How to Make an Outside Spy Base

A thousand adventures await the young one who has a "Spy Base". Such a base can be built from scrap lumber (from a construction site) or built with new lumber. Building such a place can be fun and instructive. Make the child who wants a "spy base" part of the project. And be patient!


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    Talk with your child and discover what they think they need in the "Spy Base".
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    Gather the wood and other materials needed to build the base.
    • Check around and see if you can get some scrap wood from a construction site. Otherwise, you'll have to buy it.
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    A spy base needs four walls, a secret entrance, an observation platform, and a way to view outside to see if dangerous enemy spies are present.
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    Have your James Bond or Nancy Drew choose the location (in your backyard). Against a wooden fence is best (Only three walls to build and the fence can help support the structure.)
    • If the child is old enough to assist, by all means allow the child to do so. He/she will enjoy the structure much more if he helps to build it. If his friends are interested, let them help too. Children want to build things themselves. You should assist with jobs involving saws, drills, etc., but they should do as much as possible.
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    Build a simple framework to attach the walls to. Always consider whether the framework you have is sufficient. If necessary, add to the framework to keep it safe.
    • You will need at least one square frame to attach the plywood to. You will need two if you are building a freestanding structure.
    • If you are attaching the spy base to a wooden fence, Nail two 2x4 joists to the fence base (the part the planks are nailed to). One square frame will be needed for the front of the structure.
    • If the spy base is freestanding, you will need two square frames to attach the walls to.
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    Attach the walls to the frame, except on one side.
    • The walls do not have to be plywood, but need to be durable enough to withstand the elements.
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    The remaining side should have a hidden door. The door should be hinged on the inside of the base (We wouldn't want those enemies knowing how to get in). Drill a hole large enough to put a finger through (without getting stuck) so the door can be pulled open.
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    Place a roof on top of the structure that will keep out the weather but allow observation or the launching of missiles (water balloons).
    • One way to allow outside "observation" is by leaving a gap between the top of walls and the roof.
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    Build a platform inside the base that will allow "observations" through the top of the base. Add extra supports as this will be stood on, if not built too high, the platform can also double as seating. You could build the platform around the inside perimeter.
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    Drill holes in the walls to allow those inside to monitor if enemy spies are approaching.
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    Such a building can also be built entirely makeshift. The imagination of the builder is the biggest limit.


  • Make sure your child plays in a safe manner.
  • Have a variety of nail sizes available. Protruding nail ends are dangerous. This is an excellent time to teach safety.
  • Unless your child is very small, have him direct the progress of the base. Let him also hammer the nails, build the platform, build the frame, etc. Give him as much help as he wants (if any). Your pride will swell (and his, too) when you know that he built it.


  • Do not build too high as this structure is not anchored with concrete.
  • Especially if he is hammering nails, have him wear eye protection.
  • Do not place the base withing reach of power lines.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood for sides (plywood)
  • Wood for support (2x4s)
  • Nails
  • A good sense of fun.

Article Info

Categories: Spying