Wednesday, September 3, 2014

5 Ways to Write Secret Messages

As a kid, I loved the idea of being a detective or a secret spy.  They got to wear cool clothes, go on adventures, and solve mysteries.  A couple of weeks ago I tried playing a detective game with Chuck.  I hid his favorite stuffed pig and then left 5 clues for him to follow.  The clues were all written as secret messages.  We had to do something to the paper to revel the hidden words.

5 Ways to Write Secret Messages

Pretend to be a Detective and write secret messages 5 different ways

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Chuck was onboard with the game.   We've recently been gobbling up Nate the Great books from the library, so he really enjoyed being a detective and solving the case.

5 Super Easy Ways to Write Secret Messages:

1. Use White Crayon and Watercolors

Use a white crayon and watercolor to write secret messages

We've used crayons and watercolors before to make lovely designs for our DIY magnetic fishing gamehandmade notebooks, and watercolor photo frames.  This time I thought it would be a great way to write secret messages too!

I simply wrote a message on watercolor paper with a white crayon.  Then, we used watercolor paint to reveal the hidden message.  Chuck loved seeing the words magically appear when the paper got wet.

2.  Press down to Write Clues 

Make impressions on the paper and then use crayons to reveal the secret message

I used to watch Matlock as a kid.  (Did anyone love that show too?)  There's one episode where Matlock rubbed a pencil on a notebook to reveal a previously scribbled note.  So I thought we could try that here too.

I placed 3 sheets of paper on top of each other.  Then, I wrote a note on the top sheet of paper, making sure to press really, really hard.  It left marks on the second sheet of paper.   Then, we revealed the clue when we rubbed crayon over it.

3.  Lemon (or lime) Juice and Heat

Use lemon or lime juice and heat to reveal secret messages

I've seen this method before on countless other sites... but it never worked for me.  This time, I upped the heat and voila! Secret message revealed!

To write secret messages with lemon (or lime) juice, I used a paintbrush and painted a message onto a sheet of  watercolor paper. Then, I waited for the message to dry.  (This took a lot longer than I expected.)  To reveal the message I used a pair of tongs and held the sheet of paper over our kitchen stove.  The heat turned the invisible lime juice brown!  (Using a blow dryer definitely did NOT work for me.)

4.  Write Really Small

Write really small

Ok.  So this method seems a bit lame compared with the others.   But we enjoyed using a magnifying glass to read the clue.

And last, but not least....

5.  Write Backwards!

Write backwards and use a mirror to reveal your secret image

Da Vinci did it to throw off those who read his work.  So we thought to try it out too.  Using a mirror, I practiced writing on another sheet of paper.  (Boy, was that hard to do.)  Once I knew which way to orient the letters, I wrote the clue out cleanly for Chuck.  We then used a mirror to reveal the letters in the right orientation.

This activity was really, really fun and Chuck's already requested that we do it again.  It's pretty cool seeing hidden messages "appear" before your very eyes.

If you liked this activity, then you might also like these too:

And you can always find other fun ideas on my Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts!

Have fun!