At a Spy Party, kids are actually secret agents who have to work as a team to solve a mystery.
Age range: 4-8
Issue the invitations in the form of a recruitment letter saying that the guest has been selected for a top secret mission. The recruit is to show up for training at such and such date and time and location. Ask that she (or her parents) send a head shot of the recruit ahead of time so that the spy agency can make her an ID badge. Use a typerwriter font for the letter, even if your kid has no idea what a typewriter is. Don’t forget to seal the letter and stamp with “TOP SECRET.” If you know well in advance what the main spy activity is, write a vague outline of the spy mission for the party.
Make a Spy Headquarters sign for the outside of the house to welcome the recruits. Print out each kid’s spy I.D. and put it up on the wall so kids can identify any double agents. Throw up a few maps complete with pushpins indicating spy activity and/or some blueprint paper featuring gadget designs. Get some manila envelopes for your mission instructions and don’t forget to stamp with “TOP SECRET” or “SECRET MISSION.”
Games and activities:
Give kids a code word that they must say at the door so they can have access to “spy headquarters.”
Divide them into two groups and send them on a spy mission: to find letters hidden in a designated room. Each team’s letters spell a word. At the party we went to, the words were “magic” and “show.” Once the kids solved their mission, a local magician “Tricky Ricky” performed an interactive magic show for the kids. The kids ate after the magic show, then it was just unstructured play with toys. If you want to take the party outside and you’re not having a magician, place clues all around a park or backyard. Have the answer to the spy puzzle correspond to another activity (like a sport, craft, activity or a movie). Some spy-themed suggestions: play capture the flag, craft some James Bond/Perry the Platypus-worthy spy gear or watch Harriet the Spy.
Party staples like cake, pizza, chopped veggies will always make kids happy. No need to theme your food on this one, you’re not Martha, right? Pizza or mac and cheese will always be winners.
Cake or dessert:
Cupcakes and a cake. If you want to carry the spy theme into dessert, pipe letters onto each cupcake, so they spell out “Happy Birthday,” but have the letters all scrambled.
Give kids their spy “ID”, binoculars and dark sunglassess
Tips for throwing the party:
For younger kids who aren’t reading yet and therefore won’t be able to solve a word-based mission, print out a picture of the secret and cut it into puzzle pieces. Have them find the pieces and assemble the image to reveal the secret.
– Dark sunglasses
– Toy binoculars
– Convention lanyards with plastic sleeves for the spy ID badges.
-Have parents email photos of their kids to you in advance of the event so you can print their spy badges out on your home or work printer.
-Bristol board for “Spy Headquarters” sign and letter “clues.”
Stay in touch
Subscribe to Today's Parent's daily newsletter for our best parenting news, tips, essays and recipes.