Code Wheel Trail

Lawn Mower Messages

The Swallows and the Amazons often send each other coded messages.  Use these code wheels to send your allies on a trail without letting the natives in on your secret.

You will need:

  • Template printed onto light card
  • Split pins
  • Scissors
  • Coloured pencils or pens (if you want to decorate them)
  • Pencil/pen
  • Paper

What to do:

  1. Make up one code wheel:
    1. Cut out one large wheel and one small wheel.
    2. Place the small wheel on top of the large one.
    3. Push a split pin through the centre.
  2. Write a trail around your garden with short clues (eg bench, tree).  Write it out in code:
    1. Turn the wheel so that the two wheels line up with random letters.
    2. Make a not of one pair of letters, using bold to represent the large wheel (eg jd).
    3. Find the letters to spell out the word on the smaller when but write the corresponding letter on the outer wheel (eg tree becomes nlkk).
  3. Hide the clues.
  4. Explain to your allies that each clue has a different code and that you need to align the two letters on the wheel.  They must then find the letters of the word on the larger wheel but write down the letter shown on the smaller wheel to decode the word which will send them to the next clue.

If not duffers…

Don’t go anywhere without an adult’s knowledge and permission.