How to Make Games


Code Wheel
Use a code wheel to send secret messages.
Use a code wheel to send secret messages.
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If you have a code wheel, you and a friend can pretend you're secret agents and send each other secret messages. You'll use a code that only the two of you can understand. You also might use your code to write entries in a diary or journal. Your secrets are safe!

What You'll Need

Poster board or two small paper plates

Blunt scissors

Ruler or compass

Pencil

Brass paper fastener

Ballpoint pen

How to Make a Code Wheel

Step 1: Cut two circles, 6 inches each, from poster board. (You can also use two small paper plates.)

Step 2: Cut a 1/2-inch-wide V-shape and a 1/2-inch-round window in one circle wheel, as shown.

Step 3: Use the pencil to poke a small hole in the center of both wheels. Attach the wheels with a brass paper fastener.

Step 4: Write the letter A in the V-shape opening, then turn the wheel 1/2 inch and write the letter B. Continue with the rest of the alphabet around the wheel.

(Hint: You can measure 1/2 inch without a ruler. Make a small pencil mark on the right side of the V, then turn the wheel so the left side lines up with the mark.)

Step 5: Now fill in the window. Turn the wheel. Write the letter A in the window. (Make sure the V-shape is not pointing to the letter A -- then there'd be no code!) Turn the wheel several inches and write a B in the window.

Step 6: Place the rest of the alphabet in the window, always making sure the window letter is different than the letter in the V-shape opening.

Make a second wheel for your friend that matches yours exactly so you can write and decode secret messages.

Later, challenge your friend to a marble race through a maze. Learn how to make a box maze on the next page.

For more fun games and activities, check out:

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