Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lego Agents / Secret Agents Party- Part 2

Lego Agent Badge

Secret Agent Badge/Lanyard
My son got one of the Agent sets for Christmas and it came with an Agent badge.  That gave me the idea that all the kids should each have a badge.  Using my trusty Photo Shop Elements I came up with something I am happy with.  I used the original card from the set as inspiration.  I did a lot of cutting and pasting and came up with a different Lego character for each child at the party.

thumb print on badge

I also added a place to put their “finger print” on the badge.  Since they are secret agents their print is in glow-in-the-dark ink.  We decided to draw shapes (some were letters L E G O) on the kids' thumbs and then have them transfer the “print” to their ID card.  This way when they go through security their mark will show up under black light to confirm their identity.  Each child was asked ahead of time to RSVP with their “Agent Name.”  This way I could have their cards printed out. So they would be ready to be finger printed then laminated when they got to the party.

The picture below is their special shape, under the black light!  The kids went wild over this...wait a minute, so did the adults!
symbol on thumb

They were given a lanyard to hang their badges around their necks.  Thanks Rebecca for taking on the task of getting all those badges finished up!  Ok so the cool factor was the kids got to see that their print was transferred to the badge.  There were a few late arrivals that we went ahead and drew the symbols right on the badge.  They never knew the difference.  So for the sake of getting stuff done ahead of time, go ahead and draw the glow in the dark shapes on the badge ahead of time and make up the badges so they are ready to go.  You can always draw on the kids' thumbs when they get there.

finished badge

Marshmallow Shooters:

Every agent needs a handy weapon.  They need one that can be changed to suit the situation.  These shooters fit the bill perfectly.  Think about it who would stop someone with a bunch of PVC pipes in a bag?  The agents could disguise themselves as plumbers.  LOL

Mini Marshmallow shooter kit 

Since last summer I have been dying for an excuse to make mini marshmallow shooters that I saw on THIS BLOG  and THIS BLOG .    I picked 3 different plans that I liked.  Two were smaller simpler shooters but good options for making masses of them.  The THIRD ONE was a rifle style but the measurements on all the plans we saw made for one big gun that used about 4 feet of PVC!  It looked really cool but it was way over sized (even for a small adult) and that was for the small one!   We played around with the smaller pieces from the smaller styles (featured at the top of the above image) and came up with a smaller more kid friendly sized rifle style shooter.  The added bonus is that all we had to do is add in an extra 2 inch piece and a mouth piece (connector) to the kit that allows the kids could choose to make both the smaller styles or just one of the rifle style shooter. 

The styles that the kids came up with were pretty much as unique as the kids, each made it their own.    It cost us $2.26 for 2 feet of PVC and 8 connector pieces for each shooter.  Not a bad little party favor if you ask me.  One 10 foot 1/2 inch PVC pipe made 5 shooters.  If you buy the connectors in bulk packages they will cost you $0.27  and under (depending on the piece) for each one.  We made kits for 20 shooters, 14 for the kids and a few extras for adults to play along too. 

Oh and I suggest splurging on the PVC cutter.  Sooooo much easier than using a hack saw or anything else.  Cuts right through it like…well pruners through a branch.  Leaving behind a nice clean edge (that you don’t have to sand down).  They look a little like pruners and cost about $16 depending on the pair you get.  You can find them where they sell the PVC pipe.  By the way the pipe we used said it was for drinking water.

We also ran all the pieces through the dishwasher ahead of time.  Use alphabet stickers or a label maker so the kids can put their names on their shooters.   We gave each kid a label with their agent name on it.
Each kit had the above picture on a sheet of paper.  On the back were some rules of combat.  You know things like: Don’t eat used marshmallows off the ground (if we had used the marshmallows) or shoot into each other’s mouths, don’t use the shooters like swords, Have fun, make sure everybody has fun, wear eye protection at all times.

After the kids built their shooters.  We gave them 3/4 inch pom poms to shoot (which they put into their ammo holder-film canisters on their belts).  There are some pretty serious food allergies in the family so I decided to go with a non-food ammo option.  I had also bought mini marshmallows, Kix cereal, and was looking for puffed corn cereal (the kind with no flavoring on it that is just round pieces of puffed corn).  I also took the time to make some balls out of Model Magic.  It is that foam like play dough stuff that air dries.  I used the rest of the Model magic package as bases for the targets I made.  We never did take out the food ammo options because the pom poms worked so well.  The best part is that I had nothing to pick up after the party.  No sticky mess!  The kids guarded their ammo and made sure that there wasn’t a single one left behind.  WOOOO WHOOOOO! NO CLEAN UP FOR ME!!! 

