Looking For a Tech-Free Summer Adventure?

When we first started Mail Order Mystery we asked ourselves “What is the best way to make these mysteries interactive?” Well, using the internet would be an easy answer. But we felt strongly that we did not want to do this. We’ve all seen the numbers. The average 8 - 12 year old spends four and a half hours on screens a day. They spend less time outside than prisoners. They don’t get enough sleep. In one study kids could do whatever they wanted for a weekend as long as it did not involve screens and many of them were so overcome by anxiety and despair they could not finish the experiment.

But we don’t need stats or studies to tell us that screens are addictive. Many of us know this because we live with volatile little addicts who run around screaming and kicking table legs when we take the screens away. And most of us don’t set the best examples either.

This is why we chose to make Mail Order Mysteries a tech-free alternative to screens. The one exception, which we debated at great length is to include a basic website in the spy mystery where kids can go to enter a three digit code. We didn’t want the screens to be necessary, though, so we also came up with a “spy hotline” so kids could call a phone number instead.

We took this whole no screen thing on as a kind of challenge: to create an experience so engaging that kids would willingly put down screens long enough to immerse themselves in a mystery. The five star reviews keep on coming so we know we’re doing something right. But we can’t take all the credit. The credit also goes to the kids. The credit goes to the kids for loving stories. For loving to learn. For loving to solve problems. For loving to make connections. For loving adventure. For loving to get stuff in the mail. For loving to send stuff in the mail. For loving imagination and the places it can take them.

So that’s why Mail Order Mysteries are tech-free experiences. And that’s why Mail Order Mysteries are extraordinary stories for extraordinary kids.