My kids eyes light up when mail arrives addressed to them. So they were thrilled when ‘top secret’ mail began arriving week after week filled with maps, letters, codes to crack and cool clues from curious characters like pirates and long-lost relatives.
The adventure is called Mail Order Mystery, the ultimate gift of experience created by Toronto mom Suzanne Matczuk. A writer and mom of two boys aged 10 and almost 13, she set out to create an engaging immersive experience for kids that would trump screens.
The outcome: a suite of personalized ‘games’ that arrive in your mailbox over a series of weeks. The mysteries are aimed at kids 8-and-up but the level of difficulty varies. While some older kids could easily go at it alone, these puzzles are a perfect gift for school-aged siblings or friends and an awesome activity for the whole family.
We tried out Treasure Hunt! and my six-year-old was hooked immediately. He really got sucked in and gasped at the weathered map wide-eyed that someone had gotten it wet. The story also had both me and dad in TOw gathered around the kitchen table tackling the weekly instalments of puzzles and clues.
Kids in T.O. followers know that we love a great gift of experience and there is a lot of feel-good here knowing the new ‘toy’ is encouraging your kid to read, work as a team and be patient as they experience the joy of receiving good ‘ol snail mail.
The series lasts about a month. Truth be told, we didn’t have the mystery figured out before the final package arrived.
But that’s okay, because unlike an escape room or a scavenger hunt where you need to solve one step before you can move on, Mail Order Mystery feels like a real-life story, unfolding in pieces over time. All is revealed at the end with the final package or ‘prize’ – in our case, with a cool collection of treasures for our little detectives in TOw.