How To Make a Spy Kit for Kids

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My son is in a phase where he is hogging all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy novels that he can get. But when I remember how I used to have fun playing spy with my friends in my day, I feel a tinge of sadness for today’s children.

First, the internet and nowadays smartphones, have stifled the imagination and role-play and put a brake on kids getting together and playing with each other.

So when my son asked me one day about how a binocular works, I thought I would build on his curiosity and show him a lot of the cool stuff I used to make when I was a kid. One thing led to another, and soon we were making a spy kit for him at home! Have a look; maybe you can make some of these things with your kids too!

How To Make a Spy Kit for Kids

Making a Spy Briefcase

What’s a spy without a cool Spy kit briefcase to carry all that spy stuff in? We found a small, old briefcase of mine from the attic, emptied it, cleaned it up, and then covered it with black tape to make it look authentic.

Pro Tip: A briefcase looks authentic, but all you need is a box with a lid. You can use a lunch-box, an old typewriter case of any of those small chocolate boxes that keep lying around the house. Cover it in black tape, and you’re done!

If you can’t find anything, here is a simple way to make your briefcase.

What will you need?

  • A shoebox
  • Duct tape
  • String
  • Black Tape

Steps to follow:

  • At one end of the shoebox, tape together the lid and the box. This will make a hinging box.
  • Poke holes into the other end, about three or four inches apart from each other. Make sure to do so both in the lid as well as the box.
  • Thread the holes with a piece of yarn.
  • Tie the two ends together with a string on the inside of the box.
  • Now, cover the box with black tape, or else paint it black.

How To Make A Spy Kit For Kids - Creating Binoclulars

Making a Pair of Binoculars

Binoculars are a staple of any spy kit. They let you spy from a distance without being seen, letting you in on secrets that you can’t know otherwise.

What will you need?

  • Two toilet paper rolls or one paper towel roll
  • Duct tape
  • Coloring paper
  • Some yarn

Steps to follow:

  • Take the two toilet paper rolls, and cover them with coloring paper (preferably black, the color of a spy!).
  • Now stick them together with some duct tape.
  • Punch holes in both the rolls, stick a piece of yarn in them, and make a loop. This way, you can hang your binoculars around your neck for that extra cool look!

Spy Notebook

Every spy worth his salt must have a cool spy notebook to take quick notes when investigating cases.

What will you need?

  • A few sheets of paper
  • Staples or thread

Steps to follow:

  • Cut up the sheets of paper into four equal parts.
  • Put the quarter sheets of paper one after the other.
  • Bind them using staples.
  • If you don’t have staples, you can poke holes in the sheets and thread them together with a piece of yarn.

Invisible Ink

What good is a spy notebook without invisible ink? How will you take those secret notes that only you and your friends can read? You can make invisible ink in many ways. Two of them are detailed below; you can take your pick!

Method 1: Lemon Juice

  • Squeeze some lemon juice into a small container.
  • Dip a cotton swab into the juice and start writing on your spy notebook.
  • The juice dries off in a while.
  • To read the secret message, all you or your friend has to do is hold it up to a fire.
  • Make sure that the children understand that fire is not be used without adult supervision.

This trick works because lemon juice is slightly acidic, and it makes the paper weaker. When exposed to heat, the weakened paper burns, leaving behind a brown mark.

Method 2: White Crayons

  • Write your message on the spy notebook with white crayons (remember to put a bit of extra pressure while writing)
  • The white mark will not be visible.
  • Your friend can then paint over the page with black color, and the message written by white marker will become visible.

This method works because the white crayon is water-resistant. When you apply watercolor on the page, the rest of the page becomes colored, but the crayon remains untainted.

How To Make A spy Kit For Kids - Secret Container

Secret Container

You know how to hide your messages, but where are you going to hide your equipment? You need a secret compartment in your arsenal to hide your stuff. Let me show you how to make one.

What will you need?

  • An old thick book (hardcover, not soft).
  • A large rectangular object like a pencil box.
  • Utility knife or scissors.
  • Glue.
  • A paintbrush.
  • A cup.

Steps to follow:

  • Open your thick, hardcover book to somewhere in the middle.
  • Take the pencil box and draw its outline somewhere in the middle of the open book.
  • Now, start cutting out the shape of the outline from the pages of the book. You will have to do it in small batches of pages.
  • Stop once you are done making a deep enough compartment.
  • Now pour the glue into the cup.
  • Using the paintbrush, apply glue to all the box’s open ends (all sides of the secret container unit, all outer edges of the book.
  • Once the glue dries off, you are ready with your secret compartment!

Fingerprinting Kit

Collecting fingerprints from the scene of the crime is one of the most important activities for a spy. You can make your fingerprinting kit in minutes.

What will you need?

  • Some visiting cards.
  • Talcum powder.
  • Scotch tape (it has to be transparent).
  • A soft makeup brush.
  • A pencil box or other small container.

Steps to follow:

  • Draw fingerprint collection spaces on the back of the visiting card (divide them into left and right sections).
  • Let a person place a fingerprint on a surface like a glass tabletop or a metal door.
  • Apply talcum powder over the fingerprint, spread it completely over the print.
  • Dust away the excess powder with the soft brush.
  • Put the scotch tape on the powder, press softly on the print and then “lift” the fingerprint. The powder will stick to the tape.
  • Apply the scotch tape with the lifted print to your homemade collection card, and then index it with a unique number.
  • Match prints of people in the house with the prints collected, and have some bonus fun!

Wrap Up

Hopefully, you will have found some inspiration on how to make a spy kit for kids! There were many other things that we discussed doing. We could get a magnifying glass from the nearby dollar store or put together a hat, goggles, and a trenchcoat to get the right “Sherlock Holmes” look.

The most fun was making the spy gadgets, which I have put up in this article. I hope you will have as much fun building these kits and share more ideas with me in the comments section!

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