Kick-off Celebration: Spy Games!

Bulletin Board

Spy Games: World Famous Spies

Photocopy pictures of famous spies from library books. Under the pictures, list information like name, country, secret name, etc. Gather as much or as little information as you would like. Encourage your summer readers to find as much information as they can about each of the spies.


Decorate an area with the names of famous book character sleuths like Sherlock Holmes, Encyclopedia Brown, Nate the Great, etc. Place books featuring these characters around their names.


Secret agent badge and sleuth cap.

Books to Display and Booktalk

  • Codes & Ciphers: Hundreds of Unusual and Secret Ways to Send Messages by Christina Ashton.
  • Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh.
  • Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying by Barbara Park.
  • Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat.
  • Redcoats and Petticoats by Katherine Kirkpatrick.
  • The Rosenberg Espionage Case by Francis Moss.
  • Shadows in the Glasshouse by Megan McDonald.
  • Spies and Traitors by Stewart Ross.
  • Spies in the Civil War by Albert A. Nofi.
  • Spy by Richard Platt.
  • Spyhole Secrets by Zilpha Keatley Snyder.
  • Undercover Agents by Paul Thomas.


Clue Me In

Write a series of 6 to 8 clues that will lead to various books on the shelf in the library. Clue #1 would lead to clue #2 and so forth up to clue #8. Have fun making up clues! Form the children into pairs and give each pair a set of clues. When the children find the books, let them exchange their list of clues with each other. Afterwards, talk about clues. What kinds of clues are easiest and which are more difficult? Older children may want to write their own set of clues!

Ghost Writing


  • Milk
  • White paper
  • Thin paintbrushes
  • An iron
  • Small cups


Give a sheet of paper and a paintbrush to each child. Pour the milk into small cups. Each child will dip the paintbrush into the milk and begin writing a secret message on a sheet of paper. Wait for the message to dry completely and become invisible. When dry, turn the sheet over and use the hot iron to press the side of paper opposite the side where the milk message was written. The heat from the iron will cause the carbon compounds in the milk to break down and produce carbon, which is black. The children will then be able to read their "ghost writing".

Invisible Ink

You will need lemon juice, white paper, and flat toothpicks or paint brushes. Follow the same procedures used above for the ghost writing to write secret messages.

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I Spy Private Eye

Designate one child as the "private eye". He/she will sit in the middle of a circle. Each participant seated in the circle will ask a question. The private eye is only allowed to say "tomato". The first person to make the private eye laugh becomes the next private eye. Here are some examples of questions. "What is the name of a Russian spy?" Answer: "Tomato". "What is the code name for James Bond?" Answer: "Tomato".

Who's the Thief?

You will need a small bag of pennies and a blindfold. One player will be the designated detective and will be blindfolded with his/her back to the other participants. The bag of gold (pennies) will be placed under the detective's chair. One participant from the group will steal the pennies. When the blindfold is removed, the detective can ask three yes or no questions to get clues, such as "Was the thief wearing tennis shoes?" or "Was the thief wearing a baseball cap?" The detective then gets three guesses to catch the thief. If the thief is caught then the detective gets another turn. If not, the thief becomes the next detective.

Activity Sheets

Invite the children to solve the "I Spy" Crossword Puzzles, the "Spy Games Word Search", and the "Mission Possible Cryptogram" here.





  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Hole punch
  • String
  • Markers


Distribute two toilet paper rolls to each child. Let the children cover the rolls with construction paper or decorate them with markers as shown in the illustration. Next, they glue the rolls together, side by side. Punch a hole on each side of the rolls and tie string through the holes so that children may hang their spyglasses over their neck and start spying!

Guest Presenters

Contact the police department and invite an officer do a presentation about criminology, spies, and espionage. Tell them that the audience will be interested in knowing how their police department aids the FBI and the CIA.


  • Harriet the Spy. (102 minutes)
  • Spy Kids. (88 minutes)

Web Site

CIA's Homepage for Kids

Go on a virtual tour of the CIA, crack the code and solve puzzles at this site.


Texas Reading Club 2003 Programming Manual / Mission Possible Spy Book!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011