of treasure where there is an item for each player to take home.
It will take one or two hours to print, cut and tape the Whodunnit clues around your house and staple the Detective Handbooks together. If you are using any of the Dress-It-Up suggestions for decor and atmosphere, that will add more time depending on how fancy you get. Setting up a mystery can turn into a big party itself if you and your kids want to draw, paint or arrange hideouts for each of the suspects. One little PDF can inspire a week long event.
For the ‘Whereizit’, you decide what kind and how many clues you use. We give you easy instructions on creating the clues; making up and hiding clues can take anywhere from half an hour, if you are using two or three simple clues, to all day if you are creating an elaborate and twisted trail. And any amount of time in between, of course.
A: On average the party is good for kids age 6 to 11 years old, although it really depends on the individual child. Younger kids also have fun hunting down the clues because you don’t really have to be able to read to play. We’ve also noticed at our own Gumshoe parties that the dads like to ‘help out’ as their kids search for suspects, clues and visit the crime lab.
A: The ‘Whodunnit’ part of the party is usually between 30 minutes and an hour. If you add the ‘Whereizit’ it could take between an hour and two hours, depending on how hard you hide the clues and the size of space you have to play in. If you want to add more time or are planning activities for a weekend camp-out, family reunion, or a larger event, check out our FREE Kid’s Party Games and pick out some additional detective/spy activities for the kids to play.
A: It’s easy to have a ‘Whodunnit’ party in a small space. Simply hang the included Crime Scene and Suspect pictures on the wall and stick the clues around them. If you have a medium size space you can set up small tableaus on table tops. Four characters and a crime scene means you need five table tops. This can be a great pre-party activity for the week before the Mystery. If you have an auditorium or larger space at your disposal then you can decorate bigger spaces with life size props. The ‘Whereizit’ can be done in a small space as well if you hide clues in places such as inside a book or under a couch cushion. The only real consideration is that if the final item is large, such as a box of loot bags, you don’t want the detectives to accidentally come across it ahead of time.
A: Wowzers! The clues and characters in our PDFs are JPG images that will get fuzzy if you blow them up too much. But we have them as scalable graphics as well, just email us and we’ll send you the files. Then you can make the pictures as big as you want.