Targets for Marshmallow shooters
I made these targets by printing up some printable targets I found HEREand then laminated them.    I printed out two sizes on card stock.  I was able to get 2 large targets on one 8.5x11 piece of paper and 5 smaller targets.  I cut out the targets and laminated them.  I then cut a wide border of laminate around the targets to give the kids something a little larger to hit.  I used some Model Magic to make the bases because we wanted them to get knocked over when hit.  It is a modeling compound that comes in foil pouches.  It is a lot like Play Doh but it feels more like foam.  I formed the bases around the laminate targets and then let it air dry for 24 hours.

I was worried that anything too heavy wouldn’t get knocked over by pom poms.  The targets were for practicing their aim and because I didn’t want to encourage the kids shooting each other.  I was a little worried that some of the parents of invited friends wouldn’t appreciate us giving their kids “guns”.  I called them shooters but really they are air guns.    I have to tell you that it was a little windy the day of the party so the targets were a bust.  However, the pom poms were super soft and nobody got hurt.  The kids took the “Secret Agents” theme and ran with it.  It was like one big secret agents play date. 

One mom, of a kindergartener, was a little nervous at first but when she saw how well all the kids were playing she was totally fine with it all.  Thanks Anjeanette, for handing out and getting the shooter play going.  I also have to thank my husband, who was sick that day, for trying hard to get the targets to work for us.  I am just glad the rain cleared up for the day!

We sent some targets home with guests.  There was enough for each family to take home two.  

Eye Protection/Goggles……
eye gear with strap

Every trainee needs eye protection while on the shooting range.  We had on hand empty soda bottles to make into eye protection (thanks to Nana).  You can find vinyl tape at stores like Target in the isle with the duct tape and electrical tape as well as any old hardware store.  It isn’t expensive and comes in packs that contain several colors.  I like a little variety myself.  We were going to use it as trim around the edges however, that was time consuming so we opted to use it as straps for the smaller kids.  Because the bottles are curved there was no need for straps for the older kids.  They liked that they stayed on by themselves.  If you don’t want to make eye wear, try checking out your dollar store.  Some time in the spring through summer they usually carry sun glasses for $1 each.  Or you can check out the party store for a package of sun glasses (assuming they have some other than the star and heart shaped ones.)

eye gear

I used the safety glasses (left side of photo) from a kit the boys had and traced around the edges.  I wanted the goggles a little bit bigger so I used the tracing as a guide for the shape and cut out a larger version.  I used card stock for my template.  We then traced the template with a Sharpie on to the soda bottles and cut them out.  You can get two pair of goggles per soda bottle.  We used vinyl tape doubled over to make the straps.  To attach them to the goggles we used squares of sticky backed velcro.  You could use ribbon or elastic for the strap as well.   Though the kids didn't seem to need it, you could use a little Model Magic to make the bridge around the nose less sharp.

Holsters for ammo and shooters………
Duct Tape ammo and shooter belt

I was seriously considering sewing some sort of holster for the shooters but it was a almost last minute thought that would have left me scrambling to make 15.  However, like a dog with a bone, I just couldn’t leave well enough alone.  Sewing 15 belts was out of the question but…..trusty old duct tape and a little bit of sticky backed Velcro and voila!  You can even get it in colors if you want.  I used what I had on hand.  Pretty clever right?  Well, I think so. ;)

If you ask me “pretty please” I would be happy to do a tutorial on how I made the belts.  They will hold one shooter and one film canister crammed with pom poms (you will not believe how many pom poms the kids can cram into those little canisters!) or two shooters.

The down side to the belts is that you can only make the strip for the belt ahead of time.  We had kids ranging from 4 to 15 coming so I didn’t dare try to guess.  If they were all roughly the same size as my son then I would have gone ahead and made them up ahead of time.  Once the party guest arrive you can size them up for a belt and cut down the strips you made ahead of time.  Since you don’t know the size ahead of time you can’t add the straps to hold the shooter and film canister.  You pretty much want them to be at their sides.  So Thanks to Melissa (a sister-in-law you haven’t met) for helping me get all those belts made.

There were 14 kids all running around my smallish backyard and even the Autistic ones had a great time!  Seriously, 3 autistic kids(two are mine), 11 typical kids all ranging from 4 to 15 plus about as many adults and everybody had a great time.  WITH NO MELTDOWNS!  Which is saying A LOT.  Granted all 3 are high functioning but it was a little bit touch and go with our friend’s son at first.  I let his mother know that if he needed space it was fine to go in our son’s room to decompress.  I also let her know that if he needed to go home she could leave her daughter with us and not worry.  It is important to let the parents of special needs children that whatever happens is OK and not to worry.  If a meltdown happens……it is OK, we have all been there before.  All the kids at the party have witnessed an Autistic Meltdown before and think nothing of it.  Though thankfully the days of true meltdowns are pretty much behind us.  Now it is mostly mini tantrums.  (Ok here is where I cry a little because they are all such a fantastic group of kids and I am so proud of them all.)

