Tween Programming–Spy Camp

Everyone wants to be a spy, so Miss Gloria and I did a program a few years back where are kids could learn how to become a secret agent.  It was a lot of fun and pretty low cost.

We started by having the kids line up outside the Community Room (our activity room) and in order to get in and get past us, they had to know the password.  Oh yeah, and the password changes EVERY SINGLE TIME!

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So in order to get a password, kids would have to do a task like dance like a chicken or do the robot.  It’s an idea we took from the “Safe House” a restaurant in the Milwaukee and Chicago area.  If they completed the task we gave them a password and they could walk into the room.  We had a James Bond compilation CD playing in the background for added effect.

Once everyone was inside and we explained the few simple rules, we started learning how to become a spy.  We started with something simple, writing a letter in invisible ink.  We had the kids write in lemon juice and Q-tips on computer paper.

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In order to see the message, you have to apply heat.  Our samples didn’t work the best, so maybe there’s a better way to do this.  Anyway, we wrote our names on them in pencil, set our papers dry out, moved the tables, and got ready for the obstacle course!

The obstacle course was clearly the hit of the party.  We even let it go on for longer than planned because kids kept wanting to do it multiple times.  Here’s some of the obstacles we planned:

Mine Field

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We got a kiddie pool and some CHEAP balloons (because they are more likely to pop) and had the kids try not to set off any mines.  We explained to NOT set them off on purpose, otherwise that wouldn’t be fair for everyone else.  This one was pretty easy so maybe in the future get a 2nd pool and fill it up.  Also, when you’re done, PUT THE BALLOONS AWAY or else kids will purposely pop them.

Laser Field

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You’ve seen this on Pinterest I’m sure, but kids were repeatedly going through this one.  We explained again that kids could NOT just run through it, or else it wouldn’t be fair to everyone.  Painters Tape works great because it’s sticky enough to stay but sensitive enough to rip easy.  If one got ripped, I would crawl in, tape a patch between the two ends real quick, and have the kids keep going through.  We’re lucky enough that we have a little hallway in our room, but you could easily do this between your library shelves.

Jetpack Jump

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This one was really popular too.  We made about 6 jetpacks.  They’re just soda bottles spray painted gray, silver duct tape to connect them, with two straps taped in.  Miss Gloria mad the flames out of felt.  We taped some lines on the floor, and kids had to run and jump between them.

Shooting Gallery

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Simply squirt guns, ping pong balls, golf tees, and something to put your tees into.  Really simple and a lot of fun.  We had a volunteer refilling the guns and making sure that no squirt gun fights happened.

After the obstacle course, we did a round of 20 Questions:

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One kid would be asked to come up and sit in the chair, and we could get assign a famous person that kids would know.  The other kids could only ask 20 questions to guess who the kid was.  This was a great idea in practice, but most of the kids we had were too young and weren’t asking the best questions.  So maybe replace this idea for next time.

Our last activity was making disguises:

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Kids were given a mustache or two to cut out, color, and put on a popsicle stick.  Simple put the kids liked it.  On the way out, we gave them a sheet about Morse Code and a secret message that they had to decipher.

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That was basically it!  A big success with little prep and hardly any money.  Let me know how it works out for you.

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