Elf Secret Message Decoder

Are mischievous little elves leaving encrypted notes for your kiddos? No problem! With this handy dandy Elf Secret Message Decoder, your little detectives can crack those codes and unlock the secrets of Santa’s little helpers.

Snag the download below and then grab 5 more Christmas STEM challenges your students will actually ASK to repeat in our shop or on Teachers Pay Teachers!


Making the Elf Secret Message Decoder

Making the decoder couldn’t be easier.  First, I printed the PDF (below) on cardstock.  Then, I cut out the two wheels and then fastened them together in the center using a brad.

In addition, I ended up laminating each wheel so the decoder would last longer and turn more smoothly.

Once the secret message decoder was assembled, it was time to crack that cipher!

Using the Secret Message Decoder

In order for the decoder to work, you need to know one bit of information known as a “key.”

For instance, in the example below, the “key” would be the letter U, which corresponds to the candle shape.

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Once you know the key, spin the secret message decoder until the U lines up with the candle.  This will reveal each letter that corresponds with each remaining symbol.

My little detectives couldn’t get home from school fast enough to decipher their secret messages.  It was like magic to my 7 year-old as she slowly watched the message appear.

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My 4-year-old, who is usually reluctant to practice letter writing, sat for 30 minutes carefully cracking his code.

I know more mischievous little elves will be leaving more secret messages to crack – and I know just the tool to decode them!

Grab Your Copy

Snag the download below and then grab 5 more Christmas STEM challenges your students will actually ASK to repeat in our shop or on Teachers Pay Teachers!

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Hi, I’m Malia.

I LOVE helping Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade teachers save time, stay inspired and give EVERY student bigger results. I’m so glad you’re here!