Monday, June 20, 2011

Spy Birthday Party Ideas: Putting it All Together

Thinking about a spy  birthday party? What a fun theme... so many ways to go with this story line!

We hosted a secret agent party for our son's 9th birthday, however this party would work for older kids, too.  Younger kids might have a harder time with the spelling-based code games. In this post, I'm linking the story together for you...

Individual posts, templates, and "how to's" can be found here


A "spy" party calls for special invitations... something secret and clandestine. We chose to hide our invitation message inside a pen. When the top of the pen unscrewed, the message pulled out.

The message read:

Your special agent expertise is needed to prevent global catastrophe while celebrating (name)'s birthday!

RENDEZVOUS POINT: your address
DATE: 4/18/2011
TIME: 1400-1630 hours
CODE: "nitro"
RSVP Spymaster: phone and email

Come incognito (wear a dark shirt) and bring this pen....

We kept our decorations simple... black balloons and table cloths, crime scene tape, and paper piton guns (ie. James Bond's Goldeneye tool) as streamers.

Each agent had a personalized bag to collect favors that would accumulate during the party.  The bags were lined up along a counter in a festive array!

1)  Decorate Marshmallow Shooter Piece  As the guests arrived and successfully recited the code word, they were each given a spy belt and directed into "headquarters."  The belt was made from nylon webbing and had two black pouches, one holding a small flashlight and the other a magnifying glass.  While they waited for all the guests to arrive, they decorated a PVC tee joint that would later be used for a marshmallow shooter.  At this point though, they were just instructed to color the white plastic piece using the provided sharpies so that they could distinguish it from all the other agent's.

Once everyone arrived, I read them a TOP SECRET note from headquarters:

Citizens in the country of Allegirlandia have been frustrated by the resistance of elementary school boys to the power of LOVE.In fact.males in the range of 7-10 seem immune to romance if not altogether repelled by it.But that may all soon change!
Scientists in Allegirlandia have developed a secret formula proven to turn the hearts of young boys into mushy love pots.Intercepted communications between Allegirlandia officials indicate that 5 highly concentrated vials of “love potion” have been produced already and are currently in a secret holding area, awaiting global circulation via satellite controlled missiles.We need your help to confiscate the vials and destroy all records on production of the formula.Elementary school boys across the country are depending on you!

 2)  Finding the Secret Plans
The first step of the mission was to retreive the plans for making the secret formula. Our inside information said that the plans were in a secret vault (made of duplo blocks) nearby... Everyone was issued a special detonator (soft flame football) from Oriental Trading) to complete the mission. The agents had a "blast" destroying the vault, but to their surprise, someone had beaten them to the secret plans. Instead, they found moles!  The moles were felt finger puppets that had messages inside that read:


The agents concluded that the security of headquarters had been compromised. They ran back to see if the room had been bugged.

3) A Clean Sweep for Headquarters

The agents raced back to headquarters to search for secret listening devices.  They found candy "bugs" as well as pretend electronic bugs (glass gems decorated with 3D paint to look like mini computer microphone contraptions).  It didn't take long for one of the spies to realize that on the bottom of the electronic bugs were letters.  A few minutes later, they figured out that the letters came in four different colors.  The colors indicated separate words. They moved the letters around to reveal a hidden message: satellite photo in wagon.

4)  Satellite Photo Investigation
Immediately, all agents donned their shoes and headed outside in search of a wagon.  Taped under the wagon, they found an envelope containing two identical satellite photos.  The photos were labeled:  TOP SECRET  *The path to truth is rocky*.  I had used Google earth and Microsoft Publisher to get an image of our yard and add two tiny stars where fake, message containing rocks were hidden.  The agents used the magnifying glasses from their spy belts to scan the images. It took just a few moments for them to locate the special marks on the map. The agents divided into two teams and began to search.

It took longer than I thought for the agents to find the secret message rocks!  The rocks were Easter eggs covered in a hardened mixture of sand, coffee grounds, salt, and flour.  I put them in piles under vegetation, as indicated on the satellite photos.  The agents quickly discovered that they could be opened... inside each rock was a couple of candies, a pigeon finger puppet, a note indicating a particular letter to be used in the next game.

