Spies Like Us: Secret Codes pt 1

Year of Play! Creative Play/Free Play

by , posted on February 1st, 2011 in Games & Creative Play

A couple months ago the kids and I surprised my husband with a birthday present: a trip to the Spy Museum in Washington, DC. There was an activity where you could crawl through duct work (we did that one SEVERAL times), a car from James Bond, a movie theater showing propaganda films (the kids loved the Walt Disney cartoons) and so much more.

Naturally, that trip inspired a great deal of spy talk for the next several weeks. This, of course, got me thinking about playing spies. The idea of clandestine meetings, being sneaky and creating a whole world is quite appealing to kids. There’s role playing, negotiating skills, planning, writing, science, problem solving—I mean it’s got the whole kit-and-kaboodle when it comes to creativity and learning through play.

So with that in mind, we came up with some kid-friendly spy related activities we think the kids will like.

First up are secret codes. The one we did today is backwards writing. This is fun for kids who have a solid foundation in letter formation and handwriting skills (so I’d say generally, about second grade on). But you could easily adapt this for younger kids by either cutting out the letters for kids or just helping them read the notes you write in the mirror.

I imagine writing a dinner menu backwards, sticking it in a tube (like an old paper towel roll) and leaving it out for the kids to find and read in the mirror. Maybe they’d eat what I make that way. Or you know, perhaps a note like, Go clean your room! Guess it’ll depend on my mood.

Oh! Oh! The kids could deliver an invitation to a spy themed party this way. How cool would that be?! Just be sure to include directions for reading.


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8 Responses to “Spies Like Us: Secret Codes pt 1”

  1. Kirsten Says:

    February 1st, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Dave is right: you ARE the coolest. So glad my peeps get a chance to do this with you guys sometimes!

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    I love having your guys over. They’re quite the imaginative and engineering bunch!

  2. Spies Like Us: Secret Codes pt 2 Says:

    February 8th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    [...] Last week we brought you a way to write secret messages using a mirror. [...]

  3. And Now the News Says:

    February 18th, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    [...] Hope you all enjoy a lovely weekend! See you on Monday, when we should have some new updates in our spy play [...]

  4. Spies Like Us: Spy Games pt 1 Says:

    February 22nd, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    [...] more in our Spies Like Us series visit: Secret Codes pt 1 – Mirror Writing Secret Codes pt 2 – Cylinder [...]

  5. ChantaleP Says:

    February 22nd, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    This is a great idea, especially for those rainy days! My kid just started writing and most of it’s backwards already.. we’ve got a head start! lol..

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Excellent! ha ha ha!

  6. Spies Like Us: Secret Codes pt 3 Says:

    March 29th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    [...] you know from parts one and two, a good spy needs multiple ways to deliver secret messages. You need something up your [...]

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