Do you like the idea of creating a birthday party escape room at home, but not sure where to start? Escape rooms are actually pretty easy to make yourself, especially if you have some ideas and puzzles to start with. I have created several escape rooms for my kids at home, as well as in my classroom at school. They are always a favourite with kids!
As a parent, I love finding inexpensive, fun things to do with my kids at home. I also enjoy watching my kids get excited about solving an escape room, and watching them work their way through it.
As a teacher, escape rooms are a creative way to make learning fun. They can be used for any subject in any grade. They promote team building and problem solving.
Birthday Party Escape Room
My daughter recently celebrated her birthday. One thing she asked for was a birthday escape room. So I started creating!
I wanted to make the clues to the escape room focus around celebration. Although my kids completed the room independently, you could easily use the escape room as a highlight of a birthday party at your home. All party guests can work together to solve the clues.
I have also done escape rooms in my classroom at school. It is a great way to review, or teach material in an exciting way. Ideas from this escape room could also be used in a classroom as a whole class birthday party to celebrate all birthdays with one party. Who doesn’t love a party? It also encourages the whole class to work together for a common goal.
Below are the clues and steps that I used to create a birthday party escape room. I always use materials that I have on hand. So if there is a puzzle, or two that do not work for you, you can always switch out the clue for one that does works. (A link to a list of 40 escape room clues can be found at the bottom of the page if you are looking for extra ideas.)
Here is everything you need to set up a birthday party escape room in your home! The puzzles and supplies are simple and inexpensive, but give your birthday child and guests a memorable experience. This room can be done by one child, or you can have a whole group working together. (All of the paper clues/printables shown in this escape room are available through Teachers Pay Teachers. Link at bottom.)
Upon entering the room you will find a locked box on the table, a few other items that are not usually there and a variety of balloons. At first the balloons simply look like decorations, but there is more to them. On each balloon there is a letter.
Kids may not automatically check the balloons or know that this is the first clue, however, that’s part of the fun. They need to search and explore the room.
After finding the letters on the balloons, you need to unscramble them to create a word.
My children ended up wanting a pad of paper to figure out what words they could come up with. Next time, I would make sure to have paper and a pen available in the room.
The letters are S L I M E. Once you unscramble them, then you know to start searching for slime somewhere in the room.
Keep in mind that all of the clues can be changed based on what you have available to you. If you don’t have slime then your letter on the balloon can spell out something else.
The slime was tucked away in a container under the couch. After squishing through it, you discover a piece of paper sealed inside a plastic bag.
The paper contains a clue of 3 pictures and a rhyme. At first there doesn’t seem to be any reason or connection between the pictures, so you keep searching the room.
After searching around more, you discover a page to help crack the code. It was hidden under a couch cushion! After reading it and trying to find the solution, you match the pictures from the slime clue to a number. You’re off to your next clue!
You look around for something that needs a 3 digit number to solve. On a desk is a clear container. Inside, you can see a sheet of paper in that is locked up and sealed with a bike lock. You use your 3 digit number from the last clue and… success! It opens!
Upon opening the container, you read the sheet of paper inside. At first glace it doesn’t seem to be much of a clue. It is another rhyme. Knowing that there must be something important about the page, you look closer for clues. On the back there are a few images, but nothing clear. You check the rhyme again and notice the word “fold” is in bold font.
To solve the folding puzzle, you need to play around with the page a bit. The pictures on the back are four separate images, but they appear to be a scrambled image. Using the “FOLD” clue, you fold in each corner to create a cupcake. Once all pieces are folded your cupcake will become clear.
Now you are searching for some cupcakes or something similar. Tucked away in the room, you see a bunch of cupcakes!
Initially as you search around the cupcakes for your next clue, you find that the cupcakes are simply cupcakes; however, upon closer inspection, you notice that on the bottom of one of the wrappers, there is a clue that says “popcorn”.
The cupcakes are a fun way to keep with the birthday party escape room theme. They are also fun to be able to enjoy after children have solved the escape room.
