printable spy decoder wheel - cutout activity page

Spy Decoder Wheel – Random Alphabet Version

How the Decoder Works

Once you’ve used the instructions on the PDF Download to assemble your decoder you can either share that decoder with a friend or have them make an identical one.  To use it, simply line up a letter on the outer band with one on the inner band and ensure only your friend has that two letter code. For instance if you line up the letter ‘T’ on the outer band with the letter ‘M’ on the inner band your key would be TM and once your decoder dials were lined up on those two letters you can begin coding and deciphering your own messages! You can just translate words into your own secret message by using your secret code letters on the inner dial in the place of the real spellings of words on the outer dial. As long as you and you friend keep your wheels aligned to the key you can read and write your own secret messages forever!

We’ve provided the templates to make two other decoder wheels, one with more complex symbols and one that is blank so that you can use colors, symbols, letters or whatever you like to form  your secret code!

Learning to code and decode between sets of letters or symbols can be a valuable step for an early learner. By having the realization that some objects can represent other objects and then using a framework of rules to reveal that relationship, a child can be well on their way to success in STEM areas like Math and Programming.

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