Idea No.

20051

James Bond Spy Party -11yr- Navigate the Laser

Award

Date

June 2009

From

Mary in Portland, Oregon USA

Special Mention

Spy Party

For my son's 11th birthday, he really wanted a slumber party and it had to be a spy theme. I pulled ideas off this website and added a few twists of my own. It was quite a bit of prep, but all of the guests (and parents) were amazed at how fun it was AND (this is the best part) inexpensive too!

We started with the invites. We just took a manila folder, cut it into thirds and labeled the guest's name at the top with Agent ___" (last name). We stamped "TOP SECRET" over the front along with thumbprints. Inside the folder we put the party details all in code. The top half you needed to hold up to a mirror to decipher and the bottom half you had to use a code (provided - just a word font translated) to decipher. We told the boys to report to spy training academy at 1750 hours wearing black pants and a white shirt.

Decorations were minimal - we just covered our table with a black tablecloth and the centerpiece was a bunch of cool spy stuff - binoculars a telescope cameras old cell phones etc. all stacked up. When they arrived we had on our "serious" faces and told them about their spy training had begun and we were scoring them during each activity and that following the academy they would have their job assignments and the spies with the top scores would have top choice of assignments. The training drills were really fun.

The first one was "bomb detonation" where they had 10 seconds to try and detonate as many bombs (balloons) as they could squashing them in a seat.

The second drill was "laser beam avoidance" and this was really cool. My husband bought a laser pointer and taped it on the wall on the end of a long narrow hallway. Then he positioned CDs along the wall so the laser would point off one it would ricochet off of that then point to the next then the beam would bounce off of that and so one - I think four times? Then he had a fog machine going to pick up the laser beams. We timed them as they crawled through one at a time from one end of the hall and back.

Next was a "memory" game where we piled a bunch of spy stuff on a silver tray covered it with a black napkin and gave them 10 sec. to memorize the stuff on it then record on a paper what they remember.

Last we took a bunch of playhut inner connecting tubes and velcroed them together. They were timed as they crawled through the tube (funny at their age and size) put on "spy gear" at the other end (which was a trench coat fake mustache and a fedora hat) and then had to crawl back through the other end.

After all four training missions my husband calculated the times and ranked each guest in order from 1-6. We then described the spy jobs which were all labeled with spy-type names - two "Crypographers" one "Records Keeper" one "Enticement Officer" one "Communications Specialist" and one "Scene Photographer". We gave my son a digital camera for his bday and so my son had first choice of jobs and so he picked the photographer job. We described the jobs (spy type language of course) and the boys chose.

We then gave them their mission - while they were training we sneakily grabbed the party gifts and favor bags and hid them. They had to go on a mission to recover the loot! We gave them a couple of practice riddles within the house and the last one led to our laptop which was hidden in a snack bin in the pantry. In the snack bin next to the laptop were dollar store sunglasses (one for everyone) and a package of fake mustaches. They opened it up and my husband (who was in costume) had left a videotaped message with their first official clue. It was up to the crypographers to decode the riddle and we were off on a hunt!

We had enlisted the help of several neighbors earlier in the week and planted the clues with them. As they figured out a clue we'd go to their house and then they'd give us the next clue. One clue was even in our locked mailbox and included following a pedometer's directions. While we were driving around to all the locations we were listening to a James Bond CD that really added to the ambiance. And I was driving through the neighborhood with the boys my husband went in a different car to the commercial businesses to plant goodies there for us to find. We were about 15 min. behind him.

After going to four houses in the neighborhood our last house directed us to a commercial business strip where we left clues at Hallmark (we bought a talking card and left it in the rack with a pen that could uncover the message written in invisible ink) Hollywood Video (where we had purchased an older 007 movie to watch at bedtime) Godfather's Pizza (where we had our dinner) 24 hour fitness (where the guy made them do 20 jumping jacks to retrieve their clue) and last but not least Baskin Robbins (where we picked up our ice-cream cake).

At each location the communication specialist would be the one to ask for the clue and the enticement officer would give the person answering a goody bag (prepped by me with some cookies as a small way of saying thank you for helping us out tonight). At each location the person would give us puzzle pieces. Without fail everyone involved was SO excited to participate. One of my friend's even dressed up in his tuxedo complete with eyepatch when he answered the door!

The people at the businesses were just as excited as our friends to participate - I think it really jazzed up what would be a dull evening at work! By the end we had all our puzzle pieces and the clue keeper put them all together. It was just a dollar store puzzle that my husband had glued our floor plans to the back of and we drew a large star where the booty was - in the kids' bathtub! So when we got home they put the puzzle together and it led to the gifts and party favor bags (the favor bags were super easy to decorate - just brown lunch bags with the letters "S-P-Y" die cut out of tag board with thumbprints on the letters). 

The kids were SO thrilled by the "hunt" and especially couldn't believe how we had to go into public and do those things. I think the fact that they were all wearing the same colors helped them feel comfortable. We got home had our ice cream cake opened presents and then they all piled into the playroom where they camped out and watched a movie and fell asleep way too late. It was an amazing party! All the parents the next day called and e-mailed to tell me their boys told them it was the BEST party they'd ever been to.

The only out of pocket expenses I had was for the thank you bribery gifts for those who participated the dollar store glasses and mustaches puzzle for the clue the laser beam pointer (we didn't own one)and of course party favor bag goodies and pizza dinner. Cheap! "

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