Secret Agent Mom here, with another mission: teach Secret Agent E the basics in cryptology! First up: the Winding Code. You'll need a pencil, pen, tape, and a strip of paper.
Tape the end of the paper at a slant onto the pencil. Wind the paper around the pencil, then write your message across the paper.
Unravel and give to your partner.
Yep. It looks like gibberish. That is, until you wrap it back around a pencil!
Now it's all clear! "You're the best!"
Next, we'll create our own Code Snake! You'll need two colored strips of paper 3/4" x 18" (I glued construction paper strips together to make them long enough), and a pen. Fold your paper together accordion style.
Write the alphabet on one color and numbers (or symbols if you're feeling adventurous) on the other.
To encode your message, look for the letter you need.
And write down the number instead! You can decode the same way.
Keep this in your secret agent kit, along with a wax crayon for invisible messages. Just write your message out on a piece of paper. (We saved our crayon from our Easter egg dying kit.) Then use a little water and finger paints to reveal the secret message!
Special Agent E, you ARE a great secret agent!
All of these activities can be found in:
Usborne Book of Secret Codes by Diana Riddel
This book has it all, including the pigpen cypher we did yesterday. The pages are full-color, graphic-style and explain codes and ciphers in simple terms. The back of the book contains a fun game older children will enjoy playing, and I think could easily be adapted for a secret agent-themed birthday party. It's not for small children, but I think it'd make a great addition to your library. Use it now to introduce codes and let your kids enjoy it years later on their own!