Thursday, September 5, 2013

Clue Game Birthday Party

My son, Matthew, rediscovered, and fell in love with, the game of Clue about a few months ago.  And since we didn't have the classic version he made his own twist when he had friends over. Life-sized Clue!

He would make is own lists of suspects, weapons, and rooms in our home and then give them to me to cross off items from both his and his friend's list confidentially so they could both solve the crime.  Then they would spend the next 30 minutes running around the house sleuthing to their hearts' content.  That's how it started.

He turned ten last month and we decided we could make his game even bigger and better for an unforgettable birthday party!

[caption id="attachment_1409" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Enjoying their 'dinner party' prior to the magic show. Enjoying their 'dinner party' prior to the magic show.[/caption]

THE PLAYERS: He couldn't quite narrow down his guests list to match up with the Clue characters, number-wise, so he created new ones based on his friends' personalities and assigned them each a color.

We didn't have time to make an official paper invite, but Jen over at Rook No.17 has some great customize-able invites you can make for a Clue party.  In fact, many of our ideas for our party version of the game were inspired by her post, but modified to accommodate a large number of very loud excited boys!

Our invite ended up being an Event post through Facebook.  Hey, don't judge - that's what happens when your kid has a birthday RIGHT before the first day of school!
"Matthew the MARVELous invites you to his home to see the unveiling of his latest {and dare we say, GREATEST?!} trick yet!

Mystery dinner style. Have your son(s) try to dress to match their profile.

Guests are:
Kaden M. -  soccer player (light blue)
Henry M. - mustachioed butcher (white)
Jack B. - police officer (dark blue)
Nolan F. - movie star (red)
Israel P. - archaeologist (brown)
Ian P. - basketball player (purple)
Coby S. - millionaire (green)
Cal H. - comedian (yellow)
Chance S. - robot inventor/scientist (black)
Colin A. - professor (orange)
Matthew {birthday boy} - magician (tie dye)"

[caption id="attachment_1410" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Who doesn't like life-sized board games? Who doesn't like life-sized board games?[/caption]

GAME SET UP:  We used the entire first floor of our home as our game board.  Most of our lower level is covered with 18" tile.  For the few areas where our rooms were not connected by tile we used masking tape to create spaces and 'walls'.

We made player pieces by cutting squares out of construction paper that matched their assigned colors.  Their names were written on them and they were laminated with contact paper.  You can see one in the 'LIVING ROOM' and one on the table in the 'DINING ROOM' in the picture above.  We made the pieces so the boys could use them to mark their spot and still walk around when it wasn't their turn and be involved with what was going on in the game.

We did the same thing to create the suspect, weapon, and room cards but in a smaller version and backed with black paper.  After Matthew left for school that morning I had his older brother randomly choose the cards that would be the 'answers' so I could prepare the special reveal for them.  Instead of giving the remaining cards out to each of the players that night we placed them throughout the designated rooms, hidden in old books.

GAME PLAY:  After dinner Matthew did his magic show as pretense for our mystery.  His little sister was his lovely assistant.  His first trick was to hypnotize her and make her do the one trick she knew.  Sneaky way to not learn a magic trick, no?  Second, he did an impressive card trick.  Lastly, he made her disappear!

What's all that have to do with the game?  This is where the game really began.  Matthew had made her disappear, but he couldn't make her reappear!  Apparently when he had hypnotized her he had inadvertently also hypnotized an audience member to be magical.  The magic was so powerful that the unknown magician had made her REALLY disappear without even knowing they had done it!  Now we had a 'crime' and needed to narrow down our lists of suspects.

The boys received little flip notebooks with all the names of the suspects, rooms, and possible tools (ie. weapons in the original game) already listed.  They were divided into three teams.  Each member of each team was able to roll the dice and move their individual marker once per team turn.  Once they made their way into a room they were allowed to go to the book with the clues and notate whatever they found.  While they weren't moving (or rather, when the other teams were rolling and moving) the team convened to compare notes and clues they found.

WINNING THE GAME:  Each team wrote down their accusation on a separate piece of paper.  Surprisingly each one was different!

Time for cake to see who was right!  I made a reveal cake and had placed both candy and the answer cards inside the cake.

CLUE Cake - kristalcoles.comThe candy didn't really pour out like I had wanted but the gaggle of 10 year old boys were thrilled nonetheless.  Next time I make this cake I think I'll forego frosting the center of the bottom layer, leaving it dry so the candy won't stick and smoosh.

CLUE Reveal Cake - kristalcoles.comWhile the boys were distracted by the cake Elizabeth 'magically' reappeared and the game was over.  The game and party were a hit!  Actually, maybe too much so.  My sweet Matthew had a pretty hard time coming to terms with being back to normal life once everyone left.  It was so fun, though, to see him really shine with his friends!

[caption id="attachment_1416" align="aligncenter" width="184"]What an excited goofball! What an excited goofball![/caption]

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