Looking for a fun program for you and your kids for a rainy Sunday afternoon? Well look no further. Try making one of our easy homemade spy gadgets. We’ll explain how to make 9 of the very best spy gadgets for kids in today’s post.
Making spy toys is really fun as well as very educational. It’s a great way for kids to learn, before they have fun with their cool new spy toys. Making spy gear for kids is actually really easy, and some of our ideas can be made with things just lying around the home.
In today’s post we explain how to make spy gadgets at home. We’ve got everything the self respecting spy will ever need! There’s disappearing ink, periscopes, finger print kits, and a whole lot more! Wondering how to be a spy kid? Just follow our awesome guide.
There’s no crime too complex to solve with these spy gadgets at hand!
The best homemade spy gadgets
1. Keyhole Peeker Gadget
This little gadget is great device for seeing into the keyholes of locked rooms. It’s a nifty little device that is easy to make and use, and it’s small so you’ll be able to carry it just about anywhere.
To make this simple kids spy gear, you’ll need a clear marble, some thick black paper, scissors and tape. If the paper is large, then make sure you cut it down to an appropriate size for the marble. You’ll also want a smaller marble, as it will be able to “see” into the keyhole better without blocking it.
After that, you’ll want to set the marble in the center of one edge of the paper. Then, wrap the paper around it (at least twice around). You’ll want to make sure the paper is wrapped tightly, otherwise the marble may be able to fall out easily.
Next, tape the wrapped paper so that it stays in a tube shape. Half of your marble should be outside the paper, while the other half is wrapped inside (you can use a cocktail stick or toothpick to poke it into place).
Finally, find a keyhole to try it out in. Poke the end with the marble into it and you will see an upside down version of the room. How cool is that?!
2. Homemade Periscope
Periscopes are useful tools that you can use to see into areas you may not be able to normally, like areas above you, around corners and more. It’s a really fun device that children will love playing with.
As you look at the mirror in the bottom of the periscope you see a reflection of the mirror in the top of the device.
To make a homemade periscope you’ll need:
- 2 small mirrors (5 cm x 5 cm is ideal)
- A cereal box (or a piece of card at least A4 in size)
- Firstly, you’ll need to print off this template (or use it as a guide).
- Next, glue it to your piece of cardboard.
- Then, when the glue is dry you’ll need to cut out the outline of the template.
- The next step is to fold the dotted lines inward. You can use a ruler to help keep the folds straight.
- Next, glue the flaps that form the length of the template. This will give you the shape of the periscope.
- Then, glue the flaps at the ends of the periscope.
- Finally, glue a mirror in each end of the periscope. The mirrors sit at 45 degree angles, but face each other to reflect the image that you want to see.
You can tidy it up with some masking tape to make it stronger, or even decorate it by adding a camouflage pattern.
It’s a simple-to-use device that can be a lot of fun for adults and children alike!
Here is a great video how to make your own:
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3. Cipher Wheel
This is a great way to create secret codes to share between friends. It’s easy to make and can provide a lot of fun for those who want to pretend to be spies.
All you need to make this tool is:
- A pen or pencil
- Some thick paper or card
- A paper fastener
- Draw 2 circles on your paper or card. One should be a few centimeters smaller in diameter (the distance from one edge to the other, through the middle point) than the other.
- Next, cut out your two circles.
- Then poke a small hole through the middle of each circle.
- Place your paper fastener through the hole of each circle to join them together.
- Next, we need to use a ruler to divide or circles up into 32 equal segments, like 32 small slices of pizza. The easiest way to do this is to draw a line to split the circles in 1/2, then 1/4, 1/8 and so on. Just split each segment in 1/2 each time.
- You should now have two circles that are divided into 32 pieces. The next step is to write the alphabet on each segment, on each circle. You will have a few extra pieces and you can write symbols of your choosing on these.
If you want a step by step video on how to make a cipher wheel here you go:
4. Invisible Ink
Every good spy needs a way to write their secret messages so that others can’t see. So what better than an invisible letter?
Even if you’re already using a cipher wheel, sometimes you need even more security to keep those confidential messages safe. One useful tool that many spies can make use of is disappearing ink, which is only visible to those who know how to cause the ink to react.
Luckily, you can make your own invisible ink at home! In a snap, you can use lemon juice for invisible ink. All you need to do is get a container of lemon juice or make your own juice by squeezing a lemon into a suitable container. It can be tricky to use because the lemon juice is already clear and nearly invisible, but it’s well worth it!
Using a paintbrush or cotton swab, you can write your secret message onto a piece of paper. As soon as the juice dries, no one will be able to see it! When you or your recipient are ready to read the message, all you need to do is heat the paper. This can be tricky, so be careful not to burn the paper!
Using an iron, radiator, or a candle (you’ll need help from an adult for this), you can warm up the paper which will cause the invisible ink to turn brown. Then, the person who warmed it up will be able to read the secret message! This process works even better if you use paper that isn’t white, as it can sometimes be seen on white paper already.
Some of the best spy gear for kids is sometimes the simplest. Lemon juice, paper, a brush, and you’ve got an invisible letter!
