Stories About Jake

Detective Max Returns

Ever since our iPod thingy was stolen in July, when he made the van a crime scene and barricaded the door with a green pool noodle so he could collect evidence, Max has had a growing interest in solving mysteries.  Deciding on a Detective theme for his 6th Birthday party was a predictable assumption.  A sure scenario.  You can say it was an open and shut case.

Thank you.  I worked hard on that.

I had so much fun planning this party, but true to form, I totally underestimated how much work it took to pull off a 2-hour party in our home.  I had searched the internet far and wide for activities, including a skills course and fun “finding” game (Max’s favorite type of game) outdoors, but we had a rainy day.  Thank you, Tropical Storm Hanna.  You and your…rain.  We came up with an indoor version of a clue hunt the day before, though.

I wanted to share about the party because, even though it took a lot of work, it was inexpensive and easy to pull off.  Max’s friends were really excited about the theme and came in the door (in the pouring down rain) asking questions about crimes and scavenger hunts.  It was a great theme for 6-8 year olds (though the 8-year olds thought my clues were way too easy).  Tough crowd.

There’s a lot you can do with this party theme and detective/spy/mystery ideas are out there in plenty.  I decided on centering everything around detective training – like they were being recruited for Max’s agency, which was really fun.

First, the invitations were plain manila folders with a piece of yellow lined paper inside.  I typed out the party details – and a request for their detective skills – using a plain text font.  Then I taped it to the inside of the folder and Max hand-delivered them to his friends.

I ordered some things from Oriental Trading for the goody bags – magnifying glasses, sunglasses, notepads, etc. – and put them in paper bags.

Pretty simple, huh?

Max was so energetic on the morning of the party – he wanted to help with everything.

Especially the decorating…

The Caution Crime Scene tape was a big hit – but he had some decorating ideas that made me laugh…

I wasn’t always laughing, though.  Max was so hyper at this point that he was literally walking around the house on my heels, which turned me into a Mommy Spaz.  Unfortunately he was playing with his toy video camera at the same time and got snippets of my snipping at him on camera.  Oops.

Oh, I have to interject here about the camera.  He was making videos of himself at a crime scene.  Except he was the perp.  And the detective.  At the same time.  He was dragging himself by the shirt collar out of the room. It was hysterical and now I wish I wasn’t so stressed-out at the time.  Sigh.

Back to the fun party.

We took fingerprints and made ID cards and while they were sitting at the table I talked about how detectives use their senses to find clues.  They used magnifying glasses to look at cards with animal tracks and match them to the right animal.  Then we went to the living room and played a CD of different sound effects (thanks for putting that together for us, Daddy) and guessed what they were, and followed clues to solve the case of The Missing Birthday Cake (which was in the oven).

Oh, and we took a picture of each kid wearing my large adult-size (did I say large? I mean smallish medium) trench coat and a fedora.  I’ll print these pictures out and put them in each thank you card.  I especially thought this little detective was cute:

Then we ate cake and ice-cream.

I made this cake myself (don’t laugh) but I was proud of it.  I’ve never made a decorated cake before and now I’m in even more awe over people who have this talent.  I’m way too lazy to take my time on each bloop and blop around the edge.  And how do cake decorators get the frosting to be so smooth?  Tell me your secrets.

And while we’re sharing secrets…I didn’t stop this madness that happened before I ran and got my camera.

That tape was the biggest hit of all!

Of course – LOL

Max had a great time at his party and I hope he remembers it for years to come!  Happy Birthday, Detective Max and Friends.  You have officially passed the training!

As you can see from this picture, Max was pretty excited about the presents! 🙂

So was Mike.


11 thoughts on “Detective Max Returns

  1. How clever! And, now knowing him, I cannot imagine a better themed birthday party for that young man.

    “ExCUSE me, ma’am…did you just eat a piece of my evidence?!”


    As for the icing…one trick I have used is to “spritz” a little ice cold water on the cake after the icing is spread on and then use a wet long spatula to smooth over it. Works like a charm!

  2. That is super cute! I love a good theme and one that isn’t “character” related is fantastic!! You rock! I think kids have so much more fun with an activity rather than just going bonkers. It takes more time, but makes things so much easier in the grand scheme of things. All of our “holiday parties” at school are pretty much “holiday center” days now with activities planned and one very very simple snack. I realized if I didn’t say the word “party”, they were much calmer for me. We had fun, but not bonker kinda fun. Your birthday is super special and your idea is great. (And sorry I’m hijacking and rambling here)

    On another note… I need another picture of that photo wall in your kitchen. That’s cute. Are they all different frames? Looks like same size though? Looks cute, I’m fascinated by displays I need to check out and copy. I’m a photo addict and there’s never enough space to display them all!!

  3. OH, my! What a cute, cute party theme! I love the cake; you did a great job! (But did you know there is a huge piece missing right out of the middle? 😉

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