Making A Cipher Wheel

kids homemade cipher wheel

Every spy needs a secret way to exchange messages with other agents from time to time. Making a cipher wheel is an excellent addition to your homemade spy gear and a great way to keep the content of any top secret letter safe.

This clever little wheel can be used to encrypt and decrypt any code you like, keeping those messages away from prying eyes.


materials for making a cipher wheel
Materials for a Homemade Cipher Wheel

(You will need to make a cipher wheel for each agent)

How To Make A Cipher Wheel:

  1. Print off the cipher wheel template. Cut the wheels out and glue them onto the card with the glue stick.
  2. Carefully cut both of the Cipher Wheels out.making a kids homemade cipher wheel
  3. Write the alphabet in the outer boxes of both the small and large wheel.making a kids cipher wheel2
  4. Use a sharp pencil to punch a hole though the center of both wheels. Push the paper fastener (split pin) through the small wheel and then though the larger wheel, open the split pin at the back so that the wheels are fastened together.making a kids cipher wheel3

How To Use Your Cipher Wheel

First place the wheels so that the A on both wheels are pointing up. Now choose two letters (one from each wheel) these will be your secret letters and need to be remembered by yourself and the recipient of the notes you will be sending.
making a kids cipher wheel4
I’ve chosen the letters C for the outer wheel and A for the inner wheel (which are the first letter in my two pets names).

You will notice in the photo that when I move these two letters together the letters no longer match around the wheels. So now A=C B=D C=E and so on, as you and your acquaintances are the only ones that know what each letter stands far you will now be able to sent endless messages to each other without anyone else being able to reading them!
making a kids cipher wheel5

Have a go at decoding these messages:


Hiding Your Secret message

You may need to leave a message outside for another agent to find at a later time or day. This may be tricky especially when it’s raining. Hiding a message in one of those plastic toy capsules are great for keeping it dry and can be hidden quite well in a bit of long grass or dirt.

hiding a secret spy message

the secret message in grass

Please remember that this information on how to make your own cipher wheel is top secret and should not be shared with others!

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