Mystery. Stealth. Cool disguises. All these come to mind when kids hear the words, "secret agent." The world of a secret agent typically seems romantically larger-than-life, exciting and adventurous to kids. Whether you're planning a mystery-themed party or simply an afternoon of spy fun for your aspiring young detectives, secret agent activities can give kids a glimpse into the life of an agent.
Every secret agent needs a disguise. To help the kids assume spy personas, provide an assortment of hats, sunglasses, fake beards, wigs and mustaches, overcoats, dresses, shirts and suits. Let each child choose his own spy disguise and select a secret agent name. Secret agents must also be able to change their disguises quickly to fit the situation when they're on a mission. Play a quick-change game where you challenge the children to find a disguise for having lunch with the President or going undercover as a car salesperson, short-order cook, or a waiter in a pricey restaurant.
In addition to all the high-tech gadgets that agents now use, a pair of binoculars still comes in handy. Have the kids make homemade "binoculars" by taping together two cardboard toilet tissue rolls and suspending them from a piece of yarn. Also, all good agents must be very observant and carefully record their observations. Let the kids create their own secret agent journals for making notes and sketches of the clues they encounter while on a mission.
Before going out in the field on his first mission, a secret agent must undergo much physical and skill training. Set up an outdoor obstacle course for your junior agents to train. They can take a crack at target practice using water balloons or foam ball launchers. Tape red streamers at various angles and heights in a hallway to simulate a laser obstacle course -- and challenge the kids to navigate the maze without touching any of the "lasers." They can practice investigative skills by looking at one another's fingerprints under a magnifying glass and trying to identify fingerprint patterns to match them up with the correct person.
After training, secret agents must prove themselves in the field. Announce that a crime was committed -- perhaps some household items have gone missing -- and tell the kids that their services as secret agents are requested by the agency's director. Design a series of clues for your young detectives to follow, using picture clues for the little ones who cannot yet read. Incorporate their binoculars and skill training into the mission -- and encourage them to use their journals to record their observations. Finally, congratulate them on a mission well completed when they successfully solve the "crime" and/or find the missing items.
- NA/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images