November 29, 2010

The CSI: Love Edition Date


Being a teacher definitely comes with perks! We may not get paid enough….but getting free things here and there helps to “soften” the financial blow. {WINK}  A few months ago, Nevada teachers were given the opportunity to go thru one session of The CSI Experience in downtown Las Vegas for free.  I have never really watched the show so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Holy hannah…it was a BLAST!!  THIS was the inspiration behind creating my OWN “CSI” adventure date so that my friends {…and all of YOU} could have the same experience without having to pay the big bucks!  :)

We were given the choice of three possible crime scenes to examine and solve.  We chose the most interesting one….a car that had driven through the living room of a house.

The driver was pronounced dead….but there were some fishy things about the crime scene, there were bloody handprints on the driver’s door, some bloody footprints, some blood on the couch, and a dent in the hood of the car…that could or could not have been made by a human body.  It definitely looked like the driver had gotten out of the car…yet he was still sitting in it!?!

After examining the crime scene, we were directed to mini-labs in which we would do “tests” which slowly got us closer and closer to solving the crime. We examined the footprints, questioned possible suspects, examined the DNA evidence, learned about “blood splatter”, and much more!

After the date, Jamie & I were amazed at how much fun we had!  I would never want to be a real detective – I don’t think I could handle all of the horrible things they have to see….but I sure enjoyed trying to piece together what events led up to the {pretend} crime as well as how and why things happened.  Jamie & I talked about how we could recreate this date for our friends….for FREE!  All we needed was a crime scene…..

OK, so I just have to say that I couldn’t have pulled this off without my SWEET husband!  He kept coming up with the best ideas!  At one point…while trying to figure out “whodunnit”…we had our cute puppy as the criminal….and we were going to leave evidence like half of a doggy treat at the crime scene. Haha!! We were cracking ourselves up trying to think of what the crime was and who did it. :)  Thanks to my husband’s inspirational ideas….I finally came up with a “fun” crime! :)

First, I created the invite, of course!  I always like a little suspense!  Even though my husband knew we were going to do a CSI date…I left this in his car the morning of…

You can download your free invite HERE.  I also created a “label” that said, “CONFIDENTIAL” in red…I placed a long envelope beneath it & held it up to the light so I could see the outline…and cut it out.  I then adhered that label to the front of the envelope (so it looked like it was printed on it).  I also put on some bright lipstick….and kissed the envelope a few times.  Jamie loved it.  :)

I sent the invite to a few of our friends….and we planned to have a homemade Cafe Rio night.  We tried the recipe that Lisa M. recommended in her Bear River Lodge date.  You can find that recipe here.  I assigned all of the girls something to bring.  Since this was the first time any of us had made this…we laughed when every girl showed up saying that she didn’t think her part turned out!  :)  It turned out tasting delicious anyway.

I tried to make this date as easy as possible….and used items we had around the house.  I already did the hard part and created the entire crime & all of the handouts. {WINK}  Here is a list of all of the things you will need to gather for your date:

*The FREE CSI Invite
*White balloons {1 per person}
*Pencils {1 per person}
*Clipboards – Optional {1 per person}
*The FREE CSI Downloads
*An old stuffed animal {the victim}
*Washable red paint
*White chalk
*Orange or Yellow crepe paper {or Police Line tape if you have any left over from Halloween}
*Four shoes that have very similar tread {I used tennis shoes}
*Nine Manila envelopes…depending on how many couples there are {or you can use regular white envelopes}
*Adhesive {I use scrapbooking tape because I don’t like how glue wrinkles up your paper!}
*”Sticky Fingers” Activity – Optional
*Stamp Pad

Prepping for this was pretty easy and quite fun!  :)

#1) First, gather all of your materials.

#2) Printed off the free download(s) above, cut everything apart, and adhere all of the labels to manila envelopes.

#3) Take the shoe that supposedly belongs to the criminal, paint the bottom with washable paint, and carefully “stamp” it on the Footprint Analysis paper. If you use washable paint…and you are quick…it will wash right off the bottom of the shoe.  {HINT: When you are finished washing the paint off…if you are anything like me…you will have gotten the shoe wet in the process.  If your date takes place shortly….then you won’t want a wet shoe for everyone to examine.  Just swap it out for the other half of the pair.}

#4) Place all of the suspect statements, the handwriting samples, the fingerprint analysis, and the “Whodunnit?” paper into their correct folders.

