Last week, I ran a super fun program as part of my "Diggin' into Fun" series for tweens (ages 9-14) at our Library, SECRET AGENT TRAINING. Since it was a lot of fun, I thought I would share it with you all.
I started out the program dressed in a black trench coat and black fedora (sorry, I forgot to take a picture!). Though several of the kids told me how much they liked my outfit and I thanked them, we then began with a discussion about why my outfit was the worst possible choice for a spy!
cover stories and blending in were important skills for spies. They each got to pick a random job description that was their "cover story" and then I had some mustaches, a hat, some sunglasses, and two ties that they could hold up as their disguises while they demonstrated their cover personalities for everyone to guess.
Each little spy then received a scratch ticket that I made (I'll put the "recipe" at the end of this post - they were super easy to make!!) that revealed their code names (Agent 0021 or Agent 0013, etc) so that they safeguard their real identities.
We sat down and played a game of "telephone" with some neat spy sounding phrases to practice both our whisper enunciation and our eavesdropping skills. Turns out the kids were *really* bad at it, but they had fun trying to make funny phrases instead, LOL.
Next, we talked about why a spy might choose certain weapons for attacking or defending themselves. Stealth versus firepower, etc. I set up three bulls-eyes and let the kids line up to shoot a cheap suction cup bow and arrow set at the targets. While they were in line, I also taught them how to send secret messages in class or on the go with rubber bands. If you stretch a rubber band and write a message in small letters, when the band is shrunk back down to regular size you can't even tell it's really writing on the rubber. Then you can drop the rubber band nonchalantly on someone's desk or near their feet and they can stretch the band back out to read your secret message! Super easy.
Lastly, we ended with the biggest hit. A "laser maze" and a tunnel to practice their spy agility. It wasn't anything amazingly spectacular, but the kids LOVED it. They each went through at least twice and were scrambling to see who could do it without touching the yarn I strung up for lasers.
All in all, this was a pretty easy program to set up and the kids had a blast!
In case you're interested, here is the "recipe" for the homemade scratch tickets:
1 tablespoon dish soap (any brand will work)
2 tablespoons acrylic paint in whatever color you choose
Mix until paint starts to bubble, then let settle so that you don't end up with too many bubbles on your scratch tickets.
Next put a piece of packing (or book) tape over the section of card that you want kids to be able to scratch and reveal. Paint over that section. Allow the paint to dry. Once it's dry, you'll be able to scratch the paint right off with a coin! Super easy.