The Case of Angel's 9th Birthday - It's a SPY Party!

Posted by ~Summer~ on December 22, 2018
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I usually ask the kids what birthday party themes they would like a couple of months before their big days arrive. Yup, that means the themes are usually chosen by themselves, though I might give a couple of suggestions if they run out of ideas.

Over the years, we've had princess themes, animal themes and last year, the girls chose their favourite toys as birthday themes - Sylvanian and Shopkins. My trick to being able to plan all their parties - which fall closely to each other - single-handedly is to stick to cosy, intimate parties instead of trying to make them a grand affair. It's more about letting them be able to celebrate this day with just a handful of good friends and have the chance to bond, laugh, play and have fun over simple games, activities and food.

This year, the big girl decided that she would opt for a SPY PARTY, which is a huge change from the sweet, girly, princessy kind of themes we've had in the past. Since she's been showing interest in games like Cluedo, likes solving Sudoku puzzles and is always asking me to give her riddles, I thought this would be a perfect theme for her and it might turn out to be really cool and awesome for her friends too!

Party Preparation

Party invites

The decorations and games took me quite some time to brainstorm because this spy concept was very new to me too but I am glad everything turned out well eventually. For the party invites, I kept it simple and chose to use the colours black and pink, as well as a spy logo image that I purchased online. Just to make it more interesting, I added a fingerprint background for the spy girl too and was so glad that Angel recognised it as a fingerprint instantly. We handed out all the invites to the 'Agent' friends a few weeks before the party and while waiting for them to RSVP so we can have a final guestlist, we proceeded to get started on the rest of the preparation.

Wall Decor

You know that I always use this wall as our photo backdrop, right? That means I usually hang a bunting and add some words and pictures to jazz things up. See our bunting this year? Yup, everything is DIY! I designed the bunting in Powerpoint, printed the pieces out, cut and stuck them onto a ribbon before using Blu-Tack to stick it onto the wall.

I also printed out the words "Agent Angel" using this very apt font called AR Destine and cut the letters out to stick below the bunting. The images you see are spy related clipart I found online - a gun, hat, trench coat and magnifying glass. One of the mummies was amazed to see that the magnifying glass had an actual piece of 'glass' in it and when I told her it was just a circle cut out from a takeaway container (haha, yesh!), she gave me so much credit for my effort and creativity. Awww.

Party Favours

We spent a lot of effort for the party favours this year because we wanted to add a touch of sincerity as well as DIY most of the items to save cost too. They might look simple but they took us days to complete because of all the designing, printing, cutting and binding involved.

Each agent who attended received a personalised envelope (which I folded using the underside of wrapping paper) which contained the following:

- Pen
- Spy Memo
- Spy Training Manual
- Certificate
- A lollipop and couple of sweets just for that energy booster

Oh, what's inside the manual, you ask? Well, it's a 10-page manual that consists of crossword puzzles, spot the differences, maze, riddles, matchstick puzzles, decryption puzzles and so on. How fun, right? My girls really enjoyed solving every page of it and I hope all the friends did too. Since we gave out the manuals to the birthday guests, cousins and my own kids, it means we had over 120 pages to cut out and bind together! Haha. Oh yeah.

Thankfully, Angel has been very helpful in this year's birthday prep and I can only say it's a great way for her to contribute and feel involved in all the planning too. It's like you reap your own fruits of labour and at the same time learn that hard work pays off and nothing falls from the sky.

Just to make every guest feel extra special and accomplished after the party, we gave each of them a spy certificate that says they completed our spy school training too. Haha. Idea, right? We printed these on cardstock (you have no idea how many stacks of cardstock paper I bought from Popular in preparation for the parties, haha, even I lost count too!), cut them out and laminated each of them too. Yes, it helps that we have a laminating machine at home!

Food Decor

Since it's a tea party, that means we don't cater a buffet but we do offer our guests finger food like cupcakes, chocolate eclairs, jelly, puddings, fresh fruits as well as fried nuggests, seaweed chicken, sausages, fries and so on. That means we get the chance to think of some food decorations too! Check out some of the things we came out with below.

First, we have the EXPLOSIVES! Haha, which everyone wanted one. Yes, these are just Kinder Bueno eggs wrapped in aluminium foil. We added a small piece of twine and pasted the word "Explosive" too (which wans't not easy to cut because of the shape!).

Secondly, we have the BRAIN JUICE! I designed these paper wrappers and printed them out so we could stick them over the Ribena packets. You just need to measure and try it out once to get a working template and then mass produce for the rest.

Next, I realised that some people prefer mineral water as compared to sweet stuff so this year, I made it a point to offer bottled water at our parties. For this, we just printed out rectangular labels on plain paper and wrap them around the bottles. Check out our TRUTH SERUM below. Wahaha.

Last but not least, I always do these CUPCAKE TOPPERS for our parties because they are so easy to do but look so nice and help to bring out the theme too. We printed these spy images out on small circles of cardstock paper, cut them out and stuck toothpicks behind each of them. I also did a bigger cake topper for the girl to add on her birthday cake, which you can see it later. After all, you can't possibly go to a party store and ask for a spy party topper that says her name and her age, right? Yup, which means DIY is still the best way to go!


