Kids of all ages love role playing and it’s easy to put together a kit that will help expand their play. This detective kit is full of fun ideas that light up our kids’ imagination. There are some PDF printables to download so they can record their notes, take those fingerprints and practice being a real detective. My three play whatever it is they play with their kit for hours.
You can add anything you like to your kit – have a look to see what you’ve got around the house before purchasing anything new. I had a lot already to hand and then I added extras that I found at my local $2 shop. This whole kit cost me less than $5 to put together.
What you need
- a box to store everything in (I used a wooden file box from my office that I wasn’t using).
- detective paraphernalia, I added:
- hand cuffs – do detectives actually use hand cuffs? No matter!
- magnifying glass
- cotton buds for ‘swabbing’ clues
- zip lock ‘specimen’ bags
- business card holder – because they seem so official and kids love collecting things
- play ‘disguise’ glasses / moustaches
- padlocks (because they are ‘official’ and fun to lock and unlock)
- word search book for a bit of extra fun
- a copy of the ‘Important Detective Notes’ book (download your copy here)
- a copy of the detective signs (download your copy here).
Other ideas for things to include: walkie talkies, binoculars, dark sunglasses, a hat, paintbrushes for ‘dusting’ for fingerprints, camera, rope, a set of keys, etc. See, this game is good for mum’s imagination too!
What you do
5. Put all of the kit into the box and give to your child. Encourage them to explore the box in their own time, helping them work out what they might use things for.
6. Research some famous fictional detectives (Sherlock Holmes, Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew, Famous Five, etc.) and read some stories to enhance their imaginative play. Here are some fantastic detective themed games to get them started:
- Backyard photo scavenger hunt
- Follow the footprints game
- Sight word detectives
- Invisible ink memory game
- Make your own binoculars
- DIY detective costume
- Lazer maze navigation
Do your kids love a mystery like mine?
This activity was originally published on Kidspot.