How to be a kid detectiveSolving a mystery over the school holidays is great fun. The whole idea of being a kid detective is exciting and filled with adventure.

So here are six top tips for becoming a kid detective.

1. Join forces

Sherlock and Holmes, Mystery Inc – having a partner in your sleuthing makes solving a mystery much more fun. So team up with some friends or a brother or sister and work together.

2. Give yourself a name

What will your bunch of sharp-eyed and quick witted sleuths be called? You need a great name before you can make your badges.

3. Have a badge

Create a badge to show you’re part of a mystery-solving team. Draw your design on to paper (not too big as it needs to fit on your badge) and then glue the paper on to some cardboard cut from a cereal packet or other cardboard box lying unwanted around the house. Check the recycling! Choose whether you want a badge that’s round, oval, square or perhaps a triangle, coloured or black and white and then make one for each of your team.

4. Solve your first mystery

This is much more fun if you can get a grown-up or older brother to lay a trail for you. Ask them to write an invisible message for you. The easiest way of doing this is to use white paper and a white crayon. Ask them to write a message on the white paper with the crayon and then get them to hide that message and the other messages you’re going to find. They will need to tell you roughly where the first message is hidden. The messages could say where the next messages or clues are that you have to find – one after the other. You can’t see the message when it’s written in white crayon on white paper so take it to a place where you can get some watered paints out and paint over the paper. The message will appear and now you can head off to find the next one. You can have messages hidden around the house, around the garden. And at the end of the trail! Well, perhaps they’d like to leave a little treat as a reward for being such great kid detectives.

5. Take your fingerprints

You need a piece of paper, a pencil and some clear tape like Sellotape. Rub the pencil onto the paper so there’s a patch covered with pencil big enough to rub your finger on. Rub your finger across it to pick up lots of the grey and then take a piece of tape and stick it on your finger. Remove the tape and stick it down on another piece of the paper. Don’t try to remove the tape but you should now be able to see your fingerprint clearly. Why not do this for every member of your team?

6. Create a code that only you can understand

Use symbols for the alphabet or perhaps swap letters around. Write down your code so you can’t forget it and then you can write messages for each other that only you can understand. Agree a place where you will leave these notes and see if someone in your team has left you a note.

And if your child wants more detective fun take a look at our Mini Mysteries and let them join forces with a mysterious penpal to solve our online mystery Village Whispers complete with suspect interviews.