YA Programming Behind the Scenes: Spy Games

Across all age groups,’ spies seem to be universally loved, so we split this program into two sessions, one for kids and one for teens. Some adults did stop by and were encouraged to try the different stations as well.

This program was highly inspired by Rachel Moani’s Spy Training Academy program at Lacey Timberland Library.

713 Spy Games

For the program, we created Spy Games cards so everyone could assume an identity and check off every station they completed. All of the spy games are actually Secret Service code names for presidential family members or presidential nominee family members.

‘ ‘  SecretAgentCards

We broke the event into four missions.

1) Invisible Ink: Everyone wrote a message in invisible ink. Some recipes can be found here and here. We started everyone with this so the paper would have time to dry. It, however, did not provide the punch a first mission should have.

2) Catapult Construction and Launch: Participants constructed a simple catapult using popsicle sticks, rubber bands, glue dots, and a water bottle cap. The surprising element of this construction was that many boys found winding the rubber bands around the popsicle sticks a challenge. Apparently ponytail assembly has given many teenage girls an advantage on catapult construction. Ideas for construction can be found here and here.

Participants then needed to use their catapult to launch a pom pom into a frisbee to move on to the next mission.

catapultpractice

3) Balloon Minefield: This was the favorite mission for the teens. Everyone got three chances to make it through the minefield. They were timed for each try and received penalties for every balloon that broke and any balloons that escaped the minefield. The person with the fastest time won rearview vision sunglasses.

balloonminefield balloonminefieldinaction

4) Laser Field: Everyone had three attempts to move through the laser field. They received penalties for every time they touched the “laser” rafia. no teen made it through the laser field without touching the lasers so this was a mission teens would not have been able to complete without the penalties clause (at least not with our course). The person with the fastest time won rearview vision sunglasses for this mission as well.

laserfield

Spy Games was highly enjoyed by all who participated with most taking extra turns. We will likely repeat this program in the future, although we will probably link it to a movie release a la Spy Kids. We also promoted our spy books at the event to tie the event into our collection.