I have developed a modified “escape room” challenge for 5th - middle school students. Students entered the classroom and were given 45 minutes to work through all of the clues, open all of the containers, and “escape.” Each clue is connected to a key lock OR padlock OR item in the room that will give them more information in solving the mystery. There is no real theme - a mixture of items were used. I have added some ideas for other items that could be substituted in the challenge. Puns seem to work the best as clues.
This would be a little costly if you don’t have people who can donate boxes with lids that could be locked, padlocks of all types, blacklights, etc. BUT once you have those items you can do the activity with several different groups of students.