How to Build Your Own Spy Kit

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Let your child make up a fun spy name for himself.
Image Credit: Megan Andersen

Creating a spy kit with your kids is a fun way to encourage pretend play while exposing them to a variety of iconic spy characters and their helpful tools. Each item in this spy kit is simple to make, but will bring hours of imaginative fun for all!


The Spy Case: Things You Will Need

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Every spy needs a proper case... to solve the case!
Image Credit: Megan O. Andersen
  • Paper maché briefcase
  • Stencil letters
  • Red and brown acrylic paint
  • Foam paintbrush
  • Paper plate


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Step 1: Arrange the Stencils

Letter stencils are available at craft stores.
Image Credit: Megan Andersen

Find all of the letters you will need to spell "SPY KIT" and set them aside. If your stencil letters are small enough, you could also spell out "TOP SECRET" or "CONFIDENTIAL."


The paper case in this sample measures 10 inches by 8 inches by 3 inches and the letter stencils measure 3 inches by 4.5 inches.

Step 2: Paint the Words

Dab the paint on gently to achieve neat letters.
Image Credit: Megan Andersen

Pour a small amount of red paint onto your paper plate or other paint-mixing surface. Place the paper maché case in front of you, with the bottom side nearest you, and arrange the stencil letters on the lid of the case. You can secure them with tape if you'd like. Gently dab each stencil with red paint. If you don't tape the stencils down, hold them flat and steady against the case as you work.


Let the red letters dry completely.

Step 3: Conceal the Name

Customize the sky kit by using your child's favorite colors.
Image Credit: Megan Andersen

You could leave your case as-is with the words SPY KIT boldly stenciled in red letters, but that's not very covert or spy-like.



To conceal the words SPY KIT in plain sight, place additional stencil letters around the red letters and paint them with brown paint. Continue painting letters around the edges of the kit, and even on the back if you'd like.

Reverse-View Sunglasses: Things You'll Need

Nothing will get past you now.
Image Credit: Megan O. Andersen

With the mirrors in place, a true spy will be able to see in front of her as well as behind her.


  • Mirrored sheets
  • Child's sunglasses

Hey parents, why not make a pair for yourself? You might enjoy having "eyes on the back of your heads" to keep your spies in line!


Step 1: Cut Mirror Strips

Strips should be about a third of the lenses width.
Image Credit: Megan O. Andersen

Cut two small strips from your mirrored sheet. Make them just slightly longer than the height of the lenses, and about a third of the total width of the lenses.


Step 2: Adhere Mirror Strips to Glasses

Be careful not to scratch the lenses of the sunglasses.
Image Credit: Megan O. Andersen

Hold the mirrored sheets firmly against the outer portion of the lens. With the scissors, trim the mirrored sheets so that they fit perfectly against the glasses.


Hold the glasses up on your child to make sure there is not too much mirror blocking their forward-facing vision. Trim away excess as needed. Peel back the adhesive strip on the back and stick them in place, or, if using non-tacky mirrored sheets, glue the mirrored paper to the glasses frame.

Peek-a-Boo Map: Things You'll Need

I spy, with my little map.
Image Credit: Megan O. Andersen

A spy map is an essential tool (and so easy to make).

  • Scissors
  • Folded paper map

Step 1: Cut Out Eye Holes

Measure how close you'll need to place the holes.
Image Credit: Megan O. Andersen

Open the map and cut two ovals in the middle of the map, close enough together that you can peer through them.

How simple is that?

Signal Watch: Things You'll Need

Museum putty is non-toxic and can easily be removed.
Image Credit: Megan O. Andersen

When a spy is in trouble, he or she needs a discreet way to signal for help.


  • Child's watch
  • Small round mirrors
  • Museum putty

Step 1: Press-On Putty, Press-On Mirror

The perfect project for your little spy.
Image Credit: Megan O. Andersen

Take a nickel-sized piece of putty and press it into the glass face of the watch. Push the mirror directly onto the putty and hold it there for a moment.

Museum putty isn't permanent, so you can always pull the mirror back off and put it in your pocket when you need to check the time.

Step 2: Signal for Help!

The signal watch in action!
Image Credit: Megan O. Andersen

Use the sun's light to signal back to HQ when you are in need of an escape plan! Or use the signal watch to check your teeth after lunch. Spies should never be caught with broccoli in their teeth.

Camouflage Binoculars: Things You'll Need

Plastic toy binoculars can be found at discount and dollar stores.
Image Credit: Megan O. Andersen

A disguised pair of binoculars will help your little spy stay undercover!


  • Child's binoculars (or 2 toilet paper tubes and tape to make a set of binoculars)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Silk leaves

Step 1: Apply Hot Glue

Work on one side at a time.
Image Credit: Megan O. Andersen

When the hot glue gun is warmed up, gently squirt a string of glue along the top of one side of the binoculars.

Step 2: Layer the Leaves

Layer the leaves on the top only.
Image Credit: Megan O. Andersen

Begin layering the leaves on the top of the hot glue. This is a task for parents only, as the glue can be too hot for tiny fingers. Work quickly and carefully. When you have layered leaves along one top side of the binoculars, repeat the steps on the second side.

Step 3: Go Undercover

All I see is a shrub!
Image Credit: Megan O. Andersen

Not only will you be able to spy long distance, you will almost vanish into the foliage with this must-have spy aid.

Secret Compartment Book: Things You'll Need

Surprise! It's more than a book!
Image Credit: Megan O. Andersen

Every spy needs a secret compartment book – and they are a snap to make!

  • Old paperback book
  • Metal ruler
  • Cutting blade
  • Small notebook

Step 1: Cut Pages and Hide Notebook

Look for old books at yard sales.
Image Credit: Megan O. Andersen

Open the book (a few pages in), and press the spine open. Lay the metal ruler on the left side of the book and carefully cut a rectangle out of the center of the page.

Make sure the rectangle is bigger than your small notebook. Try to leave at least a 1/2 inch paper border in your pages as you cut.

Hide the notebook in the newly formed compartment and what do you have? The perfect place for housing the most important spy notes!

Extra: Download Spy Notes Worksheet and ID Card

Download and print out as many of the spy note worksheets as you like.
Image Credit: Megan O. Andersen

To further assist your kids in their spy play, we've created a downloadable spy notebook page. Print out the 4 inch by 6 inch notebook sheet and let your kids have fun creating profiles of suspicious characters and objects. Complete the spy kit with an official printable ID card! Have fun making up a code name and brainstorming fun spy skills for your kids. Laminate the ID card or encase it in packing tape for the ultimate spy experience.

All of the spy tools listed here (plus a large magnifying glass) will fit perfectly in your homemade spy kit!


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