September 29, 2012 by FHElessons
This week I did an activity for my Activity Day Girls that I thought would make a fun Family Home Evening, especially for a family of boys such as several of my sisters have. The activity itself consists of “training” for the Secret Service. Once certified, each child/person is given a “secret mission” to complete, which involves doing service every day for a week in secret!
Leave a little invitation for each of your family members on their pillows or taped to their bedroom doors. Or, you could even mail them so that each kid would get to receive a piece of mail. Right click on the following image to print or click HERE for a word document that you download, edit with your own info, and then print.
Assuming you don’t want the James Bond or Mission Impossible theme songs as your opening song, here are some hymn suggestions:
- Because I Have Been Given Much – Hymn #219
- Have I Done Any Good – Hymn #223
- Scatter Sunshine – Hymn #230
The activity itself will consist of games, each of which will train your cadets in a spy technique for future participation in the Secret Service. Choose from among the following ideas according to the time you have and the age and interests of your family:
1. Choose code names: Write adjectives on slips of paper and put into a jar or bowl. Write nouns on slips of paper and put into another jar. Have each family member draw an adjective and a noun to make up his/her code name. For a free printable list of nouns and adjectives, go HERE. If you use my list, code name possibilities might be things like:
- Tricky Fish
- Spikey Pixie
- Dancing Cookie
2. Guard Dog – to practice sneaking and guarding: One person sits with her back to the group and a stuffed animal or other small object behind her (we used a scary looking alien monkey!). The rest of the group sits across the room. Their objective is to steal the object without the guard dog knowing. If the guard dog hears anything, she quickly turns around. If she catches someone in the act of sneaking or stealing, that person is now the new guard dog. If nobody was sneaking or stealing, she has to be guard dog again. We let anyone who wanted to sneak or steal do so at will, but you could also play where the group took turns being assigned to be the sneaker.
3. Bomb squad – to practice getting rid of bombs: This is basically a game of “Hot Potato.” Stand in a circle and pass the “bomb” around, trying to get rid of it as quickly as possible. If it “goes off” while you’re holding it, you’re out. Last one standing is the winner! We used the timer from our Catch Phrase game for this. It worked well because it’s round and because it beeps at you as you’re passing it. It also marks a random amount of time (sometimes shorter and sometimes longer), so you never know when the bomb will blow. If you don’t have Catch Phrase, you can find a tutorial for a cute homemade bomb HERE.
4. Target Practice: Set up something to use as a target. I used some toys on our kitchen counter. Give the kids Nerf dart guns or whatever kind of toy guns you have around and let them practice shooting at the target. Always a fun game (until they start shooting at each other- we had a little of that occur)!
5. Ninja – to test their reflexes: All players stand in a circle. Place hands together and bow to each other. Then, immediately strike a ninja pose. One person goes first. On your turn, you can make one motion to try to hit another person’s hand with your hand. If you hit any other part of his/her body, it doesn’t count. If you hit your target’s hand, he puts his hand behind his body, and that hand is out. Whatever position your body landed in after your move to attempt to hit your target’s hand, you are now frozen in that position until your next turn. Now the person who you just targeted takes a turn. He may target anyone in the group including you. If you are targeted, you may attempt to dodge the hit. The game tests to see who is the fastest – the person trying to hit or the person trying to dodge. The difficulty is increased because you don’t know when and by whom you will be targeted. Play continues being passed from hitter to target until both of someone’s hands have been hit. If both of your hands are out, then you are out of the game. Last person standing is the Super Ninja!
Hint: If your kids are older, you can also include kicking as well as hitting. Warn players to be careful not to hit or kick too hard. I wouldn’t suggest playing this game with young children.
Legal warning: Play at your own risk! Obviously, this game can be dangerous! (BTW, I didn’t even know about this game, but, apparently, the kids play it with each other all the time at school. They seemed to really enjoy it.)
6. 007 – another game to test reflexes: Everyone stands in a circle. One person begins the game pointing to someone else and saying, “0”. That person, in turn, points to another person and says, “0”. The person pointed to points to a third person and says, “7”. “7” does nothing, but the 2 people on either side of “7” must raise their hands above their heads and say, “Ah!” If they do it correctly, “7” begins another round by pointing to someone and saying, “0”. It sounds easy, but it’s difficult to remember what to say and do, especially if you’re one of the people standing on either side of “7”. If anyone says or does the wrong thing or fails to do as they’re supposed to, they’re out.
7. Laser Beam Course – to test flexibility: Set up a laser beam course using red yarn or string. We put out 2 lines of chairs and barstools to create our course in between them and tied the string across at varying heights and angles. You could also use a long hallway and tape your string to the walls. We thought it would be fun to put bells on each piece of string so that if your body touched the string, you’d know it because the bell would ring, but we were too lazy to find the bells and do it.
Be careful because once you get it set up, the strings can be hard to see. A couple of times we accidentally tried to walk through the space and tripped ourselves. If you have young kids, and you’re afraid that the strings will be unsafe, you could also use red crepe paper streamers.
This laser course was probably the kids most favorite activity. They went through it many, many times to practice and try to improve their technique. But, if you don’t want to set up the laser course, you could also play it “limbo style” and have the parents hold a string for the kids to go under, progressively lowering it.
8. Some other ideas for spy training games:
- Set up an obstacle course or labyrinth to run through.
- Play sardines: One person hides and everyone else seeks. If you find the hiding place, join in.
- Who’s who: Trace everybody’s hand or footprint or have everyone kiss a paper with lipstick. Lay out all the papers and let everyone guess whose hand/foot/lip print is whose.
- Balance: Set up a balance beam to walk across or do a relay race where you have to put your head down on a pole and spin around 10 times before running the race.
- Memory: Play the game where you show everyone a tray with 10 or more objects on it for 10 seconds. Then take the tray away and let everyone write down as many items as they can remember.
- Disguise: Have 2 piles of disguise gear and have a relay race to run up and put on the costumes, run back to the line, and pass the disguise gear off to the next player.
- Forensics: Show kids how to lift finger prints. Find a tutorial HERE. Take everyone in the family’s fingerprints and label them. Then lift a fingerprint from a drinking glass or some object touched earlier in the day. Compare to figure out “who done it.”
- Code Breaking: Use one of the secret codes found HERE to create a treasure hunt for your kids to follow where they have to decipher each clue using the code.
9. ID Badges: Once training is complete, everyone needs an ID badge. I’ve made you a FREE PRINTABLE that you can find HERE. Print page one on cardstock and then flip the page back over and run it through again to print the bar codes on the back of each ID. Prepare them ahead of time by pasting a photo of each family member onto his/her badge. Add the code names after they’re chosen at the beginning of FHE. Quickly laminate using clear contact paper to cover both sides. Here’s what the front of your ID badges will look like:
10. Secret Missions: Here’s what this lesson was all about – finally! Now that your family members are all authorized Secret Service Agents, hand out their assignments. Use a manila envelope for each and write (or stamp) “Top Secret” on the front. Inside the envelope, include their assignment to do an act of service every day for a week and to do this service secretly. I used the free printables found HERE. When searching for these, I found that they are available HERE as well. I’m not sure whose idea this was first and who is the plagiarizer, but the first link has it formatted the best. Here’s what my secret mission envelopes looked like:
The girls were all super excited to get started on their “Secret Missions.” Hopefully, this fun FHE activity can help your family have fun doing service as well, and your acts of service for each other will bring the Spirit into your home!
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