#5) Place the Crime Scene Evidence into it’s folder as well.

#6) Place the strips labeled “Owner of Shoe”  into four shoes….with the word “Owner” sticking out.  Make SURE that the strip that says, “Lois Price” on it is stuck into the shoe that stamped onto the Footprint Analysis paper.

#7) Cut apart the “Crack The Case” cards & place them in a jar along with pencils or pens.
#8) OPTIONAL: Download the “Sticky Fingers” Activity & place the Student Worksheet in the CSI Training Folders – 1 per person. I had couples share a folder.  Also place balloons in the folders.

{HINT: I would also use a stamp pad when doing your own fingerprints.  The “pencil trick” doesn’t work that great.  Just read the instructions on that paper and you will see what I am talking about.}

#7) Create your crime scene…..or in other words….place the victim & his injury {washable red paint} preferably where your guests & spouse will see it first.  :)

We have a great group of friends that are always game to go on our crazy group dates with us.  When they showed up, they were greeted by the actual crime scene!!  Everyone loved it…and it was the perfect way to kick off the evening.

Poor Jack Tupp had been killed!!

Great start to a fun date.  :)  After eating our yummy homemade Cafe Rio Pork Salad….we got down to biz-ness!

I handed out the CSI Training Envelopes – one per couple.  Inside was the “Sticky Fingers” activity and a “mini-crime” to solve.

{Include balloons & pencils}

This is an activity I found online for teachers to do with their students.  I found it SO fascinating….how different every fingerprint is….that I thought it would be neat for the couples to take their own prints to see what they look like.  You basically place your fingerprints on a balloon…using ink….and then blow it up to see an enlarged version of your prints!  THEN…each couple tries to solve a crime that happened at a local bakery…at which fingerprints were left behind.  It’s pretty interesting.  This part is totally optional!  You can do this to get everyone “warmed up” to solve the real crime…or skip right to the action!  :)

When your group is ready to start the actual solving of the crime…

Read aloud the “Crime Scene” & the bios of the Possible Suspects.  {This is on the first page of the download.}  Then – get the “Suspect Statement” envelope & hand out the statements to different people to read. The people in our group were HILARIOUS when reading those statements!  Cute Lynsie started it off with an funny accent that cracked us up…and then after that everyone changed their voice up in some way.  Anjuli was last…and I loved her expression when we told her that she had to do an accent as well.

I then pulled out the Crime Scene Evidence Envelope & everyone looked at that stuff.  {You will need those items for the rest of the investigation.} We continued on going through the different envelopes….checking out the evidence and talking about it each step of the way.  I would suggest doing it in this order:

#1 - Suspect Statements
#2 - Handwriting Analysis
#3 - Fingerprint Analysis
#4 - Footprint Analysis
{This should be the most obvious…so save it for last!}

Since you will know who did it as well as all the details….you can slightly “prod” everyone else and make sure they are on the right track…by asking questions, pointing out details they may have missed, suggesting they go back & look at certain things, etc.

After the LAST analysis is finished, hand out the “Crack the Case” slips, have everyone fill theirs out, and then read aloud the paper in the “Whodunnit?” envelope.

NOW…this can be a group date OR a date with just you and your spouse.  Whatever floats your boat!  :)  You could then end the night by watching the classic movie….CLUE!!  :)

I found a few other websites that had CSI related things on them….some were even interactive Murder Mysteries. They looked interesting…but I didn’t play any of them so if they don’t “pan out”….lemme just say they aren’t officially “Tara-Approved”!

CSI Odds & Ends

**”On The Run“  – Interactive Crime Case
**Choose a Crime – {There are five.}
**I found an extremely creative KID’S murder mystery party HERE!
**A bunch of educational & fun CSI activities HERE.
**SUPER creative party supplies if you want to go ALL out on this date…HERE!
**Another crime you can download & solve….about a morgage company & shredded documents….click HERE!
**A virtual crime you can solve…I am not sure if the entire thing is free…or just the first “session”. Go HERE!
**BBC Radio Murder Mysteries (You download the clues/papers that go with it and listen to the play…and then figure out who the killer was.)