The kids got to take home their shooter kits, goggles, belts, badges, targets, cool spy stuff packet, and pom poms in their film canister.  What I like about their “goodie” bag items is that they aren’t just stuff that is given out at the end of the party.  I like to give items that are used during the party.  I know that these are items that are going to get used over and over and over again.  Honestly it didn’t cost me all that much for the gear.  I haven’t added everything up but…I would guess that I spent under $5 per kid on this stuff.  Most of the items I made from stuff I already had.  I choose to spend my party money on items for the party rather than a bunch of decorations.  I have some basic decorations like a happy birthday banner that usually go up and I reuse them year after year.  For the food we bought a huge sub, soda, juice, a veggie tray, a fruit tray, chips (corn and potato), dip, salsa, guacamole and the cake.

Is this post long enough?!  Boy, I take a month off of posting and suddenly I write up the biggest run on post you could possibly do.  Ok, so I could have gone on and on cause I am like that some times.  Thanks for hanging in there with me. ;)


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Rebecca here.  This party was so much fun!  Everyone (adults included) thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  My kids are still playing with all their loot.  I love loot that isn't just thrown away the day after the party.  There was some serious creativity going on at this party.  From the beginning with the ultra cool ID badges, then onto the shooters, eye protection, targets, and holsters!   My hat is off to Katrina on a job very well done! ;)  Of course, I am also partial to that lot of kids at the party.  Just having our whole family invited (with no additional guests), is quite the full house!

We're linking this post up to these parties:  Life as Lori, Fireflies and Jellybeans, Somewhat Simple, Look What I Made,  Twice Remembered, Sumos Sweet Stuff , Trendy Treehouse


Unknown said...

OMG! I so want to have a party like this!!!! I need to keep this in my mind for next year!!!

RootsAndWingsCo said...


You really SHOULD have a party like this. You will be basking for weeks and weeks and weeks. Your child's friends will be talking about it for a long time too. Not to mention the love overflowing from your own kids about how they love it all.

Since the boys have been old enough and able to handle more going on at their parties I have been addicted to doing this kind of thing. It gets my creative juices flowing when they give me a theme. It is so nice of them to let me run with it how I want. I usually keep them in the loop as to what I want to do for the party just in case they won't like something. My guys had shooters, belts and goggles a week before the party because we had to test everything out.

Thanks for the glowing review! My Mom even commented on how she enjoyed reading about the party as much as she enjoyed the actual event.


The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, what a fun thing! I love it!

Happy Foodie Friday...


Sheila :-)

Lori said...

I bet they had a great time at the party.. I know I would have had so much fun...

I did a Wizard of Oz party for my daughter with a yellow brick road, and all. It was so fun.

thanks again for joining Get your Craft on Thurs.


The Charm of Home said...

Really cool! What a great party idea. My Dad made these for two oldest boys and they had a blast with them for several years.

2sisters said...

Okay, we love marshmallow shooters. I am so going to have to plan a party like this for my son!

Heather said...

I am in love with you ladies! Fabulous work yet again! This whole theme was simply fantastic...I just may have to adjust my plans for the summer after reading all of this!

Amazing again, of course...

Jennifer said...

These ideas are incredible! My son really wants a Lego party and has just recently gotten into the Agents Lego. Thank you for the inspiration!

Tammy said...

Thanks so much for sharing this idea. I am trying to make my boy who is turning 6 in a week these name badges. I don't have a scanner or any fancy programs so I am only able to use what I can find online and copy and paste. No where near as neat as yours but they will do. I have three little boys who all love love love legos. Again thanks so much for the inspiration.

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

This rocks! I'm glad I'm not the only mama out there who goes all out for her kid's birthday parties : )

Love the marshmallow guns and I need to make myself a pair of those safety goggles to wear when I use my sewing machine (I keep breaking needles!)

Michelle said...

I was looking for ideas for my daughters Lego Agents party and came across your blog. I was planning to have the kids make marshmallow shooters as well! Great minds think alike!! I did not see a place where you shared your very cool agent badges. Would you be willing to link them or share them? Thanks and thanks for sharing your ideas!!


Cheryl said...

Love your take on the shooters!

Ann said...

yay finally a lego party that is different to the standard... i will link to you from my blog once finished latest post best of the web lego parties

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