Keyword Ciphers

All NEW! Here are some more tricky codes for the kids to explore - the keyword cipher! A keyword cipher is a substitution cipher.

Instructions for a keyword cipher

First, the alphabet is written out in order. Then a keyword is chosen and written below it. If a letter appears in the keyword more than once, only the first instance is used. Now the rest of the alphabet is written down in alphabetical order, missing out any letters that are already in the keyword. In the example below, the keyword is “ACTIVITY”. Because I and T appear more than once, we write it into the grid as ACTIVY. We then write the alphabet into the grid, leaving out the letters A, C, T, I, V and Y.

Keyword cipher with keyword "Activity"

This is the actual keyword used on the first of our keyword cipher challenges, which you can download by clicking on the links below. You will also find instructions and printables for writing your own keyword cipher messages, and solutions of our challenges for those who get stuck.

3 Keyword Cipher Challenges

3 Keyword Cipher Challenges

Here we explain to kids how a keyword cipher works, then present 3 pages of coded messages for them to decipher. Quite a challenge!

All Keyword Cipher Pages

All Keyword Cipher Pages

Download the complete set of our keyword ciphers in one package - including 3 pages of keyword cipher challenges, 2 pages of "write your own" keyword cipher printables, and a page of solutions. Perfect for keep the kids busy and engaged for a while!

Keyword Cipher Challenge Solutions

Keyword Cipher Challenge Solutions

If the kids get stuck deciphering our keyword cipher challenges - here are the solutions. Don't peak before they have had a good try, though!  

Write Your Own Keyword Cipher

Write Your Own Keyword Cipher

When the children have mastered the art of deciphering a challenging keyword cipher, it is time to try inventing one of their own and challenging a friend! Here are 2 printable pages which will take them through the process of doing just that...

More Useful Printables!

More Code Printables
More Code Printables

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