This post is sponsored by Mail Order Mystery.com. All opinions are my own.
If your kid is into solving mysteries, here’s something you’ll want to check out. It’s called “Mail Order Mystery, extraordinary stories for extraordinary kids.” You enroll your kid in it (or gift it), and then they receive a series of well-crafted “curious letters, parcels and objects” that are sent from various places, and the interactive clues in the mail help them solve a mystery. They actually become a part of the story. It sounded so fun that I wanted to do it myself!
We got the first one in the, “Spies, Lies and Serious Bad Guys,” and sadly, the Cupcake was a little “meh” about it. I was like, with a name like that, HOW could you be meh? Well, initially, she was concerned about whether the secret agent was ACTUALLY real, and that their peril was really up to her. Once she was affirmed (she knew, but a part of her still needed that validation), the urgency of the Spy Academy clues was lost on her. It felt too much like the Destination Imagination challenge we had just put to bed. Honestly, I think she was ciphered out.
My enthusiasm was strong and I was totally into the code book that came in the second or third mailing but she still just wasn’t, and I wasn’t about to give up. I had a hunch that maybe conceptually, it was better suited to an older child (she was almost 9 at the time). I waited for the collection of packages and letters to arrive and then passed all the mailings along to a friend who has a daughter age 11. She read the first letter or two and was interested, but again, curiously enough, not hugely passionate about it, which I STILL found to be bizarre, because I wanted to solve it myself! Again, the series was shelved for a bit while she read, “The Unbreakable Code” by Jennifer Chambliss Bergman. (Click image for information about the book – affiliate link.)
And that, my friends, was the game changer. That book renewed her interest in this mystery by mail, and she suddenly became totally into it and set to solve the mystery straight away.
When she finished and revealed the very last clue, she sent me a private message on Instagram with a photo revealing the final prize (no, not going to spoil it for you), she said, “IT WAS AWESOME.” I also talked with her later, and she genuinely enjoyed the journey.
So yep, I’m being honest that this was a little of a stutter start for my crew, but in the end it was a huge winner. I would recommend this particular series (The Spies, Lies and Serious Bad Guys) for ages 10- 11+ – especially if they have an interest in solving mysteries and secret codes. If they liked the book, “The Unbreakable Code,” then I think you probably have no choice but to do this because the kids will really eat it up.
There are two other series available which are geared for younger kids (ages 6 and 7 with parent help or 8 and up otherwise) that my girl may have connected with, Treasure Hunt and The Enchanted Slumber. They both sound really fab! You can read about them here.
All of the mysteries prices vary from $79 – $87.
For more information, visit: mailordermystery.com.
We received the Spies, Lies and Serious Bad Guys complimentary for this review. All opinions are my own.