Scholastic Spotlight: Learn how to become a spy with Andrew Judge, author of Create Your Own Spy Mission!

Spy Training at Home

Spy training is THE way to spend your free time. First step: make sure no one knows what you are doing! If anyone asks what you are up to, make something up, FAST! Something like, er … “I’m just sorting out my comics.” Don’t say: “I’m doing my homework” because they won’t believe you, and your cover will be blown!

Set up a Base

Whether you plan to be a lone agent or part of a spy team, you need a base. You can set one up at home in your bedroom by putting a “PLEASE KNOCK” sign on your bedroom door, to make sure no one unauthorised enters the room. You’ll need to agree a special knock (three taps, pause, two taps, pause, one tap, for example) with your teammates. Passwords are good too; make sure only your teammates know what it is and that no one else can guess it. The name of your favourite TV show, for example.


You’ll need some spy equipment:
  • A notebook and pencil to record your missions and passwords, and for writing secret notes.
  • Disguises: hats and sunglasses are useful. Wigs can be handy. Fancy dress costumes are helpful too: your mum will just think you are playing dress-up and won’t suspect you are actually on a secret mission!
  • A small mirror (or periscope if you have one). This is handy for looking around corners.
  • Sticky tape.
  • A safe place to keep your stuff. An old shoebox that you can hide under your bed or in the bottom of the wardrobe.

Secret Traps

Traps are useful for finding out if someone has been in your room while you weren’t there. Cut off a short piece of sticky tape and make a small snip in the middle, but make sure you don’t cut all the way through. Stick it across the gap in your door near the bottom where no one will spot it. Make sure you do it on the outside when you are leaving your room. If the tape is broken when you get back, you’ll know an Enemy Agent has been in the room!

Practise Sneaking

A good spy needs to be able to move around unnoticed. Practise sneaking from one part of the house to the other.
  • Take off your shoes and wear socks.
  • Find out where the creaky floorboards are; draw a map of them and learn to avoid them.
  • Always stop at open doorways and listen. Make sure no one in the room sees you as you sneak past. Use your periscope or mirror to look into the room.
  • Sneak behind furniture or under tables to creep through a room. Crawl or wriggle on your belly if you need to.

If you are spotted by an Enemy Agent, have an alibi ready. Say something like, “Have you seen my sticker book?” or “I need to go to the toilet!”

Coded Messages

Use a secret code to write messages on small pieces of paper. You will find a code sheet for making secret message on Agree on a “drop” (a secret hiding place for messages) where you can leave messages and others can pick them up, and where Enemy Agents won’t think of looking –inside a spare shoe under the stairs, or wedged under a skirting board in the hallway. You can also use sticky tape to stick messages to the underside of a table, or the bottom of a shelf where tall Enemy Agents won’t spot them.

Find Out More!

To find out more about Create Your Own Spy Mission as well as the first book in the series, Create Your Own Alien Adventure click here

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Spy Mission Packshot

You can also visit the epic where you’ll find loads of fun activity sheets, videos and more!

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