Mystery activities = fun! Let your kids think like detectives. They’ll love cracking codes, experimenting with invisible ink, fingerprinting, observation games, and more! At home or in the classroom, mystery activities add excitement.
For some online fun, try Break the Code from CIA Kids Zone.
In my classroom, we tried five different kinds of invisible ink. Those requiring heat didn’t work well. My little detectives recommend these three methods:
- Method 1 – Stack two pieces of paper on the table. Write a message on the top paper, pressing firmly. Then remove the top sheet. To see what was written, lightly shade the bottom sheet with a pencil.
- Method 2 – First, write on paper with a white crayon. Brush with watercolor paint to discover what was written.
- Method 3 – Mix equal amounts of baking soda and water in a bowl. Next, write on paper with a Q-tip. Dry. Brush with grape or cranberry juice to discover what was written.
It’s as easy as loop, whorl, and arch! Kids feel like real detectives when they take fingerprints. You can use an ink pad or simple pencil lead.
Tip: For clear fingerprints, use the pencil lead method. Then, instead of pressing directly onto paper, stick clear tape on fingertip. Peel off and stick tape on paper.
Mystery Activities That Require Observation
How observant are your students? Hone their observation skills with classroom and online games.
- Move five objects in the classroom each day. How many can each child notice?
- Go to a place in the classroom where the kids can’t see you. Ask questions about your eye color, the clothing you’re wearing, etc.
- Arrange 30 items on a tray. Let the students look at it for 30 seconds. Then take the tray away. How many items can they remember?
- For some online fun, visit CIA Kids Zone. Take the Photo Analysis Challenge and play Concentration.
When kids are more observant, they’re better readers. Observation activities are fun – and well worth the time.
More Mystery Activities
To solve a mystery, detectives must think logically. Similarly, to understand a mystery story, kids must think logically. Using logic puzzles helps them develop deductive reasoning. To solve some puzzles online, try this site.
When I use these mystery activities in my classroom, kids can’t wait for reading time to begin. If you’d like a packaged set of these materials, check out Mystery Unit Activities in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
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