If kids are having fun playing spy games, why not give them a little equipment to make their spy play even more exciting. There are many items that can be used to make homemade spy gear for kids to enjoy for hours on end. Make a book safe, write secret messages with invisible ink and even lift real fingerprints with fingerprint powder.
A Book Safe
Show kids how to hide their smallest treasures and valuables. A book is a place that many would never think to look to find valuables. That is what makes a book the perfect safe. Find an old hardcover book with several hundred pages that no one minds cutting. Open the beginning pages of the book (to approximately page 10). Lay the book flat and on the right-hand page, draw a rectangle approximately 1 inch inside the outer edge of the entire page. Hold the book so that all of the pages under this page are lined up perfectly. To avoid injury, an adult should hold a ruler up to one of the sides of the rectangle and use an X-acto knife to cut along the edge, cutting through the multiple pages underneath this page. Cut down about 1 inch into the pages. Repeat with the other sides of the rectangle and remove the cut out rectangles of pages when the cutting is finished. There will be a rectangular hole in the pages that is large enough to hold small objects while the book is closed and sitting on a shelf.
Squeeze some juice from a lemon and place it into a small cup. Use a piece of recycled newsprint paper for best results. Dip a small artist's paintbrush into the lemon juice and carefully write out a secret message. For even better results, write something else on the paper with a regular pen so that your secret message will not be suspected or detected. To read the secret message, it is necessary to apply heat to the paper. This must be done carefully to avoid hazard and injury, and should be done with adult supervision. Either hold the paper above a candle flame (far enough above so that it does not burn) or lightly iron the paper with an iron set to low. The heat will cause the lemon juice writing to turn brown become visible.
Dust for prints just like the pros with this homemade fingerprint powder. Gather together some cornstarch, a candle, two small ceramic dishes and a small spatula. An adult should supervise and help with this project. Place a small amount of cornstarch into one dish. Light the candle and hold the other dish so that it is in the flame. This will create soot in the dish. When there is enough soot to remove from the dish, scrape it out of this dish and into the other dish with the cornstarch. Continue this process until you have equal amounts of soot and cornstarch. Mix the two together to fully incorporate them. When it is time to use the powder, sprinkle it over a fingerprint and then blow it away, which will reveal the fingerprint.