Are you looking for a great birthday party idea for your child’s next birthday?
Well then you have come to the right place. This secret agent party has been talked about for the last year by my daughter.
I have a daughter (or two) who knows what she wants and is not afraid to tell you. Her creativity knows no bounds and while some kids are thinking about their birthday and going to Chuck E. Cheese or bowling she is coming up with elaborate themes, games, etc.
Months before her 5th birthday she informed us that she wanted to have a surprise birthday party. What?! How did she even know what a surprise birthday party was? She had never been to one, but she knew all about them and explained how it would work. She would be taken away, everyone would show up and yell surprise when she arrived.
So that year every time we would start talking about her birthday she would say, “wait, don’t talk about it with me around. I’m not supposed to know about it.”
It became quite comical and we had no reason not to do a surprise birthday party so we planned away and a surprise birthday party it was.
I have yet to talk to another parent who was requested to throw a 5 year old a surprise birthday party.
For Cassidy’s 6th birthday she got to have her first friend birthday party. She began thinking for months in advance who she would invite since she could only invite 6 friends. She went back and forth on birthday party ideas for a while, but she settled on a spy/mystery theme.
You should under no circumstances throw this type of party unless it is for the right reasons and for us it was. Be sure to read what I’m talking about in “For the kids, or is it?”
I had no problem organizing and setting up this party because I knew Cassidy wanted it and I knew I would have fun creating it. Yes, it may have been easier to just rent out a place or take kids bowling, but having this themed party at our house was fun, it was cost effective and it kept the children entertained the entire time they were at the party.
So the party theme was secret agent and I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and the internet looking at ideas for everything from games to giveaways. I found some very cute invitation ideas; however, my daughter the girl who knows what she wants, found her own idea. Cassidy also likes to be creative so when she found a Disney princess inspired invitation she wanted to make, I had to bite my tongue and agree. I, of course, thought a secret agent themed invitation made more sense, but we found a way to incorporate both. It was important that she help with the party and we had fun doing it together.
How can you disagree when the child finds something she loves and she wants to make it herself?
When it came to the actual party we kept that a secret from Cassidy so that she would have just as much fun as her friends at the party.
Here’s how the party went.
The children were welcomed to the “International Gerken Spy Agency.” Once all children had arrived – sadly only 3 of the 6 invited children were able to attend – they were taken in for initial screening. The initial screening entailed fingerprinting and security checks
While they waited for their turn to be fingerprinted they filled out their name badges. One of their favorite parts was coming up with their nicknames – which they continued to use the entire rest of the party.
After all agents were given clearance for training they received their secret agent equipment – cell phone (non-working), sunglasses, notepad, pen and sunglasses. Simple items, but all a big hit with the kids.
Then it was time to find out what the mystery was. Brian was the secret agent commander in charge of all new agent training so he took the lead – I prefer to plan but not be the MC.
Brian explained to the new agents that some jewels had gone missing and it was their job to get them back safely. In order to do this they had to complete some challenges. After each challenge was successfully completed they would get a letter for the code. They would then need to decode the message to find out where the jewels were hidden.
There were dozens of ideas that we tossed back and forth for the challenges, but we settled on just 6. We did a lot of considering how much time each one would take and how difficult they could be given our audience of 6 year olds.
The 6 challenges were:
Break the Code
The secret agents had to work on their memory, because having a good memory is important as an agent. They were given 30 seconds to look at items in a basket. Then the items were covered back up and they had 2 minutes to write down as many things as they could remember. Inventive spelling was fine – remember this group is made of 6 year olds.
Break the Code
The secret agents each received the same message with symbols all over it. Their mission was to break the code. Bonus our code was all super hero symbols since Cassidy and Brian are huge super hero fans. It added a level of excitement for the kids to identify each superhero symbol. Once the code was broken they had to figure out what it meant. In this case it was the words that are on a sign in our garden, and the location of the next letter for the final message.
The secret agents have to be able to move quickly in all sorts of circumstances. In order to make sure they were up to the job, the agents had to go through the obstacle course and be timed while doing so. Of course all of these agents wanted to do it twice to improve their time.
Foot print Analysis
When secret agents arrived they were asked to trace their footprint on a piece of paper. During this mission agents were given the footprints and asked to look at the shoes of their fellow agents. They had to identify which footprint went with each shoe.
It’s important for secret agents to be able to see what is not visible to the naked eye. To make sure our agents were able to do this they had to complete the hidden message mission. For this mission agents were given cups with grape juice in it and foam paintbrushes. There were what appeared to be blank pieces of paper on the table and they had to search for hidden messages. (Use cardstock – it works better, and “paint” a picture, message, whatever you want with lemon juice using a Q-tip or paintbrush. If you let it dry completely – we did overnight – the next day grape juice will make the image appear)
One of the most important things a secret agent can learn to do is to be sneaky. Agents are required to sneak into many places and most of those places have alarm systems.
The laser beam mission tested agents on their agility. Agents had to successfully make it through a hallway that was covered in laser beams.
Agents were asked to step over, climb under and crawl through the mission. (The best place for a laser beam mission is in a long hallway. We didn’t have a long hallway that wouldn’t interrupt the flow of traffic arriving to the party. Instead we used stairs (an extra challenge) and a short hallway.
You can use crepe paper, yarn, string or something similar to make your laser beams. We used yarn and painters tape to hold it up. This was by far the favorite mission for all agents. In fact we had to keep it up in our house for many days after the party because Cassidy thought it was awesome.
After they completed all of the missions they received all of the letters (6 missions, 7 letters – they received a starter letter before their first mission.)
H P K E T R A
We happen to live right across the street from a park so as the kids started to walk to the park they followed the footprints (my own foot traced with sidewalk chalk). [editor’s note: they were footprints? I thought they were just chalk blobs]
At the park they were able to search for the bag of jewels. This was a perfect ending to the spy missions because we then enjoyed cupcakes, ice cream and snacks at the park. The kids played at the park, of course as secret agents, until their parents arrived.
After doing so much searching on the internet and Pinterest for ideas for this party I had come across some very cute party favors. I do not think party favors are necessary for a party, but I thought these were too cute not to do to complete the theme of the party.
When the parents arrived to pick up their children we handed out the secret agent packs, because they were officially secret agents now that they had completed training.
The party was a huge hit and Cassidy really wanted to have another secret agent themed birthday party this year. We convinced her we should try something new.
The total cost of this party including supplies for games – mostly on hand, the sunglasses, party favors, the cake, ice cream and snacks was approximately $60. You could eliminate the favors and cut that cost down further; however, I thought they were too cute to not have and round out the complete theme of the party.
If you are interested in purchasing any of these items on Amazon they can be found at:
Invisible ink pen
Fingerprint ink pad (this pad is inkless so no mess to clean up)
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