(Age group : 8 years and older)
If you want to plan this theme, I would recommend you to first visit an escape room. They are open in many places in Delhi-NCR by the names of Escape Reality, Hidden Hour, Mystery Rooms etc. Once you get a feel of it, you might be able to execute your plan better.
It’s basically a locked room filled with puzzles, which you have to solve to escape from the room.
This year my son wanted to invite his friends to an escape room puzzle. As he is 9 years old, I thought why not. But then when I found out that one hour per person costs a thousand bucks, I calculated that it will be an expensive party for me. Even inviting 10 friends would be 10K INR and that’s excluding return gifts and food.
But I didn’t have the heart to say no. So, I did what every Indian mother would do. If a kid is sick and can’t eat out, you make burger and pasta at home. So, I planned the party at home. I will walk you through step by step about what I did.
Step 1: Target audience. In my case it was a bunch of tweens who wanted to solve a good mystery. Your room can be moulded to suit teenagers or adults even.
Step 2 : How long will the game last? Typically, it should be 45-60 min long. Small kids get bored in longer versions and if it is less than 30 min then, the puzzles should be a little on the easier side.
Step 3: Sketch a captivating story line. It is the foundation of your game. What puzzles you will add, your decor etc. So, please invest some time in this step. I wrote a story ‘Lost in Time’. You can read my entire story here. I even planned the birthday invite based on this story. Or you can find an entire bag of captivating story lines here.
You might like ‘mummies’ or ‘dinosaurs’ or ‘pirates and treasures’ or a good old ‘murder mystery’. Choose any theme which is not boring. But then if you are reading this, you are not a boring kind of person.
Kids enjoy ‘saving the world’ kind of themes. You can look at my ‘big bag of story lines’ for more ideas. Don’t forget to keep a goal and what catastrophe might occur if they fail. This will make their challenge more fun.
Step 4: Highlight the building blocks. Hang on. We are getting close to the puzzles. When you write your story, mark the building blocks in Bold. We will attach them to a real object and then convert to a puzzle . (Please see my escape room for more clarity on this.)
Step 5: Lets go plan the puzzles. Go through the challenges in your story and write the puzzle which might go naturally with it. For eg. to open a locked box, containing some top secret document, you would want a cipher puzzle or cryptex (can be made easily with a toilet paper roll). You might want to check pinterest for puzzle ideas or just click here for hordes of puzzle ideas.
Step 6: Make a shopping list and search for the physical things you might find at home to complete your puzzles.
Step 7: Show off your mad designing skills. Let’s make an escape room. Please click here to look at the escape room I built for my son.
DONE!! YOU CRUSHED IT!!!
PLAY YOUR GAME!!
Perks of designing an escape party-
Inexpensive. You can collect all the material at home itself, like I did. I just bought one to two items and the total cost was under Rs. 500.
Flexibility. Puzzles can be made harder or easier depending upon the age of the kids.
Plus, you can include as many kids as you want. Let them go in teams of 4 and set up the puzzles again for the next team. Even adults enjoy a good escape game.
For Birthday invites, Party food ideas and return gifts, please click here.
YOU DID IT ! You sly mastermind !!
Escape games encourage people to use their imagination, their critical and problem solving skills. Above all, it makes them put down their phones. Of course, all the credit goes to you.
If you did design a game, Please drop me a message to let me know how your kids enjoyed it.
GO GET THEM BUDDY!!