This weekend we held a party for Aubrey's birthday.
When it comes to birthday parties and Halloween costumes I let my kids reach for the stars and try to grant any wish they can imagine (sometimes I am more successful than others).
Aubrey has been talking for months about her upcoming celebration so I sort of guessed what she would ask for. She wanted a "Clue" birthday party...you know, like the board game. She loves the game. She loves to read mysteries. She wanted to play detective for the evening and do some sleuthing of her own.
So we set to work.
We decided to create our own mystery to have the kids solve the night of the party. It would be sort of like a "How To Host a Murder" party but a little more condensed because it would be for sixth graders.
Aubrey made up characters for her friends all on her own. She imagined a move star, a computer whiz, a professional snowboarder, a scientist, a pop star and more and wove some dark secret into each of their lives. It was fun to read what she came up with. I was pretty thrilled with how much effort she put into the task and I think she did a great job (here is a copy of her character profiles).
We made invitations, attached a character to each, and handed them out to her friends.
(We found out early on that the girl assigned as Ruby in Aubrey's profiles would not be able to attend so when we wrote our mystery she was not included in the action.)
The next step was to create our murder mystery. Aubrey didn't want to know the story any more than her friends did so that she could really play along as well so the task of writing our mystery fell to me. I used the characters she had created and developed a three round set of clues for each character giving them snippets of information about themselves and the other characters. In each round the kids would accuse each other of naughtiness using the bits and pieces in the clues they received (each set of clues was different and tailored to the specific character...our clues and other documents are included here).
After two rounds the kids would make accusations about who they thought was the murderer and then the third round clues would reveal what had really happened and who was the actual killer.
Aubs chose to be Miss Scarlet so we decorated in red to accommodate her fetish. She dressed as a movie star (the persona of her character) and welcomed her friends.
After dinner, we had Josh (Miss Scarlet's butler) receive a mysterious text warning him that an email had just been sent to Miss Scarlet showing that someone had attempted to steal the well guarded script to her new movie and had ended up dead.
We handed the kids their personalized clue filled envelopes and the fun began.
Josh and I stayed in the room to help keep things moving and to help the kids put the pieces together if they got stuck. The kids had fun hearing which characters were thieves and pyromaniacs and villains and who was in love with who and all that. It was fun to watch them work it all out.
Everyone was surprised at our actual murderer, he had pretty much slipped under the radar (there were lots of clues but so many people had secrets and hidden pasts that everyone seemed guilty so it was hard to pinpoint the worst fiend of all).
Then we watched the movie "Clue" and called it a night.
Hopefully Aubrey and her friends had a good night. This really is a great group of kids (we feel awfully lucky that Aubrey has such amazing friends). It was fun to have them at the house, even if it was because of a murder.