Create Detective Missions For Endless Fun In Your Dayhome


In this blog post we’ll be talking all about DIY scavenger hunt and escape room type detective missions that you can organize and execute with your dayhome kids. 

Our kids love a good detective mission and we have a ton of fun setting them up for them to enjoy – but MAN is it a lot of work! We’ve saved you some time with this helpful blog post all about executing an engaging mission complete with puzzles and clues.

Create Detective Missions For Endless Fun In Your Dayhome

When the older kids have a school break and spend a couple full days at dayhome it can really throw off the rhythm of your day. Organizing a detective mission is a great way to get the kids excited and engaged as they work together to solve the clues and riddles.

My version of doing the popular escape rooms was to create detective missions based around a story line for the children to solve. While the kids love these missions and have a lot of fun doing them – boy are they also a lot of work to put together. That’s why this weeks blog post is dedicated to breaking down the steps and pieces of a well planned detective mission so that you can put one together quickly and easily for hours of fun.

Why they are awesome!

  • Have the children dress up! As detectives or maybe they need to wear disguises and be undercover.

Escape room/detective mission challenges are a great way to get your dayhome kids brains engaged while on extended school breaks. Not only are they practicing their problem solving skills but they are also flexing those cooperation muscles and learning to work together as a team to solve a common goal. You’ll see your older kids helping the younger kids and the younger kids watching intently as the older ones handle some of the trickier aspects of the mission. 

Missions and challenges allow for a diverse age range to work together – depending on how you organize them. Older kids can read and do the math related puzzles while younger kids can help search for clues. This lets all of the kids be involved and use teamwork to solve the mission.

How to do one

Put together a sequence of events that will allow the kids to solve the mission. These can be tasks to complete like popping balloons to find clues inside, finding a key that unlocks a lock or a set of numbers that opens a combination lock, maybe it’s decoding a message for the next clue. It’s fun if you are able to create a story line to go with it.

Some supplies to gather


  • Add a time limit. Maybe the mission has to be solved by 3p or they only have 2 hours and the clock is now counting down.
  • Add in some obstacles to work through like a hallway of lasers (red yarn) that you need to pass through without touching. Or put up a sign that the floor is lava and that they must move around the room stepping on the pillows and such that are on the ground.

Ways to extend the play

  • A great way to extend this into a two day theme is to have day 1 as a training day. Or detective academy. Learn to be a detective by using a magnifying glass, dusting for fingerprints, solving riddles, completing a practice scavenger hunt, decoding a message, etc. Then day 2 will be the real mission.
  • Set up a detective’s office or spy headquarters for the children to put together their own missions or cases to solve. etc. Then day 2 will be the real mission.
  • Set up a detective’s office or spy headquarters for the children to put together their own missions or cases to solve.

Ready Made Mission


Feeling like this would be a lot of fun for your dayhome kiddos but dreading all the work involved to make it happen? Check out our already done for you Detective Mission Printable. We’ve done all the leg work that is required to execute an epic detective mission that your kiddos will love. This tried and loved mission is full of puzzles, riddles, and clues for all ages. Inside you’ll find: 

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