If you are looking for a great youth/family activity, have I got an idea for you!! (It's not totally my idea as I got it off the internet somewhere, but I did tweak it to fit our youth group.) I called it "Someone Broke the 6th Commandment." (Now, I must stop and give a disclaimer here, as I was using the internet to verify my commandment numbers, I discovered that some faiths divide them a little differently. Where as we Baptists have the 6th commandment as "Thou Shalt Not Kill", some have it as "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery". You should really want to be careful with that one. Can you imagine the gossip at church if I'd gotten that one wrong! ) We had 13 youth playing and it took about 1/2 hour each time. The youth played twice, then they sat in the rooms and let the adults play. Then, some of the adults and some of the youth wanted to play a fourth round so those of us not playing sat in the rooms. It was so much fun, and turned out to be a great family activity.
Here's how to play:
- Choose seven rooms in your church facility (or wherever you’ll be playing). I chose: Nursery, Youth Room, Library, Church Office, Sanctuary, Children’s Church Room, and Ladies’ Sunday School Room. Create signs to clearly mark each room.
- Choose seven weapons. I chose: Brick, knife, Hymnal, poisoned chocolate, guitar strings, mike stand, and garbage bag.
- Write each room name and each weapon on separate index cards.
- Write each room name on seven separate envelopes.
- Write “solution” on another envelope.
- Create Sleuth’s pad with each item listed and plenty of room to add “suspects”.
- Choose seven non-playing people to sit, one in each room, as witnesses. Make sure they know the rules and what is expected before hand.
Day of the Event:
- When the entire group arrives add each person’s name to the Sleuth’s pad then make copies. Write each person’s name on individual index cards.
- Create three stacks of index cards: One stack with names, one stack with weapons, and one stack with rooms. (Make sure each stack is well shuffled) Take one from each stack and place in “Solution” envelope. Make sure only one person (who is not playing) knows what is in the solution envelope. Divide the rest of the index cards among the seven “room” envelopes making sure the remaining room cards go in the matching envelope (the library card goes in the library envelope, the youth room card goes in the youth room envelope). Don’t seal. Give the envelopes to the appropriate witness. (The “Sanctuary” envelope to the witness sitting in the sanctuary, the “Nursery” envelope to the witness in the nursery, etc.)
- Divide the group into teams. I think no more than three to a team works best, but feel free to try it any way you like.
Directions to Witnesses:
As detectives enter your room they will accuse one of the suspects of committing the crime with one of the weapons in the room you are in. Check your envelope. Do you have any of those cards? (You should have the room card unless the murder happened in your room.) Show any cards which contain any part of the accusation. You can show up to two cards to the detectives, but not all three even if you have them. Continue doing this until someone wins the game. (For example: The team may say, “I think Cassie did it here in the library with the hymnal.” If you have Cassie, the library, or the hymnal show that card to the team. If you have two of those, show both cards to the team. If you have all three show only two to the team.)
Directions to Detectives:
Someone broke the 6th Commandment. Who, with what, and where are in this “Solutions envelope”. Only I know the answer. You’ve each been given a Sleuth’s pad with all the possible rooms, possible weapons, and suspects on them. You will go from room to room making accusations as to who, with what, and where, and will mark off any of the items shown to you by the witnesses in each room. If the witness has the card in his or her envelope, then the card is not in the solutions envelope. You may enter the rooms as often as you need to, but not immediately. You must enter another room and make an accusation before re-entering. Your entire team must be in the room before making accusations. When you think you’ve solved the murder, find me and make a formal accusation. If you are correct, the game is over. If you are not correct you must sit the game out until someone else has solved it.
I hope that's clearer than mud. LOL! Have fun!