5)  Carrier Pigeon Relay
Historically, carrier pigeons have held important roles in ferrying information. Our agents stayed divided into two teams, one team on either side of a rope loop connected by pulleys. The letters in their rocks spelled a word clue, a different word for each group that would only make sense if each team had both words. The agents were to write the words/letters in magic, disappearing ink and "fly" it to the other team using the rope line.  They clipped the note to the pigeons and rope with a clothespin and passed the pigeons between each other along the rope line.  They eventually figured out that the mystery words were "PLAY ROOM" and bee-lined back into the house.

6) Black Bag Operation
Agents arrived at the room only to find that it was blocked by a curtain and CRIME SCENE tape. A dusty ventilation shaft (play tunnel) was the only way in (use your imagination here!)... Inside, vials of "love potion" (candy from Oriental Trading) were on a platform that was well protected by laser surveillance (red crepe paper and various movement detecting toys/birds). The agents needed to sneak through the tunnel using their flashlights, duck under the lasers, grab a tube of potion, and exit quickly, all in the dark!  This game was one of their favorites... everyone came back when the party was over... 

Outside the room, agents noticed that the potion had a strangely ominous symbol. Using their magnifiers, they read "neutralize to deactivate" below the symbol. This meant that the potion would remain active unless measures were taken to neutralize it!   They had seen the symbol on a table outside... off they went for another step in their mission!

7)  Neutralize the Potion
I set up a table covered in yellow cloth and BIOHAZARD symbols.  There, our spies discovered that one of the symbols on the table had hidden instructions. They used their magnifiers to read the message:  empty the test tube of secret crystals into the bowl (two tablespoons of magic snow powder), add two quarts of water (pre-measured in water bottles), and stir.   As they stirred, "snow" magically appeared-- perfect for cooling down the love potion's activation crystals.  Next, they had to get a hold of the crystals.  The crystals (acrylic hearts and diamonds) were loosely seated on inverted plastic tubes (dollar store luau item) on the biohazard table. They had to knock the crystals off the tubes using mini-water shooters, then put the crystals in the snow.

Just as the agents were feeling victorious, one of them noticed that the biohazard table was guarded by robots (mini wind up).  Sure enough, on the backs of the robots were more tiny messages that read:

You should have minded your own business!
Now your business is mine!
BEWARE, Knucklehead!
Something is ticking in the kitchen.
Go to the kitchen to have a blast!
This ain’t over yet!
YOU will soon be Bits and Pieces!
Your agent skills are DYNAMITE!

In the kitchen, the agents found the dynamite cake hidden in our (cool) oven.  They enjoyed PREVENTING this blast by eating the cake!  However, they soon noticed another problem... the heart shaped ice in their drinks had letter beads in them! ( I carefully snuck one ice cube with a clue word into each glass.) They put the clues together while finishing their cake and snacks and realized with great (imagined) shock that the real bomb still existed and they had only minutes left to find it...

A pull-string pinata bomb had been cleverly hidden under a table in a room they'd already been in. They soon discovered it, and set to work on diffusing it.  Red string, blue string, polka dots are usually the ground, which to pull first... so much pressure!  The agents took turns pulling strings until they found the one that opened the pinata and released the loot.

The spy gear loot included gummy candy, spy rear-view glasses (for safety!), and a bag containing a half cup of marshmallows, rules of the marshmallow gun game to come, and a puzzle piece. It took the spies a few extra seconds to discover the puzzle pieces and put them together-- they had one more thing to find-- pieces to construct their own marshmallow shooters!

9) Marshmallow Shooters

The location of the marshmallow shooter pieces was revealed when the puzzle was put together.  Agents found a bag containing 16 pieces of pvc pipe to use to put their shooters together. They were super creative with their designs.  Just drop a marshmallow into the mouthpiece, give a good breath, and watch the marshmallow fly.  The agents were good about wearing their glasses.  They played until their parents came to get them! 


Tip Junkie handmade projects


  1. This is a completely genius party idea! It would earn any mom cool points. Thanks for sharing!

    Following you on BlogLovin'. Pinning you on Pinterest!

  2. We chose to hide our invitation message inside a pen. When the top of the pen unscrewed, Ideas for Kids Parties

  3. Hey!! Just loved your spy birthday ideas. Will definitely have this theme birthday party for my nephew. Want to plan his birthday party at one of Seattle venues. Will take some of my friend’s help in this. He will surely love this theme.