Idea No.

24211

High-Tech Spy Party -8yr- Voice Changing APP

Award

Date

January 2013

From

Melinda in Midland, VA  USA

Special Mention

Spy Party

High-Tech Spy Party  Our Spy-themed party for our 8-year-old son took planning ahead and the help of my husband and older children. It was great fun and I thank the other folks who shared their ideas on this site. 

INVITATIONS: The invitations was in the form of an official memo, printed in reverse and mailed to each boy:  Memorandum  To: Agent ** From: CIA Headquarters Re: Red Falcon has gone dark  Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to report to the safe house to be briefed on the latest developments in the Falcon Case. Our target is on the move and we must find him before he compromises our U.S. Defense System.  Date: 12-02-12 Time: 14:00 - 16:30 Coordinates: N 48 30.978  W 27 34.727  Please advise of your status by 11-28-12 to: (phone #) or (e-mail address). Encrypted phone or secure email only. Memorize then destroy this document! 

DECORATIONS: The decorations were simple. The adults wore black, we had several spy songs (Mission Impossible, Pink Panther) playing in the background. The breakfast table had a black table cloth and we hung some black balloons. We hung a large American flag in the dining room. We planned on putting footprints on the front walk but never go around to it. 

FOOD & CAKE: We had drinks, make your own trail mix (for energy while working on the case), cake (a 9x13 cake frosted white with a brown sprinkle moustache) and ice cream. 

ACTIVITY: When the kids arrived we asked Have you been followed? And directed them to the Agent Check-In room which was our office.  Ahead of time I made cardstock badges with their names (as in: Agent Joshua) and the agency logo. We took their thumbprint for the bottom of their badge and we added their photo to the top. The card was slipped into a badge holder and clipped to their shirt.  While the agents were waiting for the briefing video, they went to the family room coffee table to learn facts about fingerprints and common spy terms.

We had pre-recorded my brother giving the following statement:  Good afternoon gentlemen. You have been summoned to the safe house to receive your next mission. We have reliable Intel that our once trustworthy agent, Red Falcon, has been turned by our enemies and he plans to bomb the National Security Agency. As you know the NSA is very important to our country’s security and any damage to it and our personnel there would be devastating!   Your mission is to locate and apprehend Red Falcon and render his detonation device inoperable. Red Falcon is a highly trained and dangerous man. He specializes in electronics and disguises. We believe this traitor is in your area and time is running out!  Agents: you must train hard, stay alert, work together, and find Red Falcon before he detonates his bombs. You are our finest men. Our country’s safety is in your hands! 

The first part of their training was to learn how to decipher codes two ways: using a book passage and a cipher wheel (easy to make with a pattern I found online). This was done in the Situation Room which was our dining room. This room had a laptop computer, a backpack (with a can of stun spray/silly string for each agent and a pair of wire cutters). They were given a secret Com Code  which they would need to get their first clue. The room also had a world map on the wall, a compass, a telephone, binoculars, and make-your-own trail mix snacks on a side cabinet.  We put them through a few calisthenics for fitness training then they had to learn how to avoid laser light alarms. Our pantry is long and narrow with a window at one end and shelving on each side of the room. We wove red yarn through the shelving crisscrossing the span between them. The boys were instructed to enter through the open window and combat crawl under the yarn to the door at the other end. I think this was their favorite part of the party as they wanted to do it over and over again. Some of them tried walking through the yarn and found it impossible not to trip the alarm! 

The doorbell rang and the boys ran to see who it was. There was only a package so they brought it to the situation room to unwrap. Inside were a walkie talkie and a key. The com code was needed to get on the correct frequency to get their first clue. Our daughter said the following: Attention Agents: Your first task is to service the dead drop on the lower level. They knew what a dead drop was from their earlier training in spy terms and the lower level was obviously our basement. Since there can be a mark on a dead drop location (so the receiving agent knows there is an item to pick up) we put a chalk mark on the storage room door. Once inside they had to find a package or envelope of some kind. It took some hints but they found a box in a suitcase with their next clue a memory stick.  Up to the situation room they went to use the laptop to see/hear what was on it.

My husband had pre-recorded an audio message using a voice changing app. It was a clue from a double agent that said this: My handlers have let it slip that your target is hiding in the safe house. As you look for him be careful. He is very good at setting traps to alert when someone is approaching. If you find his journal you will have everything you need to close in on him.  We hid a small notebook in our son’s room under the pillow on the bottom bunk of his bed. There was more red yarn around it so they would zero in on the location easier. (To keep the entire mission a surprise from our son we had to set his room up while the kids were in the basement looking for the dead drop.) They saw that the journal was written in code so they went to the situation room to decode it. The last journal entry pointed them to a location SSE from the house. Using the compass and the binoculars they found Red Falcon (our daughter was a good sport to play this part) on the platform of our swing set.   The kids tore out there (forgot the backpack, retrieved it, ran out again) and apprehended her with the silly string. The mission wasn’t over as they had to deactivate the bomb’s detonator device. My husband had taken an old retro-style suitcase and placed my son’s electronic set in it with a clock and some wires to make it look somewhat realistic. They had been briefed earlier to cut the black wire so they did and the world was saved!

FAVORS: the boys took home a notebook and pen, their ID badge, a pair of inexpensive sunglasses, a stick-on moustache and a goody bag with some candy.  The mission, cake and ice cream took up the entire 2.5 hours so plan accordingly. 

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