For me, popcorn was an easy clue because it is one of my daughter’s favourite foods that she wanted for her birthday. However, the great thing about escape rooms is that you can change out any of the clues for another clue that is either easier for you or fits your birthday party escape room better.
You have to search the popcorn a little bit to find your next clue. Hidden in the popcorn is a note that says “DOGS”. (Be careful that no children eat the popcorn as they are solving the room, no only to avoid accidentally finding the clue, but also to avoid choking/eating the paper.)
After finding the “DOGS” clue you look around. You don’t see any pictures of dogs or any stuffed animals, all you see are your family pets. However, you realize that your pet dogs have been in the room with you the whole time – as they usually are! You run and check your dog and BINGO – they are wearing a key! It must be the key to the locked box that you noticed when you first entered the room!
This is my favourite clue! My daughter loves our pet dogs so I really wanted to incorporate them into her birthday party escape room. Our dogs, typically stay with us in whatever room we are in so it wasn’t an issue keeping them with us as she completed the room. They also didn’t stand out as a clue because she was used to having them around. I simply attached a key to their collar and they happily sat and watched – until their part in the room came up.
If you don’t have a family pet to involve, you can simply use a picture, or words, of another item in the room, such as a stuffed animal or another favourite item, like a video game console.
Finally you have the key! You run to the locked box and open the lock on top! You open the box to reveal your surprise treasure! Congratulations, you have completed your birthday party escape room!
The Final Treasure
Parents/teachers you have lots of options for what you put in the box! If you use the room as a birthday party escape room at home, you can easily put a special birthday gift inside the final box as a surprise present.
Another option at home, if you use the birthday party escape room with a group of children to work on as a team to solve, is to fill the box with all of the goodie bags you would otherwise have passed out at the end of the party.
For teachers using the birthday party escape room within the classroom, I have filled the final box with a small treat for all of my students, or I have also used it as a way to surprise students with a special movie party or extra gym period that they have earned.
It is a fun way to celebrate birthdays and in my experience children are simply excited to work and solve an escape room so I don’t worry too much about what to use for the final prize.
The final detail that I like to use for escape rooms are certificates for the children participating and completing the room. It is a fun way to conclude the experience and kids love showing their parents and telling them about what they did.
All printables used in this birthday party escape room are available for parents and teachers through Teachers Pay Teachers. Easily create this escape room in your home or classroom. Click link/image below.
Tips and Tricks
The age of the children completing the room will make a difference in how long it will take them. For older children, (around 10+) they may be able to complete the room in 10-15 minutes. My own children have become very fast at completing our rooms because they know what to look for and have completed many escape rooms, but if you have a group who have never done an escape room before it will likely take them longer to solve.
My youngest child, who is 7, took roughly 20-30 minutes to complete the room, but she has completed many rooms that follow a similar structure as this birthday party escape room before.
If you have a group of children working together, either as an activity in a classroom or a group of friends at a birthday party, they will likely be able to escape faster than an individual working alone. If using the birthday party escape room with a group, I suggest encouraging them to work together and solve the clues one at a time together.
Finally, have fun with the room! Use materials that you have on hand. I rarely spend more than a few dollars to create a room. The clues do not have to be exactly the same as the ones I used. Have fun creating and your kids will have fun completing it!
For Older Kids
To Make the Birthday Party Escape Room More Challenging
One simple thing that you can do to make the room more challenging is to make the clues more difficult. For example, the popcorn clue where you find the word “dogs” you could have each of the letters D O G S hidden within the popcorn. Having to unscramble the clue after figuring out where to look for the clue adds an extra challenge to the room.
Another feature that you can add to a room are “red herrings” or simply items with the sole purpose to direct players away from the actual clues. I included the set of dice in this birthday party escape room, but they were not a clue and did not actually play any part in having to solve the escape room, other than a distraction.
One of the easiest ways to make the room more challenging is to simply add more clues. I have complied a list of 40 more escape room clues that are simple and can easily be added to the birthday party escape room.