You’ve seen spy films and TV shows. You’ve mastered video games and apps where you have to conduct a covert operation without being caught. You’ve got the mindset for espionage but there’s more to being a secret agent than the desire to snoop. You need the physical co-ordination of a dancer – and this exercise for kids will get you to be up there with the best!
Think of the skills these heroes need to be successful spooks—coolness under pressure, lightning fast reflexes and of course peak physical condition to dodge traps and escape from the enemy at the last second! You can hone your own special ops tactics at home. Start practising for your career in the CIA or the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6)(or for your plans to become a jewel thief!).
Imagine that you’re the only agent who can get the data to break a secret code in time to save your boss who is in enemy hands. Now imagine trying to slip cautiously and smoothly through the criss-cross of red laser beams that protect the floor of a vault that holds top-secret codes. You’ll need your quietest athletic shoes, your closest fitting clothes, and your nerves of steel to break in and reach the flash drive you need without tripping the alarm that will bring armed guards into the vault to capture you!
Dig in the closet for some old party supplies because they’re all you’ll need to build yourself a practice run. Those partial rolls of colored crepe paper that your mom used to make streamers for a birthday party will become a stand-in for the motion detecting laser beams of a high tech security system. Convert your hallway into an obstacle course. It’s easy to set up and there are endless ways to compete with it alone or with friends—race against the clock, crawling, no hands, with lights out or blindfold.
- If there’s anything in the hall like a coat rack or set of shelves with breakables or a bookcase you might crack your head on, find a better place to do this. You need an empty hallway, not a trip to the triage.
- Don’t do this in sock feet especially if the hall has a hard floor.
- Check down low on the wall with a bit of tape first to make sure it won’t pull of f the paint—otherwise you’ll end up using those trainers to run from your mom and Dad!
- f you don’t have crepe paper streamers to use, do not substitute string (or any other material – it's crepe paper or nothing!) —you could get tangled up in it or worse, get it wrapped around your neck somehow and be hurt.
- Do NOT let young children play with string or scissors no matter how much they want to help you. It’s too dangerous.
Get permission from your parents to use the hallway to hang crepe paper with tape. You’ll be blocking the hall for a while and that might keep people from getting where they need to go (like the toilet)—so ask if it’s a good time or not.
Rummage through the cupboard for tape and crepe paper. Rivet Tip: Make sure it’s extra stuff that you’re allowed to use and not something your Dad is planning to hang for your brother’s birthday next week.
Measure the width of the hallway with the measuring tape. This will be your guide when cutting streamers.
Unroll some of the crepe paper and measure a length equal to the width of the hall plus about five inches (eg: if the hall is 38” wide, mark a length of 43” which is 38+5, with the pencil) In metric measures you'll need to add about 15cm to the width of the hall (eg: if the hall is 100cm wide mark a length of 115cm).
Mark the length with the pencil and then cut at that mark with the scissors. Measure seven more strips of the same length.
Cut four strips eight inches (20cm) longer than the ones you’ve been doing so you can hang them at a dramatic diagonal angle in the hall.
When you have a total of eleven or twelve strips of crepe paper, put away the scissors so no one steps on them.
Tear short pieces of masking tape and use them to stick the ends of a strip of crepe paper to either side of the hallway at about your waist level.
Hang more strips as you go down the hall, both higher and lower than the first so you can’t step over or duck under all of them because you’ll want your course to require a variety of bending, crawling, and stepping movements.
Add in your longer strips by taping one end as high as you can reach and the opposite end as low as it will go so it slashes across the hall like a sharp diagonal line.
When you’ve finished hanging the strips, put the tape away and check to make sure all the tape is holding (but not tearing off paint chips).
Now set the timer for two minutes and start at one end of the hall. Negotiate the paper strips without touching them or breaking any by stepping over, crawling under and reaching through.
If you make it through in two minutes try again with only one minute. If you can get through the course in under a minute, you need to add more diagonal paper strips to make it harder! Now try again with one minute and NO TOUCHING THE WALLS to keep your balance.
Challenge your friends or siblings to race you through the course.
- To make this more fun, see if you can set up a video camera, or a mobile phone with a video camera, on a chair at the end of the course so that it can film you going through the course towards it. Make sure that it’s stable and can capture the whole run.
- Add more excitement to the course by doing a no-hands run, which means you have to crawl by only pushing with your feet.
- Add even more lasers – see how many you can add before your spec ops course becomes truly non-negotiable. Make it a competition to see who can make it through the most complex course.
- Get your parents to try out as spec operatives – and be sure to get them to post their images, video and audio on Freaky Rivet's Facebook page to compare with other parents.
- Turn out the lights, put on a couple of those Halloween glow bracelets, and do the course in the dark. The first person to rip a streamer loses.
Some people have used this skill for evil! See here from Oceans 12 a jewel thief! (ignore the adverts - we tried to take them off!)
And someone doing it while camping - don't try this!