Spies Like Us: Secret Codes pt 1
Year of Play! Creative Play/Free 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.