Let the party begin! On the day itself, since the party was to start in the afternoon, that means we had the entire morning to prepare. Sounds like a lot of time? Well, actually not really. Haha. We had to run to the mall to collect the cake and cupcakes, we had to cook the finger food, we had to set up everything and make sure every detail was taken care of. Thankfully, the hubby was around so we could divide and conquer the tasks. The kids were a huge help too in setting up everything and I think everyone was feeling super excited.

Check out our spy badges below! Each of the guests had a personalised one prepared for them too and Angel was the one who helped me to come up with all the agent code names. Let me see, what did we have here?

Agent code names

- Glittery Diamond (Angel chose this for herself)
- Rainbow Unicorn (Ariel chose this for herself too!)
- Purple Prince (The girls chose this for their brother who loves purple)
- Enchanted Fjord
- Icy Snowflake
- Shimmery Sky
- Sparkly Cloud
- Happy Ballerina
- Violet Rose
- Shining Star

The lanyards were bought from Daiso and the badges were designed by me and printed out using cardstock paper. See how I could keep reusing the spy girl image? Haha. It's really not too hard coming up with these party decorations stuff though I admit they do take up time. I love seeing how our spy theme slowly came to life though!

To leave the guests a clue to where our house is located, we left a trail of footprints leading from the elevator to our doorstep.

Once they reached the front door, they needed to 'scan' their fingerprints in order to enter the Secret Agent Headquarters. Haha. Quite cool, right?

Now, let's see how our birthday girl dressed up for the party!

Yup, meet Agent Angel, who was all dressed in black! We got the magnifying glass, sunglasses and gloves from Daiso and all the rest were gathered from our wardrobes - including her own pants, her black short sleeved inner wear, my H&M coat, my short sleeved crop jacket (which might be nearly two decades old). I think we kind of pulled the look off, right? Even the siblings wanted to join in the fun and looked pretty cool too!

As for the hubby and I, well, we don't have much gear left but at least we still managed to find black clothes and shades. Haha. Here's our family shot, which was taken just seconds before our first guest arrived.

It was an all-girls party that day with seven of Angel's closest friends who come from her current school, previous primary school, kindergarten and a couple of good friends too. Yup, the toddler was the only boy but he didn't really join in the games part because the stuff we played were too complicated for him and he chose to feast on the goodies for the most part. Haha. Phew! That's also partly why I love holding parties in the comfort of our house because the kids feel at ease and you have everything you need too.

To get everyone to know each other better, we did a round of introduction and got the girls to say out their names, schools and their agent code names too (which made them chuckle). When I asked them if they would like to start eating or playing games first, well, the answer was unanimous. So, let the games begin!

1) Eye Training - Form the Word

For the first game, the girls were to pair up and each pair was given a plate of rainbow coloured beads with alphabets. I would give them a spy-related word to form and the pair to do it in the shortest time would score a point. We had words like Agent, Brainstorm, Gun, Code and I also asked fellow mums who stayed behind to join in the fun by coming up with the words too. One of them said Mystery and the hubby told them to spell the word Bond. Haha.

At the end of the game, the wining pair would receive a prize and could choose a stationery item to bring home. Yup, I try to be practical in as many ways as I can. When I told them that all of them could take the elastic string and use the beads to spell their names and bring it home as a bracelet, all the agents were ecstatic! Haha. One of them even spelt her own name and Angel's name and put the word Friends. How sweet, right?

2) Agility Training - Laser Maze

This was one of the games everyone loved most and all it took was some paper yarn from Daiso. Yup, we used it to set up a 'laser' maze game right in our balcony! The hubby and I did it together the night before and it took around 45min for us to get it done. I spent a little more time making sure the tapes and knots were secure (we used Scotch tape and tied knots) and I also hung up some bells that I found in my craft stash just to make it more fun.

The task was simple: Make your way through the maze, avoid the strings and press the light (on a chair) at the end of the maze to stop the time. Every string you touched added 2sec to your total time and every string you broke added 10sec. Yes, we had a couple of broken lines at the end because they were all very excited to try to win.

Many of them wanted to try again, much to my surprise because I thought they might find it boring after the first try. Well, it just reminds me that party games don't have to be too elaborate or expensive in order to be fun! Oh, one more thing, we set this up a second time the following week when we had a family celebration so that the cousins could play too and Angel came up with a brilliant idea of tasking the players to collect five light sticks (which were randomly placed) before they could proceed to the finishing line. Quite a smart idea, right?

It was time for a break after the two games and the kids were happy to get to eat and drink (especially since most of their mums and dads dropped them off and they get to feast, lol). It was nice to see all of them making new friends, chatting, bonding and some even took wefies lor. Yes, some of these kids have mobile phones already!

The spread might not be a lot but considering we only had seven kids (and three mums who stayed with us), we still had food left over in the end and some of them took home the eclairs, cupcakes and puddings too. You know what was the question they kept asking me while they were eating?



Yup, some of them have been to house more than once and they see me as the party game master, sometimes mistakenly thinking that I can just conjure up games from nowhere. Luckily, not to disappoint them, I kept the best for the last so yes, let's move on to the highlights of our spy party! 

