Monday, June 7, 2010

Cheap Kid’s Summer Activity: Invisible Ink

Summer is officially here in my house! This means long days with my kids plus my husband’s two children at home. Since neither of us are working, the entertainment budget is VERY small, really it’s non-existent but I’ve discovered some fun things they can do throughout the summer to keep them occupied.

One activity uses items right out of the kitchen! Invisible ink!

What kid wouldn’t love writing secret invisible messages revealed only to the person who can uncover the trick to making the message visible again?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Paper (duh!)
  • Q-tips
  • lemon or lime juice (fresh or from the plastic lemon shaped bottle)
  • cookie sheet or shallow baking pan
  • dryer or oven set to 400

Write your messages or draw pictures with a Q-tip dipped in lemon/lime juice. Place your paper with the hidden message on a cookie sheet and into the oven for just a few minutes. Carefully remove the cookie sheet to see the image revealed. Ours took about 2 minutes to fully reveal the invisible message.

If you don’t want to use the oven, you can use a blow dryer but it took us much longer doing it this way and the image was much lighter than when we did it in the oven.

Another option we haven’t tested yet is using grape juice to reveal the hidden message. You swab a Q-tip soaked in grape juice over the dried invisible lemon juice message. The message is revealed when the grape juice interacts with the lemon juice changing the color of the message area. Again, we haven’t tried this one yet but this would be a great activity for later this summer.

What do you have planned for a budget friendly summer?


Jenn’s a southern gal raising her family in Northwestern Minnesota with her husband. Find recipes, crafts, parenting strategies, home keeping tips, product reviews, and giveaways on her blog, Frugal Front Porch. Be sure to link up your giveaways, recipes, or other favorite posts to the weekly blog meme, Strut Your Stuff.


  1. What a cool idea - my kids will love this! Maybe I'll make an invisible treasure map for them some day :)

  2. Thanks Stephanie, I'll be sure to remind my kids of that! ;D

    Moderate Means-I love the invisible treasure map idea. Scavenger hunts would be another good idea!


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