I snuck (or sneaked, for my non-American friends) out early this morning, before the children were awake, to chalk out a quick cryptogram puzzle for them to discover, and hopefully, solve later in the the day.
Who says we have to give up teaching thinking skills, just because it's summer?
I read an interview with a female engineer (I forget who, now) reflecting on the events in her childhood, that had encouraged her into pursuing a math heavy career. One of the things she remembered most was a daily puzzle, put up by her father, on a chalkboard in their kitchen, for the family to race to solve.
I would love to do that eventually, but I haven't found the right chalkboard to fit with our new house, yet. In the meantime, we have plenty of patio space here and there around the yard, the weather is fine, and I want the children outside, anyway. So, a sidewalk chalk puzzle seemed like a natural fit for summer.
Kid Zone has a fantastic cryptogram maker. You just type in your own message (or let the computer choose one for you), indicate how many clues to give, and it generates the puzzle for you. I decided to start out with a familiar Bible memory verse for our first try. I'm all about killing two birds with one stone. If we can strengthen strategic thinking, and build better Bible knowledge at the same time - so much the better.
The book of the Bible is included at the end, but the chapter and verse are not (one final challenge for the children).
Can you solve the puzzle, and find the verse?