Spy Science for Tweens

Our summer reading program is officially over, but now that things are a little quieter I’m going to go back and detail some of the activities we did.  One of our tween events was spy science.  It was so fun!

case fileinside case file







Each participant received a case file.  The first thing we did was to get our spy names.  To do this, I put colors on slips of paper in one bag, and animals on slips of paper in another bag.  They took a piece of paper from each, and that was their code name.  Mine was Magenta Dragon.  Once we had our code names, we made ourselves ID badges.  I got the template here.  (Lots of awesome spy ideas there, by the way).  I used my laminating machine to laminate them while they were working on the other stuff in the case file.

Next, we uncovered a message written in invisible ink.  The message was going to reveal where we needed to search for the bad guys.  I used a mix of baking soda and water to write on thicker weight paper.  Then we applied grape juice with paint brushes to reveal that the bad guys were “in the library.”  Shocker, I know!

Finally, we put together a Caesar cipher and decoded the identities of the bad guys we were looking for in the library.  You can get the printable cipher I used here.  I chose the letter that they would set their cipher to (M) and then made a message for them to decode.  For the bad guys, I chose four villains from children’s literature: Captain Hook, Cruella de Vil, The Wicked Witch of the West, and the Grinch.

code sheet










hunt wicked witchOnce they decoded the names, they went into the library to place their “trackers” (star stickers) on the bad guys so that we could place them under surveillance.  This fantastic idea came from the always amazing Bryce Don’t Play.









disguise popsAfter such a dangerous mission, our spies needed to go undercover with a disguise pop.  I got the idea here but used that fake fur stuff instead of foam.  It.was.awesome.









For more spy ideas, check out Future Librarian Superhero’s post here.





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