Printable Secret Decoder Wheel – Attention all secret agents! Your secret decoder wheel has arrived and your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to send and receive secret messages to your friends without anyone being the wiser. No one will be able to decode your messages unless they have the secret key.
This is a super fun play activity for kids but also a useful resource for teachers, homeschoolers and parents. The secret decoder wheels could easily be used for math skills, spelling practice, writing activities, word work and more. They are also great for secret agent spy birthday theme parties or a secret treasure hunt. Think of all the possibilities!
Printable Secret Decoder Wheel Instructions
HOW TO MAKE THE DECODER WHEEL:
- Cut out the circles below and stack in order from the number 1 wheel on the bottom, then number 2 wheel and finally number 3 wheel on the top.
- Attach the three discs by carefully poking a round brad fastener (or thumb tack with an eraser behind) through the middle of all three wheels.
HOW TO USE DECODER WHEEL:
- Pick a letter on the outer wheel and a number in the inner circle – this is your key (ex. M21). Turn the inner wheel so that the number (21 in our example) lines up with the out wheel letter (M in our example). On our wheel 21 also corresponds with R in the shaded section. Don’t move the wheels now, keep them in place.
- First, write your message. No numbers (write them out), and no punctuation.
- For each letter of your message, find that character on the outer wheel, and write down the letter that is exactly beneath it on the inner wheel until your message is complete.
- To read the encrypted message get the key from the message sender and align the wheel – keep the wheel in this position. For each letter of your message, find that character on the inner wheel, and write down the letter that is exactly above it on the outer wheel.
Download your printable secret decoder wheel with instructions here.
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