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Valentine’s Day Decoder Wheel – Free Printable Activity

Activity Sheet | Decoder Wheel Activities | Free Printables | Kid Crafts | Valentine's Day

Can you crack the code? Use the Valentine’s Day decoder wheel to solve cute Valentine’s Day riddles! This fun printable activity is easy to set up and perfect for kids who love spies, secret codes, escape rooms and solving mysteries!

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Valentine's Day riddles written in code lay next to foam roses and a Valentine's Day decoder wheel.

Hello Crafty Friends! With Valentine’s Day right around the corner it’s the perfect time for a fun Valentine’s Day activity for the kids! Today I’m excited to share my new Valentine’s Day-themed decoder wheel. Kids can use the decoder wheel to solve Valentine’s Day riddles. If your kids love spies, escape rooms, solving mysteries and secret codes, then they’ll love decoder wheels! 

A decoder wheel, also called a cipher wheel, is a tool that can be used to encrypt messages. Most often they are seen with two wheels of letters. When you write the message you are transforming each letter of your message into another letter so the message becomes encrypted. To read it the recipient would need to use a cipher wheel set the same way. 

Sometimes cipher wheels include a wheel full of symbols instead of a second wheel of letters. My decoder wheels work like this, featuring one wheel of themed illustrations. Instead of writing an encrypted message, kids will decipher a riddle using the wheel. It’s a fun activity for children of all ages including – little ones practicing their letters. 

A colorful Valentine's Day decoder wheel lays next to coded riddles.

My kids love solving these Valentine’s Day riddles using the decoder wheel. When they were little I would help them solve them. I would help them set the wheel and then we would go through the symbols in the encrypted message one by one. They would read the letter that matched the image and I would write it down. Now that they are older they no longer need my help. 

These riddles are a great Valentine’s Day activity for the classroom, a small group of kids or they can be worked on alone. They are fun way to practice letter recognition for little ones and a fun quiet activity to celebrate the holiday.

Three riddles written in code lay next to a Valentine's Day decoder wheel.

Decoder wheels are a simple activity to prepare. Simply print the activity and assemble the decoder wheel using a brad. I love creating decoder wheels for holidays and different seasons.

Check out my other printable decoder wheels!

Valentine’s Day Cipher Wheel Activity

Supplies Needed:

Valentine's Day printables lay next to a paper trimmer, scissors and pushpin.

How to Assemble the Decoder Wheel

The decoder wheel is easy to create. Simply print the decoder wheel on white cardstock and carefully cut out both circles with a scissors. Layer the circles together, with the smaller one on top, and poke a hole in the center of both using a push pin. Attach the layers together with a brad in the center. The wheel should rotate easily.

Two paper wheels, one with letters and one with tiny pictures, lay next to a scissors.

A push pin is poked through the center of both paper wheels.

A colorful Valentine's Day decoder wheel lays next to coded riddles.

How to Use a Cipher Wheel

For each riddle the “KEY” will tell you how to set the wheel. For example if the riddle’s KEY is “R is for ROSE”. Spin the wheel until the rose picture lines up with the letter “R” and then you are ready to solve!

Make sure to check the key for each riddle as each one is different. For younger kids, it may be helpful to cut apart the riddles to help them remember to change their wheel to a new key.

A sheet of riddles is cut in half using a paper trimmer.

Three riddles written in code lay next to a Valentine's Day decoder wheel.

How to Create Your Own Coded Messages

My decoder wheels are a reader favorite and I have had lots of requests to make an editable version so you can write your own secret message for kids to solves. Since I use hand-drawn illustrations on my decoder wheel, it is tricky to write your own secret messages without access to the little images. I have finally figured out a way to make that happen using a PowerPoint file.

The editable PowerPoint is available with the printables in my Etsy shop. All of the symbols, along with several pre-made keys, are ready for you to create your own message. I have even started a Valentine’s Day message for you on one of the slides! Copy and paste the images to write your own message. Whether you are writing a secret message for your kids, classroom or to use in a homemade escape room, the PowerPoint will help you get creative!Valentine's Day decoder wheel edited using Microsoft Power Point.

Where to Download the Files

  1. My Valentine’s Day Decoder wheel printables are available to download from my Etsy shop and include 20 riddles plus an editable PowerPoint file (you need Microsoft PowerPoint to use the editable file) so you can write your own encrypted messages!
  2. You can also download two free riddles and the decoder wheel by filling out the purple form at the end of this post. 

Link to purchase this file from my shop! Thank you for supporting my small business.

I hope you enjoy this fun free printable Valentine’s Day activity! I turned these cute decoder wheels into printable valentines perfect for friends, family and the classroom! Check out more information on these cuties: Secret Code Valentines with Decoder Wheel.

Secret Decoder Wheel Valentines on a purple table with hearts and a heart pencil.

More Fun Decoder Wheels

Happy Crafting! -Kim

Get 2 Free Valentine’s Day Decoder Wheel Riddles!

Fill out the purple form below with your first name and email address! The free file will be sent straight to your inbox! If you have already filled out the form below, don’t worry – you won’t be added to my list twice! This freebie is for personal use only. I hope you enjoy crafting something special. Please let me know if you have any questions :)

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  1. Thank you so much for your decoder wheels and the activities. We downloaded all the Christmas ones and they were a godsend for my four grandchildren after we’d ordered food and had a while to wait – even the 4 year old could do it with some help from Daddy. So now I’m planning to download others, they were such a big hit. (The children want to know whether they can print off the ‘alphabet/s’, so they can make more messages of their own! otherwise I’ll be down to some cut and paste.)

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