Sticking with the theme of our Scooby-Doo week, I thought it would be fun to come up with some detective ideas for kids! Children are naturally curious and love solving mysteries, which is probably what makes Scooby and the gang so appealing. Encourage that desire to explore with these fun activities that will have them acting like detectives in no time!
Fun Detective Activities for Kids
- Invisible Ink Writing: Good detectives always protect their sources! Let kids make their own invisible ink messages, then send them to friends and family to try to decode. It’s as easy as grabbing a lemon from the grocery store and scribbling out a message! This is by far one of the easiest detective activities for kids!
- Play nature detective! Give kids a list of the different types of bugs, plants and trees in your area, then help them check them off the list. Make it a little harder for older kids by giving them clues about the different life forms. For example, if your area is filled with lady bugs, your clue could be “I’m quite the lady with my fancy polka-dot outfit!” Make up a batch of butterfly bait from our outdoor crafts post to help attract some of the beautiful winged bugs if your little detective tires of searching for them on his own.
- Host a mystery night. While older kids may enjoy a murder mystery, younger children will likely prefer something a little less creepy. Depending on the age group, you could go with something as silly as “who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?” Write up clues and hide them around the house. Have other adults be “suspects” and help guide the children in asking the right questions.
- Dust for fingerprints. While the CSI crime people probably use some sort of fancy chemical-based powder to life prints, you can do it with a little baby powder and scotch tape! Just sprinkle a little powder on the surface where the print should be, lightly brush, then lift it with the tape. It may take a little practice! Next, fingerprint everyone in the house and try to compare the prints to find a match.
- “Where are we going?” This is one of my favorite games to play because you don’t really need anything aside from a tank of gas (or, if you live in town, your own two feet). Hop in the car and pick a road that you’ve never been down before. Take your GPS or a map in case you get too lost, but seriously, getting a little lost is part of the fun! Try to figure out where you’ll end up based on clues around you. Are you seeing a lot of farms? Any stores that seem familiar? Signs for streets that you know? You really just never know what kind of cool things you’ll find this way!
These are just a few fun detective activities for kids that you can play both indoors and out. They’re fun ways to get kids thing critically and really examining the world around them. Do you have any favorite detective activities for kids?