#NoSummerSlide Week 12 – It’s a Secret

Do you have some Spy Kids fans or James Bond wannabe in your house? Then you are going to LOVE our #NoSummerSlide ideas this week:

Spy Training Camp!

There is a whole “secret” world of ideas for making homemade spycraft tools. From classic invisible ink messages and code wheels to keyhole spy tools and camera sunglasses – there is something for every skill level.

Because these are maker activities, your kids probably aren’t going to realize reading is involved – that’s our little secret!

  • With developing readers, be sure to read the instructions out loud and have them follow along. This is great practice in sequencing!

  • Independent readers – especially teens – can create these tools by themselves. In addition to sequencing, they will likely be doing a bit of problem solving when something doesn’t work as it is supposed to!

Everyone can practice writing skills sending messages and/or filling out their spy notebook / journal.

Secret Messages

Who doesn’t love sending – or receiving – secret messages? We’ve got two methods for sending messages with “invisible ink.”

Now that we have our ink, we need a code system so our spies can send secret messages to each other. One of the easiest to make is a cipher wheel.

Step-by-Step instructions on the Top Spy Secrets website
How to Make a Cipher Wheel Video – Stealthy Ninjas website

You might also try pig pen and zigzag ciphers, too.

Spycraft Tools

The next step is collecting intelligence!! There are plenty of DIY gadget ideas out there. We picked these four because (a) they mostly use materials you already have at home; and (b) they have uses beyond just spying.

Periscope – There are tons of YouTube videos that show you how to make a periscope. Most of them are made of cardboard. If you want to take it up a notch (or take it to the pool!), we recommend Inspiring Momma’s Kids PVC periscope.

Keyhole Peeker Gadget – Even if you don’t have keyholes on all your doors, the kids will find ways to use this. Once they’re done spying, these magnifying glasses are great for looking at bugs and other small critters in the yard. Top Spy Secrets has kid-friendly instructions.

[Bonus: Kids will love think it is hilarious to see the world upside down!]

Book Safe – Now that we have tools, we need a place to hide them “in plain sight.” We found several sources, but liked the reading ease of these step-by-step instructions at Top Spy Secrets best.

NOTE: This one may require a trip to the thrift store to find some books you don’t mind cutting the middle out of!

Intel Notebook – Whether they are gathering information or sending secret message, spies need ready access to paper! Any notebook will do, but if you want a “guided” journal check out this printable Spy Secrets Tail Journal. [PDF]

Happy spying!

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