What is Coding?

We use coding daily without even thinking twice about it. Coding is the way computers create all software, apps, and websites. Computers are here to stay! It is important for kids to understand this and become familiar with the coding process. 

There are several different types of computer coding languages. The job of all types the task is they all are basic instructions and turn them into a code the computer can read. 

Binary Code

Binary code is a code that represents numbers using a series of 0s and 1s. They are used like a secret language that computers use. 

The word binary comes from “bi-” meaning two. There are two digits used in this code 0 and 1. It is hard to believe that computers are broken down into such simple strings or 0s and 1s. In this activity we are going to practice making a bitmap. 

What is a bitmap?

Before you can understand what a bitmap is you need to understand what at bit is. A bit is a single binary digit. For example, 1001010 is a binary number that has 7 bits. 

Bitmaps are composed of a series of small dots called pixels. When looking closely at a bitmap it looks like a series of small squares. From afar, however, bitmaps look like a picture. 

Bitmap Art

Bitmap Christmas Hundred Chart

Click here to get the link to their Christmas Hundred Chart worksheets.

Binary Code Activities

Practicing Using Binary Code

TeachYourKidsCode.com is a great website that has some great free worksheets to use for your child to practice using binary code and knowing what it is.  Click here to get the link to their Christmas Binary Code worksheets.

Binary Code Activity

The STEAM challenge for this activity is for you to create your own group of bytes that displays the true meaning of Christmas. Then give it to a friend as a way to share the gospel.  

Materials:

Directions:

First, design an image that reflects the true meaning of Christmas.

Then, create the binary code that goes with the image. By deciding how big your binary code will be by drawing a box around your image and then using a series of 1’s and 0’s. 1’s being black pixel and 0’s being white pixel.

Last, give it to someone else and have them follow the directions to create your image.

Algorithm

An algorithm is a series of actions. These actions are put into a sequence to solve a problem.

It can also be described as a detailed step-by-step instruction set or formula for solving a problem or completing a task. 

In a computer, programmers use algorithms to instruct the computer on how to preform a task. 

Christmas Unplugging Code

Here is a printable activity to teach kids about coding. In this activity, you are to put together an algorithm to get the gingerbread boy to baby Jesus. It comes with all the pieces for you to put together 8 different puzzles, a recording sheet, and the answer sheet. Click here for your FREE printable Christmas Unplugging Code Activity

Christmas Escape Room

In this activity, kids will work together, to get their friend safely out of the maze. They will come up with their own design and algorithm to escape. 

Materials: 

  • Sidewalk Chalk 
  • 8- 10 Christmas Items- Toys, small tree, decorations, gifts, etc. 
  • Entrance and Exit Sign (Just write them on scrap paper)
  • Blindfold

Set-Up Directions: 

Draw a 10 by 10 grid on the sidewalk or driveway. Have children decide who will be first placed into the “Escape Room” (the grid).  Blindfold that child. Then the rest of the children choose entrance and exit place on the grid. Then put Christmas items randomly on the grid. 

Play Directions:

Place blind folded child into the grid. The rest of the children then, work together to come up with the correct algorithm using commands: Left, right, forward, backward, turn around; to get their friend safely out of the escape room without running into the Christmas items. 

Ciphers 

Ciphers are secret messages or disguised way of writing. Ciphers and codes are designed to confuse those who aren’t meant to read its contents. Computers have complex algorithms in order to encode our private transmissions. However, you don’t have you start by knowing these complex algorithms. You can have fun and start learning about ciphers with these basic activities. 

Secret Message Card

Secret Message Card is Ciphers or disguised way of writing. You will make your message decoder that goes with your card that filters out a portion of the plaintext to reveal the secret message (ciphertext). It is simple and fun to do.

Materials:

  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Hobby Knife or scissors
  • Card Stock
  • Card (We did homemade ones.)

Directions:

Step 1: Measure and Cut

Measure the area you want to write in the cut a paper to that size. Now on that paper make a grid using your ruler. Then number your grid as shown. If your grid is larger just add more numbers in the same pattern.

Then, tape the grid onto a piece of cardstock and choose one of each number to cut out the square, carefully with a hobby knife. This is your secret cipher.

Step 2: Label Sides

Step 3: Write Your Message

To write your message align your cipher to the top of the card with the number 1 on the top. Now in each box from top to bottom, left to right write your message.

 

Then flip your cipher to the next number and continue writing your message.

 

Step 4: Send Your Card

Send or deliver your card to a friend. You can either send the cipher with it or separately.

 

For a more detailed set of directions visit https://www.instructables.com/secret-postcard-decoder/

Secret Decoder Wheel

Secret Decoder Wheel is another way to send ciphers. You can make one on your own using an empty cereal box or can get a free printable one here.

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Hi! I'm Diana!

Hi! I'm Diana!

I am a stay at home, homeschool mother of two. A former teacher with a passion to help children develop into life long learners. I believe learning should be fun. My life is full of crazy hecticness and learning. 

To learn more about me and what this website is about check out my about page

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