I know it’s only the first week of the holidays, but Husband and I are really keen to continue some form of learning with Sausage over the next six weeks. She worked so hard in her first year at school and we’d hate for all of that learning to ebb away over the course of the holidays, so I’ve made it my mission to come up with some fun ways for her to keep up the good work without her really knowing that she’s learning while we do it!

Yesterday, Sausage was playing a game and I heard her mention something about a secret code, which gave me an idea. When you were a kid, did you do that thing where you wrote the alphabet out and then assigned a different letter of the alphabet to each one? My friends and I would make up some really elaborate codes when we were kids, but I figured this would be the easiest way to do things with Sausage as she’s still only young.


We started by writing our names in the code and Sausage picked up the idea of code breaking really quickly, writing her name, Mummy, Daddy and Chuck with ease. Using the code means she has to think about how words are spelled whilst working out the corresponding letter, which really gets the grey matter working.

The next challenge was writing words in the code and asking her to decode them into the correct words. She loved working backwards and even started to remember which letters were which in the code, so she could decode things without even looking at the key.

This is a pretty simple task, but it encouraged Sausage to use lateral thinking to solve puzzles, whilst remaining fun (never underestimate the James Bond/spy angle!) and you can increase the difficulty level by adjusting the code. Shuffle the alphabet around rather than using forwards and backwards, or you could even assign a simple shape to each letter.

The picture of code above should be printable, if you right click on it and ‘save image as’, which should save you the effort of writing it out by hand.