Spy and Secret Code Activities for Kids – Frugal Fun For Boys and Girls

Create your own SPY WEEK with these spy and secret code activities for kids! Below, you’ll find activities, crafts, and games with a fun spy theme. This is also a great resource if you’re planning a spy themed camp or birthday party.


It’s so fun to send and receive messages in a secret code! There are so many ways to create coded messages, and here are a few of our favorites.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means that I will earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.

First, Use LEGO Bricks to Build Coded Messages. You can use any bricks for this! Create your key, and then build a series of bricks to make a message.

Print a Spy Decoder Wheel. This is such an easy way to create a code! And the cool thing is that this decoder wheel actually has 27 different codes in it. You turn the discs to set the code.

It’s also fun to create your own secret code! Kids can fill in symbols, letters, or numbers on this code form. Print yours at the bottom of the post.

Head over to these Code Activities on Picklebums to learn about morse code and pigpen cipher – two more fun codes for kids!


Use pencil graphite and tape to make some really awesome fingerprints! It’s amazing how much detail you can see with this method, and I definitely prefer it over the use of a stamp pad.

Use items from around the house to play a fun game of What’s Missing? This is a really great thinking game for kids, and it helps them recognize the power of observation.

Here’s how to play:

Gather several small items. The number of items you’ll want to have will depend on the ages of the children playing the game. I used this tray of items with my 6 and 8 year olds, and after a few rounds, we added 6 more items to make it harder. Preschoolers would likely need less items than what is shown.

Have the child carefully look at the tray and take note of what’s there. Then have them close their eyes while you remove an object. They have to figure out which object has been removed.

The first time we played, my 8 year old said, “Oh, I did NOT look very closely at this!” It really does demonstrate what’s involved in truly observing every detail!

One thing that we found interesting was that we all could remember the color of the item that was missing even if we couldn’t remember what the object was. We would say, “Oh, it went here… and it was orange… what was it?” It’s interesting how our brains work!

Build a LEGO Spy Safe with a cool push-button mechanism! We’ve got a video in the post that shows you how to build it.

Build a Periscope

As a kid, I always thought periscopes sounded so interesting! And yet, we have still not tried making one. There are lots of tutorials online for building a periscope! Here’s a cardboard periscope on YouTube with good instructions.

If you can find round mirrors, it would be fun to make this PVC pipe periscope because of the durability factor.


Before we started our spy week, I ordered two black light flashlights from Amazon, and wow, they have been worth every penny!

Black lights are bulbs that emit mainly UV rays. These rays cause substances that fluoresce to glow under the black light. For example, a black light causes white socks, white paper, laundry soap, teeth, honey, some types of flowers, bodily fluids, and more to glow. (Side benefit – we used our black light to find a puddle our puppy left in the carpet. I could smell it, but could not see it!)

You’ll definitely want to check out the Glowing Bubbles that we made with our black light!

Also, a black light can charge objects that phosphoresce (glow in the dark) REALLY quickly. We’ve been having fun making our bottle of glow-in-the-dark glue glow really brightly!

Glow-in-the-Dark Invisible Ink

It’s fun to use glow-in-the-dark paint to make invisible ink. I bought this natural color glow-in-the-dark paint at Walmart.

We used Q-tips to write messages with the paint. When it dried, you could tell that there was something on the paper, but it was definitely impossible to read the message.

Shining the black light on the paper made the words appear, even in full daylight! So fun.

Side note – the paint does glow in the dark, but it was not impressive. The black light made it much better!


I’m super excited about this Spy Obstacle Course! Our whole family really enjoyed the process of setting this up and trying it out. Perfect for a rainy day or a birthday party activity.

There are also some fun spy party games here at East Coast Mommy! They have the same what’s missing game, but also 4 different games that look very fun.

Printable I-Spy Games

If you need a less active game, here’s a bunch of printable I-Spy games. There are a ton of different themes.


There’s a fun spy word search, two options for mystery story writing paper, and the create your own code page that you saw above.

When you print the pack, you’ll get these pages without the watermark on them. It’s there to deter people who will steal these for their printable coloring page websites. 🙂

Click the link below to print. The file will open and you can download or print from there.

CLICK HERE: Spy Printable Pack

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