3) IQ Training - Treasure Hunt

Now, this was the best and most fun part of the party, according to many of our agents. We had this spy treasure hunt game where they had to split up into two teams and race to solve EIGHT clues. Each clue would lead them to a different location in the house where they had to hunt for the next clue and so on until the mission was completed.

We divided the girls into two teams - the Pink team and the Blue team and gave each team a different room for their headquarters where they were to carry out their discussions in private. Once they solved a clue, they were to write down the answer on a whiteboard and bring it to me to verify. Yup, they had to keep it hush hush in case the other team overheard the answer, which only added to the fun and the suspense and made everyone very thrilled.

Did I come up with all the clues myself? Of course.... not! Haha. This was a very fun and interesting spy game I found online (you can purchase it here too) and yes, a lot of my party game inspiration comes from the internet too. I'm not as creative as you think! But, I did have to put in a good deal of effort in personalising each clue to suit the locations in our house (sometimes the words have to be of specific length) and also come up with dozens of decoy locations.

I printed out four sets of clues so each team had two sets in every envelope. The next part was to seal them in the different coloured envelopes and made sure they were hidden in the correct places (it can get a little confusing at times!).

From having to differentiate fingerprints and finding the same picture to spotting hidden keys and using a decoder wheel to solve the clue, this was a game that provided lots of fun and lasted for a good half an hour! The girls were also very excited whenever they could dash to a location to look for the next clue and couldn't help screaming along the way too.

I was very proud of Ariel for trying to join in with the big sisters and she tried her best too. In fact, she was the fastest in her group to solve the last clue by spotting a hidden object in a picture and they were all quite amazed that she did it too (I kept this game a secret from all of them so as to surprise them on the day itself). You go, baby girl!

4) Communication Training - Draw and Guess

For the last activity, it was to determine how well the agents could communicate and understand each other. This has always been one of our favourite games and it was the big girl who asked if we could play it again this year. Yes, of course we can!

So I came up with 32 spy-related words and the girls had to take turns to draw out a word on the whiteboard and let the friends guess. Every correct answer would earn the person who guessed correctly a point. Oh, by the way, I gave out ice cream sticks each time to help me remember the score, makes it easy to keep track and see who is the winner in the end too!

It's always funny to see how the kids interpret the drawings and we always hear all kind of hilarious guesses too. We had easy to guess words like bomb, phone and watch to more difficult ones like invisible ink, voice recorder and walkie talkie. It was nice to see how everyone had totally warmed up by this time and were all very enthusiastic to participate too! Even Asher had a turn at drawing too - he drew a circle - and everyone was saying "So cute!". Haha.

Good times always feel short and it's amazing how two hours can just fly past when we are having a fun party! When the last game ended, it was time for the finale - the cake cutting ceremony, of course! I have to give a big thank you to Angie of Life's Tiny Miracles who helped me to set up the dessert table so beautifully in front of our brick wall. Yup, thankful for friends who understand and are always there to lend a helping hand.

Time for the group photo! Yes, the siblings get to join in too so we do have a thorn among the roses. Haha. And he even got to stand in the middle even though it wasn't his birthday.

Once again, thanks to friends who helped us to capture such precious family moments! I can't even describe how much I love all these pictures and how appreciative I am. These are the moments that I wish to remember 10 or 20 years down the road and these birthday milestones always remind me to cherish my kids' fleeting growing up years.

We made it a point to take a parents shot with just the birthday kid - yup, means just Papa, Mama and the star of the day - this year and Angel was the first one to do it with us. I don't think we've ever done it after we had more than one kid because we always took pictures of the whole family, so this felt extra special for me and I hope it made the birthday girl feel extra loved too.

Our cake was a simple chocolate flavoured one from Prima Deli and the birthday girl chose it herself. Yes, her favourite flavour hasn't changed all these years. Check out our DIY cake topper and a message that the little sister wrote for her on the whiteboard. How sweet!

Yup, that concludes our spy party and I'm just happy to see all the kids happy, especially the big girl who gave me big hugs and huge thanks in putting this party together for her. I know it's not a must for parents to organise parties for their kids especially when they get older, but in our case, it's a way for me to show my love as a mum. And I'm pretty sure she got my secret message without using any decoder. Haha.

Big thank you to everyone who came to join us for the celebration, to the mummies who stayed behind to help out, to the hubby for making time on that day and for running errands, to the siblings for doing their best in helping out with the party prep and to the birthday girl who has been a huge help throughout and makes an enthusiastic party planning assistant. May you continue to shine and sparkle wherever you go, my GLITTERY DIAMOND!


Read more on Angel's birthday parties here:

Angel is 8 - It's a Sylvanian Tea Party
Angel is 7 - A Royal Princess Party
Angel is 6 - Sofia the First Birthday Bash
Angel is 5 - Let's Get Tangled with Rapunzel
Angel is 4 - Viva La Fiesta with Dora and Friends
Angel is 3 - My Bubbly Bunny
Angel is 2 - Oh Toodles, it's a Disney Party
Angel is 1  - It's a RAINBOW Party


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