5. Book Hidey-Hole
For those who want a secret place to hide their things, a book hidey-hole can be a fun way to hide important items so that they won’t easily be found. While there are places you can purchase these, it’s much less expensive to make one yourself.
In order to make this, you’ll need a writing utensil, ideally a pencil, a hardcover book thick enough to hide whatever you need, a ruler and a box cutter. Open the book a few pages in. Some like to keep around 1/8 of the book intact on each side, but it’s completely up to you. Just remember to get permission from an adult before you go cutting up precious books!
With the ruler and pencil, draw where you want the opening. Make sure not to make it too close to the edges. Then you’ll need to cut, or ask an adult to cut, along the line, opening up a rectangle in the middle of the book.
Make sure to take it slow. Some also choose to use an adhesive to keep the pages together, but you can also choose not to. Once you’ve finished, you’ll be able to store important things inside the book easily. Just be careful when you open it up!
6. FingerPrint Kit
Being able to capture fingerprints is a necessary skill for a spy, even if they’re only a spy at home. Ever wondered who always takes the last cookie? Now you can find out!
It’s easy to make your own fingerprint kit using standard household items that you can probably find around your home right now!
All you need to make this kit is cornstarch, some black chalk, a makeup brush and scotch tape. You can use a different color of chalk if you choose, but black will look the most realistic and make fingerprints the easiest to see. If children are making this kit, then it may be a good idea to get the help of an adult with grinding up the chalk.
After grinding a small amount of chalk, mix it with an equal measurement of cornstarch. When it has been thoroughly mixed, it can start being used. To help avoid a mess, make sure to keep this mixture in a container with a lid when it isn’t in use.
When you reach a place where you think a fingerprint might be, pour just a small amount of the mixture on the spot. Then carefully brush any excess mixture away. If there is a fingerprint, it should become visible. Then you can pick it up using a piece of the tape.
With the “criminal’s” fingerprint recorded, you can now set about finding the culprit!
If you further want your kid’s forensic specialist ambitions to deepen, maybe consider buying them a microscope too.
7. Camera Sunglasses
Specialized sunglasses can be a more expensive gadget to make than other kinds of gadgets, but they also have the potential to be even more fun. For this project, you’ll need a pair of old sunglasses, and [easyazon_link identifier=”B079FQZXGF” locale=”US” tag=”stealthyninjas-20″]a tiny camera[/easyazon_link].
This one used to be a pretty difficult thing to make, but now with modern wireless cameras it’s just a matter of mounting the camera on the sunglasses.
A bit of tape should be quite enough for this, and means the camera can be easily removed for other tasks too. If you’re lucky you might even find a cheap camera with night vision.
This used to be a spy gadget reserved for super spies like James Bond, but modern technology makes it available to everyone these days.
8. Spy Teddy
This is a gadget that many people may use for some reason or another, whether it’s keeping an eye on their home while they’re away or watching for intruders, it’s a useful device. For this, you’ll need an old teddy bear or other stuffed animal, a webcam and some smaller electronic-friendly tools.
You will need to get the circuit board and lens out of the webcam for the full effect. Set those items aside and then take one of the eyes out of the teddy. Because the lens is likely to be darker in color, using a stuffed animal with black eyes is a good idea, or else the lens will stand out too much.
You’ll also need to cut a small hole into the back of the stuffed animal. Then, place the lens into the eye hole of the stuffed animal.
Finally, carefully run a cord so that you can plug the webcam pieces into a computer. Then you’ll be able to see what’s going on around the stuffed animal. Do remember that this should only be used for fun, so never use it for purposes that would disrupt someone’s privacy.
With a bit of work you can turn your regular toys into new spy gear toys!
9. Camera Coffee Cup
This is a fun device for slightly older spies who want to get a little more technical with their gadgets. What makes this particular gadget interesting is that it can be used to take a picture each time you lift the cup and pretend to take a drink.
You’ll want to use two paper or foam cups for this. Fit your camera and lens pieces into one, and then fit that cup into a second cup. In the bottom, you’ll want small holes for the lens that line up between the two cups.
This can be a trickier device to make, as you’ll need to take the components out of a regular camera. So make sure you either purchase a camera specifically for this purpose or use an old one that isn’t going to be needed anymore.
In addition, you’re going to need to set it up with a tilt switch. This is what allows the camera to take a picture during the movement rather than you having to press a button. Using this interesting device, you’ll surely be able to get in a lot of great spy practice!
There are a number of spy gadget DIY options out there that work for a wide range of skill levels. While these items can be very fun to make and use, it’s important to use them for entertainment and in lawful ways only. Otherwise it can potentially upset people and get you into trouble.
Aside from that, feel free to make and enjoy sending secret messages, peeking into keyholes and taking pictures of various subjects. Using these incredibly fun gadgets will be sure to make you feel like a real spy! Enjoy, be careful and have fun!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our post on how to make spygear, and we’d love to hear how you got on. Just leave us a comment down below.
Don’t have the time to make a spy gadget? Check out our list of the 10 best toys.
We also have a massive guide to the top monoculars.
Don’t forget to bookmark us as there are loads more fun ideas coming soon!
Extra Image Sources
By Christian Schirm [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons