How to make easy spy gadgets

Updated February 18, 2018

Whether they're imitating Inspector Gadget or have been reading "Harriet the Spy," many children like to pretend they are spies. Secret gadgets and spy gear can spark days of imaginative play. Spy birthday parties are good creative fun, and creating a spy lair is an interesting way for children to pass rainy afternoons. You can create a lot of homemade spy gadgets using items around the house in less than an hour.

Keyhole Peeker

Cut out a piece of black construction paper 4 inches wide and long enough to wrap around a marble twice.

Place a clear marble in the centre of the short edge of the paper. Wrap the paper around the marble tightly, creating a tube with a marble in the centre. Fasten the side of the tube with tape.

Push the marble carefully with a stick or pencil eraser until half of the marble is sticking out of one end of the paper tube.

Place the marble against a keyhole and look into the other end of the paper tube. You will be able to see everything that goes on in the hidden room through the keyhole peeker.

Secret Message Kit

Fill a small bottle with lemon juice. Place the bottle of lemon juice in a small box along with a clean pointed make-up applicator.

Write a short grocery list on each page of a small pad of paper using a regular pen. Use only the left side of the paper for each list. Add this pad of paper to the secret message kit.

Use the lemon juice as ink and the make-up applicator as a brush to write secret messages on the pages with grocery lists. The juice will dry clear, leaving only a page that looks like a scrap with a list on it. Pass the secret message to your spy partner.

Instruct your spy partner to heat the paper in an oven or carefully over a flame, using adult supervision. The secret message will magically appear.

Secret Container

Open a lip balm stick and twist the bottom part of the stick around to make the lip balm protrude. Keep twisting until all of the lip balm is sticking up.

Discard the lip balm by breaking it off or wiping it with a tissue. Remove the inside platform from the tube by grasping it with tweezers and pulling up firmly.

Place secret messages, money, "microfilm," or other small objects into the tube and replace the top. Place the lip balm tube in an innocuous place, like a desk top or on a shelf. You can pass objects to your spy partner using this device.

Things You'll Need

  • Clear marble
  • Black construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Stick or pencil
  • Lemon juice
  • Pointed make-up applicator
  • Small bottle
  • Small box
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Lip balm
  • Tweezers
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About the Author

Working in sunny Florida, Anne Baley has been writing professionally since 2009. Her home and lifestyle articles have been seen on Coldwell Banker and Gardening Know How. Baley has published a series of books teaching how to live a frugal life with style and panache.