Is this a play that the kids perform?
No. Think of the mystery as part dramatic play, part puzzle-solving, as kids act out scenes in order to solve a crime.
Is this like a scavenger hunt where they find clues around the house?
Our Whodunits are not designed to run like a scavenger hunt. Most of the clues are revealed through their scripted scenes. However, you may certainly add your own hidden clues to embellish the mystery.
How does a Dramatic Fanatic mystery party work?
Here’s an overview of how the party works. For an extended overview with sample images, click here.
1) Before the party your child will cast the roles and send guests their Character Card along with their invitation (you can use your own invitation or purchase our themed invites).
2) At the party, players introduce themselves through an Opening Speech.
3) Once the crime is announced, players become either Suspects or Detectives and act out dramatic scenes loaded with clues, evidence, and details about “whodunit.” After each round of questioning, kids piece together the information and discuss their theories.
5) After hearing all of the clues and receiving additional evidence, kids fill out Crime Reports where they officially decide who they think did it and why.
6) The Host announces who did it and the criminal confesses!
Most kits also give the chance to be extra creative by making up commercials, songs, or skits.
What if I don’t want a murder mystery?
Some customers prefer not to have a murder mystery, while others specifically do. We have both – just click on the mystery you’d like and it will tell you whether it’s a murder mystery or not.
Which mysteries are good for boys? Girls? Mixed groups?
We offer Whodunits for boys, girls, and mixed groups. Please visit each kit page to find information about which kit is best for your group.
How long does the party last?
The Whodunits usually last a little over one hour, depending on the number of players. It is designed to run straight through, though you are free to divide up the action as you wish.
Do some kids have bigger parts? I don’t want anyone to feel left out.
The Whodunits are designed so that ALL kids are completely involved from beginning to end. Throughout the mystery, some players become Suspects and others become Detectives, but all are involved the entire time.
Does the criminal know who he or she is?
No. We believe that kids don’t need to hold onto the secret of knowing they’re “it.” Instead, all kids participate equally in figuring out whodunit – until the culprit is revealed
What if someone can’t come?
On your Cast List, you will find instructions that explain how to easily re-cast or delete characters.
What is the minimum number of players I need?
Each mystery has a minimum of eight characters and all of these characters must be represented at the party. If you have fewer than eight players, mom, dad or an older sibling can play the remaining roles, which usually adds an extra layer of silliness and fun. The other option is for some players to play more than one role.
Is the party hard to run? I’m not an actor!
No! The party is very easy to run! The directions in your Host Cards are scripted, so they tell you exactly what to say and when to say it. If you read through the kit and prepare beforehand, you’ll be fine
What age is appropriate?
Kids should be able to comfortably read aloud in front of a group. We have found kits work best for ages 8-13, though some kits are geared toward older or younger kids within this age range. Look on each individual kit page for specific age recommendations.
Who should be the Host?
An adult or older teen should be the Host. The Host guides the action of the party by reading from his or her scripted Host Cards. In addition to following the instructions on each card, the Host should ideally be able to set the tone by adding some “drama” and excitement to the party. Pick your most extraverted family member!
What about costumes and props?
Costumes and props are by no means necessary, but naturally they will add a fun element to the party. Here are a few popular suggestions:
- Ask each guest to come dressed up as his or her character
- Gather a pile of old clothes, dresses, hats, etc. and have a costume “grab bag” at the party
- Buy an assortment of boas, costume jewelry, bright tights, makeup and hair ornaments.
Are you coming out with more kits?
Yes! We are always developing new kits and love getting ideas from customers as well. Please feel free to suggest mystery themes or other dramatic activities your kids might enjoy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I order a kit?
We provide safe, secure online ordering through PayPal. Click on the “Add to Cart” tab on the kit page of your choice to begin. At this time we do not have ordering by phone or mail.
How do I get my kit? And how fast does it arrive?
At the completion of your order, a receipt will be emailed to you with a download link. If you do NOT receive this email receipt, check that it didn’t accidentally go into your Junk Mail.
Can you mail me my kit?
We apologize but we are only an online company at this time and cannot mail kits.
How many pages will I be printing?
Most kits average about 30 pages.
Why can’t I open my kit?
Please be sure:
- You have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you need to download or upgrade, you can do so for free here
- You have saved the file to your computer. Using the Right-side button on your mouse, click the link. Next, select the “Save Target As…” or “Save As…” menu item and save the file to your desktop. Open and print.