Coded Coloring Ask each Cub to write a single short word on a piece of paper using block-outlined letters, like MOTH. Then have them use wavy lines to divide each letter into many abstract sections. Have them put a large dot in the center of each of these abstract shapes which make up each letter. Then fill the rest of the paper with more abstract, wavy lines and shapes so the whole sheet looks like a scribble picture. Be sure they don't see each other's original word. Then have them trade papers with instructions to color only the shapes with a single dot in them to decode the word.


Minds need toughening up too! Find three empty spools and one unsharpened pencil (or dowel). On one spool, write the letters s, l, r, g, and f in blue marker. On the next spool, write the letters a, e, i, o, and u in red and on the last spool, write the letters n, t, p, d, and b in green. Put them on the pencil and see who can come up with the most words in one minute.

Invisible Ink

Materials needed: Juice of half a lemon, a Q-Tip, a lamp and white paper.
Dissolve the lemon juice in a small amount of water and dip the swab into it. Then use the swab to write a message on ordinary white paper. When it dries, the writing will be invisible! When you want to read the message, heat the paper by holding it near a light bulb and your message will appear on the page in black.

Invent a Code

The Scouts will enjoy inventing their own code. But first, introduce them to a simple code and show them how it works. Check back issues of Boys Life magazine to find a good code to introduce them to.
Once they're comfortable with that code, let them create and use their own den code. Prepare by listing all the letters of the alphabet and the numbers 0 - 9 on a couple cards. The whole den can help create the code by taking turns to designate a simple but unique symbol for each letter or number listed. Be sure they write the same symbol on both cards.
Then have each boy write a simple message - three words is good. Then pass it to the boy on his left and let each boy de-code the message.

Memory Tray

Make up a Memory Tray with 12 simple items spaced out on a tray with a cloth to cover it all. As each scout arrives, give him a piece of paper and a pencil. Then uncover the tray for him (and him alone) for one full minute (be sure to time it). He has four minutes to write down what he can remember was on the tray. Talking is not allowed until ALL scouts have turned in their paper. Spelling is not an issue. Some suggested items: clothespin, pencil, button, fork, dime, key, postage stamp, nail, shoelace, ball, bottle cap, lipstick.

Jigsaw Puzzle Ads

Cut up full page color pictures from magazines. Have at least one puzzle per scout. As each scout arrives, hand him one to put together. If time permits, let the scouts exchange puzzles.