That should give you enough ideas/references to put together a FUN and memorable CSI night with your sweetheart! :)

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Recent Comments

36 Responses to “The CSI: Love Edition Date”

  1. Mitchell Family says:

    such a cool date! We did a murder mystery date a couple months back and this would be fun spin off! I am so going to us this after the crazy holidays! We are also going to be in vegas for my baby brother's graduation this year. So we are going to us grandma the free babysitter and go to the CSI adventure!

  2. One Happy Family says:

    You are AWESOME!! Thanks for doing all of the hard work!!!! :)

  3. Victoria says:

    Your blog is inspiring! What a fun idea!!

  4. Char says:

    Tara! You are amazing! What a great idea, and thank you for making this something everyone can do at home! Looks like so much fun!

  5. Kari says:

    Tara, oh my gosh! This looks like a kick in the pants to do! Looks like you ALL had a blast! Can't wait to try it out!

  6. Melissa says:

    I love this idea!!! I just discovered this website and I LOVE it! I was trying to download the files for the crime and the handouts and I couldn’t download it. An error came up that said “The file link you requested is not valid.” Am I doing something wrong? Or is there a problem with the link? Thanks!

  7. Lyndsey says:

    Hi Tara,

    Thanks for taking the time to get the printables online for us! For some reason I still can’t download it. Maybe it’s too big to upload/download. I’m still hoping we can get it to work, but understand if it wont’t.

    Thanks again!

  8. Julie says:

    I would love the handouts as Monthly Date nights are going to be our christmas gifts to each other and this is great. Please try to upload them again or feel free to email me.

  9. Andrea says:

    Hi! This looks like an awesome couples night! Unfortunately, the only file I can get to open is the invitation (which looks AMAZING). The handouts link comes back with this error “The file link that you requested is not valid.” I would love to have them if you find time to fix the link :)

  10. Tarah Johnson says:

    Hey, this looks like a lot of fun! We just moved and I thought this might be a good way to get to know some people. Could you email me the file? Thanks!

  11. Mindy says:

    Hi Tara, this is such a great idea and I love it! Thank you for putting all of this together, as I’m sure it took quite a while! I was thinking about doing this with a group of couples soon:) I’m also having trouble with downloading the file. Do you think you could do me a HUGE favor and send me a copy of this? I would really appreciat it:) Thanks!!!

  12. Trevor says:

    Hi Tara. My wife is excited about hosting a party like this, but like all the others we are having trouble downloading it. Would you please send me a copy of it? Thanks.

  13. Hanna says:

    Hi! This looks like a lot of fun and you did an amazing job with it all. Could you send me the file as well? I’d love to throw a little CSI party for my friends :)

  14. Jessica says:

    Would love a copy of the file if you would be so kind as to send it to me. Actually going to do this as a family game/date night with the whole brood. Looks like so much fun!

  15. Stephanie says:

    Hi there! I too am unable to download the files. Would you please email a copy of them to me as well? Thanks!

  16. Nathalie says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS IDEA! Thank you so much IO am excited to start planning our group date night. Can you email me the CSI Downloads? I am unable to download those files. THANK YOU AGAIN! Can’t wait for your next couples night posting :)

  17. JoAnne Glenn says:

    Hi, Tara,

    I’d love to get the downloads, too. Thanks for a great idea!


  18. Kelli says:

    Hey Tara! I want to do this game on Saturday! Looks like a blast could you send me the downloads too? That would be amazing if you could! Love the blog, thanks for all the fun ideas!

  19. Sam says:

    HI! I was wondering if you could send me the printables too. (: Thanks a lot!

  20. angela says:

    Hi there, I am new to your site and been browsing. I’d love to see the downloads.I been trying everything to download them but it doesn’t seem to be working still. Thanks so much. Angela

  21. Erin says:

    Hi Tara,
    Like you, I am a teacher, and I was thinking about doing something like this in my classroom. I love the idea and I can think of MANY reading strategies that it would fit! Would you mind if I downloaded and modified your materials to work for 7th graders? I am having trouble getting the materials because the page that the download link sends me to seems to want me to sign up for an account, so if you don’t mind my using them in my classroom, could you also email them to me? Thanks. :-)

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