Homemade CSI Kit

A girl with a white lab coat on.
The CSI TV series and other popular shows have resulted in a lot of interest by kids in solving crimes. Rather than buying an expensive kit this page offers a very extensive project, with a detailed contents list, for making one for your children or grands.

August 18, 2008

contents of CSI kitDo you have a budding CSI in your midst? Have you recently priced a toy CSI detective Kit? My 8-year-old grandson William loves to watch CSI and recently asked me to go online and find him a CSI kit. After my near heart attack from sticker shock, I decided that I would do a little research. After watching four back-to-back episodes of CSI on Spike TV and looking at the kits online, I had a little knowledge of what I was up against.

So my brain went to overtime and here is what I came up with from my home and the dollar store and a little help from freecycle. Now you don't have to have much crafting experience to put this together, but you do need to have an active imagination when it comes to making things up to become evidence. I tried to make things simple and easy and non-toxic that is why we used food and baby powder for the fingerprinting. I know when we were in school we used the lead from pencils that we ground up, but in Campfire girls, we used cocoa and baby powder and it worked great and was non-toxic.


After looking at the kits I knew that I could do this and for a lot less than the sixty and up price tags that the stores were looking to take from me. First thing I did was put a request into freecycle to see if anyone had a microscope that they would be willing to give me. With in twenty minutes I had a response from a wonderful lady that had a microscope William could have and not only that, but she offered to bring it to him. You can buy a used microscope from yard sales or thrift stores, just keep your eyes out. Also ask around to your friends and neighbors that have grown kids, they just might have one gathering dust in the attic. New glass or plastic slides for a microscope can be bought a Hobby Lobby or a hobby store or online. They also sell microscopes. Some home schooling stores also have them reasonably priced. As I see it, this is the most expensive part of the kit. I also added some fun things to the kit that were not in the bought kits such as a flashlight, a cheap digital camera and ID badge and fake gangster rap sheet cards. The ID badge and fake bad guy rap sheet cards I made on the computer and one information sheet that I wrote out how to take fingerprints.Here is what I gathered from around my home:


Things I bought at the dollar store:

This is how I put it all together.

CSI Field Kit



I am sure there are other things you can find to add to your evidence stash, but right now these are the only things I had around my house.

Here are the things you need to make:

Evidence Markers: I cut out pieces of cardboard and folded them in half. Using spray glue I covered them with the yellow foam and then using self-sticking numbers I put them in the center of each side.


ID badge: In Word print your child's name, your police dept. name and CSI investigator. Use a fancy font and you can also add some police clipart which you can get for free on the internet. While you're looking for clipart look for some cartoon gangster pictures also, you will need them for the rap sheets

Fake Gangster Rap Sheets: Now if you have a sense of humor you could photograph your brother, husband, and Grandma for the fake bad guys, but if not use some clip art off the internet. You will want to put their picture to one side then add a fake address and height, weight, and hair and eye color. The across the bottom you are going to need to put some fingerprints. Ask around, you probably can get some of your friends to let you fingerprint them.How to use fingerprinting kit:

Find object that likely has your suspect's fingerprints on it. With the brush lightly coat with dark powder if it is on a light colored surface or with the white powder if it is on a dark surface. Cut a piece of tape and gently lift your print now put your tape on a index card and mark the location that you found it with the date and time. Put into an evidence bag.

How to collect trace evidence: Using your tape place sticky side down and collect your evidence. This then can be placed on an index card or on a slide for your microscope.

How to measure distance with your string: Measure from where the body is to the first shell casing. Be sure that you marked all your bullets with your marker. Now you can figure where your shooter was standing.

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