Here’s another way to create your own secret codes using a de-coder wheel.
You will need some pencils, markers and a rubber, card and something round to draw around or 2 paper plates, split pins or if you don’t have those you can use pipe cleaners or paper clips. Remember if you want to play this with a friend they will need a de-coder wheel exactly the same as yours so you can exchange secret messages.
Ok, first you need to make two circles one smaller than the other ( it needs enough room for you to write your code around the outside edge.) Try to make the circles quite neat so that the turn smoothly.
Next work out where the center points of the two circles are – this doesn’t have to be exact but the more central you can make your holes the easier it will work. Carefully make a hole in the center points – you can use a pencil and press into something soft like the rubber or some play dough.
Push the split pin through both circles of card and fasten on the back – don’t make it too tight or you will have difficultly turning your decoder wheel. If you don’t have a split pin, bend apart a paper clip and slide the card into the middle of the two loop, then push the paper clip flat again trapping the two pieces of card in the middle. Or, use a pipe cleaner, make a flat spiral then thread the card onto the pipe cleaner and make another flat spiral as tightly against the card as you can.
Next mark out even spaces around the edge of the wheel – remember you will need 26 spaces for the alphabet, you can include numbers as well if you like. Then carefully write out your alphabet as clearly as you can. If you’d like to create more than 1 code on the wheel add some different coloured lines on each wheel, that way if your code is written in a different coloured pen you will know which line to match up to crack the code.
When you come to write in the letters on the inner wheel you can either start your alphabet at a different point or randomly distribute them around the circle.
You’re ready to code! Line the wheel up as you’d like and using the top row of letters to match your words look down to the letter or number below write that down and you’ll soon have a very secret message that only someone with the de-coder wheel will be able to crack!