One of the best party of my job as a Children’s Programmer (among many other things) at the Public Library in my home town is that I get to plan fun parties for kids! While July was a slow month for me (mostly because I was on vacation for a lot of it), I held a Spy Party at the very end! The programming I do at my Library is all low budget (mostly because the less you spend on each event – the more you get to do throughout the year) so take my ideas with a grain of salt if you are hoping to host a Spy Party that looks fancier.
First things first, the fun part about holding a spy party is getting to come up with code names! So I came up with a cry proof way of giving the kids their code names – I put a bunch of random words into a jar and had the kids pick two from the jar – if they didn’t like the combo, they could pick again! We had some fun ones like Agent Emerald Ocean or Agent Unicorn Tuna! I gave myself the code name Agent Library Book because it seemed the most appropriate.
Then I moved on to the name tags – I found some clip art (non copyright) images and made up the name tags, leaving space for their real name, their code name that they just received from the jar, and their specialty (their favourite thing to do). I then punched a hole in each and reinforced them with those reinforcement stickers for loose leaf and then put a safety pin through the hole.
Next, I needed to make their mission report – each of the kids received this after doing their Spy Training (which you will see below). The next four pages is what the kids received and took with them. The book pointed to their first clue, and the rest you’ll find later in the post.
Next (with my lovely niece and myself demonstrating), are the games we played for “Spy Training” – first we had jumping from hula-hoop to hula-hoop:
Then we crawled under tables, trying our best not to touch the streamers:
Then lastly we had the very multi-coloured yarn laser beams:
After the kids completely the spy training, they were given the mission report above and set off on their missions.
My goal for the party was to get kids going through the Library and learning our collection a little bit, because most of my events focus on specific books/authors, so I wanted to branch out a bit more with this. Each of the clues the kids were given lead them to a non-fiction topic in the junior section (poetry, dinosaurs, cats), as well as the initial clue lead to a specific book. Each time a kid would finish an activity, they would receive a call number, at that call number would be a clue leading them to their next activity.
If you were doing this at home, you could put clues in places such as the kitchen, under the couch, in a special spot, just as long as your clue isn’t too vague for the kids. Mine honestly said “Go to the Teen Section”, “Go to the EZ Readers”, “Go to the Magazines”, just so you can get an idea (the group was ages 3-10).
The first activity they had to complete was making Morse Code Bracelets of their names, which I found the instructions for on Miss Meg’s Storytime, so head there for the specifics. When the kids were done that the volunteer gave them the call number to Poetry, and they found an envelope there.
Their next activity, which was the hardest of the day, was a cipher using reverse alphabet. The kids (many with help from the adults) had to solve the cipher to get their next clue, which would then give them the call number to dinosaurs.
The third and final activity was a very simple Connect the Dots, which I did a Google search for, that was in the shape of a Cat. The kids were then given the Call Number for Cats, which led them to their final clue.
The final clue told the kids to go to the French Books, where they found a little box with pirate coins in it, directing them to take their coin to the front desk to exchange for their prize.
I also had juice and cookies available for the kids after their activity was done.
All in all, it was a successful day! The only thing that would have made it better is if I wasn’t almost deathly ill that day – but such is life!
I hope you guys enjoyed the first of my Kids Party posts! There will be more to come as I throw them!!