Monday, January 23, 2012

How to Host a Spy Party

A turned 8, which meant this is a "Friend Party" year.  He wanted to have a spy party, so I started thinking about what kind of a cake I could make.  Most years I do pretty neat cakes (although we've bought the last few since we had either just moved or just had a baby...).  I also started looking online for ideas of what we could do at the party.  I found a few ideas for party games and began to piece the party together.  My most genius idea was the fake cake.

I decided that we'd start the party first thing with the cake.  It looked like this:

This is how I put it together:

Yes, that is a giant marshmallow (I cut a little off the bottom to make it not so tall) and then I cut a slice into it to put the licorice in).  It's amazing how much easier it is to frost a piece of foam than a real cake. 

The kids were all really excited about the cake (I was too- it looked really cool).  The foam was harder to cut than I thought it would be, so I actually ended up just cutting the two pieces apart- so I recommend using two half circles otherwise you'd need an electric knife or something to cut a piece of cake.  

Once we had the cake cut in half, we acted shocked.  "What in the world?  What happened to the cake?"  Even A had no idea.  This note was hidden inside of the cake:

 First thing we did was fingerprint all of the children to make sure none of them matched the print on the note- we had to rule them out as the cake thief.  Next I handed out cards with several fingerprints on them (fingerprints labeled with names of "known criminals").  Once we had confirmed that the thief really was Dr. Caker, we were able to head to his secret headquarters.  

Unfortunately Dr. Caker was a step ahead of us, and had abandoned his hideout.  We did discover a bomb and had to diffuse it before we could search the building (our playroom) for clues.  The bomb was a special "chocolate bomb", and had to be diffused by putting on special gloves (socks) and unwrapping and cutting it up with two butter knives- and then eating the pieces- all without touching it.  The kids sat in a circle and rolled dice, everytime someone got doubles they got to have a chance to diffuse the bomb, when someone else rolled doubles, they had to hand their tools to the next person.  (this is The Candy Bar Game that I used to play at parties when I was a kid).

Once the bomb was totally eaten/diffused, we searched the room for clues and found a note from Dr. Caker congratulating them on being better secret agents than he thought they would be, but that he was not going to get caught, so he had moved on to a room "more suited to living".  The kids figured out pretty quick that they had to go downstairs to the living room, which was now full of balloons.  More bombs- these couldn't be diffused, so they had to be detonated.  The kids sat and stomped until the bombs were all popped.  They discovered that several bombs had encrypted notes inside.  We pulled out the decoder lenses (pieces of red cellophane).  I had typed the notes in blues and greens, alternating letters, then added red yellow and orange letters in between so that you couldn't read the note until the red cellophane blocked out the red yellow and orange.  

That final clue led to the room where the real cake was hidden.  Cupcakes baked inside of ice cream cones.  I need to improve my technique with frosting them, but the kids liked them.  

We also had bowls of ice cream, opened presents, then the kids watched a couple episodes of Phineas and Ferb since we had some time to kill (those kids finished the clues faster than I thought they would).  If we had had a little more time, we could have watched a Spy Kids movie or something (they all really seem to like The Spy Next Door at this age).  

As kids left, we handed out goody bags:

Inside was a mini spy kit that I found at the dollar store, some disguise glasses, a magnifying glass and a candy bar.  I also used a similar bag to hold supplies for each game:


Julie said...

So creative! I'm so not a fan of having to plan birthday parties (for some reason it causes me a lot of stress,) and none of them have ever been this elaborate.

Alice said...

We don't do them very often, so I figure they need to be good. J's party last summer was just a movie on the projector screen outside, with pizza and popcorn, so it was really easy to put together. CP gets a friend party this year too- I didn't arrange that very well, but at least we're getting them all out of the way and won't have to do it again anytime soon.

Kari said...

Wow! Can you plan MY birthday party this year?! Love it and I bet the boys did too.

Criscell said...

SO CUTE, Alice! Way to go! I love it all--esp. that cake. I bet he loved it as well.

Charlotte said...

This is brilliant Al! I am so impressed with your creativity! It sounds like it went off wonderfully (like a bomb! Ha!) and everyone had a fabulous time. I bet your kids will remember this one forever!

Dorene said...

I love this! I just wished A's birthday was a month sooner. I would have liked this idea for my 8-year-old's birthday party 2 weeks ago!

Barbara said...

You are SO CLEVER!! I wish you were my mom and I was having a birthday party :D