For hundreds of years, the secret world of spies has fascinated adults and kids fueled by mystery books and movies. It is no surprise that kids request a mystery celebration when their birthdays roll around.
Here are some fun ways to organize a mystery or spy theme and provide your birthday child an unforgettable party.
The invitations must hint that there is a mysterious day ahead. Ask the guests to come wearing trench coats, sunglasses, and suits with ties, black T-shirts or spy gear. (Buy a few of those things from secondhand shops or a party supply store and have them available for your children to wear when they arrive too.)
To make your mystery party invitations, roll your kid’s thumb in ink and then press on it onto a sheet of paper. Scan the fingerprint in your computer, expand it and use it as the picture on the main side of the invitations with a message like, “Make your presence at John’s Spy Birthday Celebration.”
Put the cards in manila envelopes with the words “confidential” or “top secret” marked on the back.
For another fun wrinkle, write the invitations back side, guests need to hold them up to a mirror read them.
To get a color scheme, consider the night’s hues, like black, silver, brown, and gray. Rather than streamers, you could hang crime-scene investigation tape. Put an open bag on the food table and stuff it with paper or jars holding paper plates or snacks and napkins.
To get a budget-friendly decoration, do it yourself, set black butcher paper on a wall, let your child stand opposite to the paper in a running position. Draw around your child with chalk, and then cut it out.
Make a few of these silhouettes and hang them around the house. As the children arrive, play spy-themed music such as Tunes from “Mission Impossible,” James Bond films, and “Secret Agent Man.”
Rather than generic goodie bags, make every child a spy kit complete with a notepad, dark sunglasses, ID card, a pencil, shades Groucho-style disguise glasses, magnifying glass, and lie detector cards that determine if you are telling the truth depending on your thumb’s temperature. You could place trick candy, like Pop Rocks, into the bag.
Activities and Games
As the guests reach, dress them in their spy costume if they are not already wearing outfits. You could offer each child with a fake mustache and a plastic fedora-style hat. It’s time to have some fun. Here are some actions you could organize.
Spy Poster Puzzle
Purchase a large poster, like a movie poster for “Spy Kids” or”The Spy Next Door.” Cut the poster into puzzle-like pieces and provide one or more bits to each child. As a group, they need to put the poster back together again. Cut bigger pieces for smaller kids and smaller portions for young children.
Hang a curtain in a doorway. On the hidden side, set the table with several bowls with mystery objects inside. On the side, where all the party guests are sitting, have the children take turns placing their hands through the curtain and touching the mystery objects and writing down their guesses for what they actually were.
You’ll need an adult on the hidden side holding the bowls for the participant to feel in the correct order. Once everyone has had a turn, determine which kid had the most correct answers.
Some especially creepy things you could use include peeled grapes (eyeballs); cold, oily, cooked spaghetti (to mimic worms); silk from some ears of corn (hair); peeled whole tomato (heart); dried apricot (ear or tongue); cauliflower steamed until tender and coated with oil (brain).
Put the physical skills of the spies to test with an obstacle course. Set up a race which may include carrying an egg across a certain distance on a spoon; walking on balance beams; holding a baseball bat into the forehead, pressing the bat to the floor and spinning around it three times; or crawling beneath a mini trampoline.
Laser Beam Caper
String yarn or ribbon across an area in web design, reflecting laser beams enclosing a prized target. One at a time, the kids will attempt to twist through the laser beams to catch the prize and move out the other side without touching a laser beam.
If got the thing, the child gets to keep the award. Estimate time for every run and the participant with the shortest time wins a prize.
Diffuse a Bomb
Cover the floor of a room with balloons that you have filled with regular air, not helium. Inside one balloon, add lots of red confetti before you blow it up. Tell the kids they need to pop all of the “bombs” and the player who happens to pop up the “real bomb” (the one full of confetti) wins.
Each child must tell the groups two truths and one lie about himself. The remaining children have to guess which was untrue and which information was accurate. Give the kids an appropriate time to think up truths that seem impossible and lie that don’t. The player who can fool the most friends wins.
You could also center the celebration on making spy crafts, such as pretend cameras, toilet paper roll binoculars, and egg carton eye mask disguises.
Mission: Locate the Cake
Do not just let them have their cake and eat it, too. This is a spy celebration, after all. Make them think about it. Before the party starts, hide the cake.
Very soon, children will begin asking, where’s the cake. Send them on a mission deciphering secret clues that take them to the cake. Seal the clues in manila envelopes stamped “Confidential” or “Top Secret.”
The clue could read:
“You have played some games and had some fun,
It’s time for cake, kids.
But where’s the cake, you may ask.
You have to find it, find it quick.
A hint is in a room with a mattress,
The place where the birthday boy (or girl) rests his (or her) head.”
The children will then scramble to the birthday child’s bedroom and find the next clue.
You can hide the envelope and make them find it, but be warned that it might result in some ransacking of the space. The envelope could be tied into a helium-filled balloon if you would like them to find it fast.
Here’s an illustration of what the clue could be:
“Nice work, young spies. You found the clue.
I believe you know the next thing to do.
The clue is hidden in a place with fresh air,
As an area that is not used during summers.
To narrow things down only one bit,
“You will find this clue in a place we sit.”
The youngsters then rush out to the lawn chairs and discover next clue. The clues continue as long as you want.
Just before they reach the last clue, take out the hidden cake and put it the dining room at plain sight. It may be attractive to hide it or in some sneaky place or under a box, but consider how the children might be by now. You don’t need a group of children rushing to discover the cake—and perhaps sliding into it.
The final clue could read:
“You have all worked hard; you have put up a fantastic fight.
Let us get to that cake. Let all of us take a bite.
Please get ready to caution and proceed with bellow “Happy Birthday to You” to our birthday boy (or, if the party is for a girl, make use of this rhyme for lines Three and four: Please proceed with caution after playing this game, and get prepared to sing to today’s birthday dame)
Now the cake is placed in a place where we eat.
No, not the kitchen, the room accommodating the chairs!
If you don’t like the idea of hiding a cake, make the assignment to find the gift you are giving, including a bicycle. Mysterious missions are fun to organize, but if you have somebody else do the prep work to consider purchasing a pre-packaged mystery party kit such as the ones sold by the companies like American Girl.
What should be the appearance of the cake? It could be shaped like a magnifying glass, Trench coat, a large fingerprint with swirled icing on top, a question mark, or perhaps around black bomb with a sparkler “fuse” on top. You could also make crime-scene examination tape out of yellow and black fondant and wrap it across a cake.
Or have a bakery airbrush the outline of a shadowy shape carrying a briefcase. To get the exact same look in your home, cut the shape from black rolled fondant.
That spy could creep across a book-shaped cake to highlight spy books as opposed to movies. If the birthday child is a James Bond fan, you could top the cake using a”007″ or”009″ or”010″ or the age the child is turning.
Your child’s spy party may be focused on a particular movie or book. In those situations, go with a cake which depicts a symbol or a character from the narrative, like a cake celebrating Disney’s action-hero dog, Bolt.
If you plan to serve savory snacks, give the regular food Spy-related titles, like Fingerprinted Fish Sticks, Agent Apples, Undercover Onion Rings, Double Agent Dogs (two hot dogs in 1 bun) and Top Secret Sandwiches. Whether you plan all-out party filled with spy-related activities or only need to put a couple of decorations up and pop in a movie, mystery-minded birthday kid’s big day.