Friday, July 2, 2010

How To Be a Detective

The Encyclopedia Brown boy detective series by Donald J. Sobol captured my imagination as a girl and in second grade I opened my own detective agency. When my oldest discovered the books, I was beyond thrilled to enter the dining room one day and see a sign reading:

Baburin Detective Agency
No Case too Small
25 cents + expenses

To celebrate Max's eighth birthday we knew a detective kit was in order. Unimpressed by pre-made kits, I had an absolute ball putting this one together. Almost everything was on hand or came from the local dollar store, including the utility bag which I found in the gardening section. Contents include:
Notepads for writing down clues.
Plastic baggies, tweezers, cotton swabs and tiny plastic bottles for sample collection.
Magnifying glass.
Tape Measure.
Fingerprint Kit (vial filled with talcum powder, vial filled with cocoa powder, soft brush, clear tape)
Inkpad and index cards for taking fingerprints.
Pens & pencils.
ID card holder.

How to be a Detective by Mick Loftus (used book store find).

The business cards were the only splurge. You can get free cards from Vista Print but this background in the Premium section was so much fun.

Max has already added handcuffs and a flashlight to his kit and I'm having fun playing Sally Kimball, Encyclopedia's friend and girl detective!


Laura Lou said...

This is just beautiful! I love it when a kindred book sparks an imagination! So sweet.


My own son turns ten on Tuesday. (((so bittersweet))) So, how do I build a mountain bike from items found at the dollar store? I gotta know!

Laura Lou said...


What's missing between the < > is this: "Is that okay to say about an 8yo boy's birthday present??!! Shhhhh. Don't tell him!" :)

Enjoy your boy!!

Phyllis said...

That would make a wonderful birthday party idea as well. I can see the invitations including the card and a mystery for the guests to solve with the master detective (the birthday child). Super!

Richele said...

Laura, these birthdays are bittersweet! Oh, bikes magically appear around here - do they have a fairy Grandmother?

Phyllis, what a great idea! I may have to develop a real mystery for the boys and their friends before the summer is through...though I asked Max to solve the mystery of clean bedroom this morning.

juliecache said...

You are a rock star mom, so sensitive to your children. the business cards are genius. I may have to use that idea for my youngest.
thought i'd say also that my husband loved the Three Investigators books, and our kids have been able to read them as well -- same thrill you got.

Renelle said...

If we lived close I would have hired maxim to investigate the case of our missing chicken (which I later found in a toy oven on our verandah!) Awesome idea what fun. I'm now thinking of ways to incorporate this idea into homeschool or just a weekend splurge. Well done

Erin Neiner said...

R: LOVE every bit of this! And please tell Det. Maxim that I have a running mental list of lost items around here. I will definitely be contacting him for work-for-hire in these parts! :)

M: happy birthday! I love to watch your creativity explode with each idea and creation. You are a sweet boy gifted with so many wonderful imaginations. Thank you for being a dear friend to my boys.
Love you, Mrs. Erin.

Jeanne said...

Oh my goodness, goodness me!! I loved Encyclopaedia Brown too as a kid. I just loved it when I worked out the clues and solved the mystery. Jemimah has a couple of his books too, but she has not caught the detective bug like you have, Master Max.

A parcel for a certain 8 year old is coming soon. Sorry for the tardiness.

Your friend, Jeanne

Amy said...

This is such a great idea. My son loves those books. He loves all mysteries.

Kelli said...

Hope Max has made great discoveries!! Happy Birthday!

Renelle said...

Just dropped by to tell you there's a pressie for you at Dove's Rest. Hope you are all well (just so you know, I don't expect people to pick them up because it's ummmm welll.....a bit of a pain eeeekkkk I said it, but it's for you anyway!!)Blessings Renelle

Chef Penny said...

What a great idea! You are a rock star mom! I wanna be like you when I grow up! lol I bet that is the best present that Max ever got.

Fyi, bikes and video games appear via the Fairy Grandmother here too! lol

Heather said...

I too enjoyed Encyclopedia Brown as kid and have been stock-piling titles I didn't have whenever I find them used. My son just turned seven but it won't be long before he can enjoy them too!
I really love the idea of the kit you put together. Projects like that bring the best out of our foggy momma brains. Okay, maybe it's just MY foggy momma brain. :)
Thanks for posting this!