These activities are inspired by Enid Blyton’s books and the prompts for these activities can be found in the book Ripping Things to Do: The Best Games and Ideas from Children’s Books by Jane Brocket. With the introductions done, let’s get on to some smashing activities you can do yourselves.
What better way to start your Enid Blyton week activity by learning a code, or making one up, and the asking someone to de-code a message you leave them? In Blyton’s adventure books, such as The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, and The Five Find-Outers and Dog.
Codes you can learn:-
Morse code – a series of dots and dashes that people use for letters of the alphabet. The most common Morse code signal you may have heard of is S.O.S which is depicted as “Dot dot dot – dash dash dash – dot dot dot”. Use the pictures below to try sending secret messages either by tapping out the dots and dashes (use short sharp taps for the dots and leave longer gaps between taps for the dashes), flashing a torch light or a mirror in sunlight (mind the other person’s eyes), or by writing down the dots and dashes.
Semaphore alphabet – just to clarify the semaphore I’m talking about here is the kind used on ships, navy vessels, and in airports, not the kind to do with computer science. This semaphore is usually done by moving your arms into the positions shown in the picture to create signals and letters. Usually these are done with flags so that you are able to see the signal from a bigger distance, not to mention the bright colours in these flags help catch attention. Try coping the alphabet from below, maybe you can use some cloths that a parent or guardian has around, and when you’ve mastered the alphabet, try sending a message for someone else to crack!
Creating your own code:-
Ways to create your own codes can be as simple as assigning each letter of the alphabet a different letter of the alphabet. So for example A becomes Z and Z becomes A. To send a message with your own code you would spell out the message with your own alphabet and the other person would have to work out what it says.
Another way to make a code is to give each letter a number or symbol, so A would be the number 1, B-2 and so on. You’d make it more complicated I’m sure! For the symbols, think about what symbols are on a keyboard, or what your most used emojis are (if you are lucky enough to have access to a device with emojis) and give each letter a symbol or emoji.
You could also give each letter a word, like B could be Banana, C – chocolate or Wombat for W. You could use as many words as you wanted from wherever. Animals and foods are good codes to try, but you could always use things you have about your house, or Pokemon for example.
With all good code creators to start with, make a note of your code so that you can decode any messages or help the person you’re sending a message to in case they get stuck!
Invisible Ink: – Another idea for sending coded messages is using certain house hold products to create an invisible ink. You can use any liquid that dries clear, but when heated turns brown! Juices like orange, lemon and apple work well, and milk or diluted honey are some other alternatives. Why don’t you have a play around with some other (adult agreed) liquids to see what might also work?
To do the writing, you can use a pen with a nib (not your best fountain pen!) a feather, toothpick, cocktail stick, rubber stamps, a thin paint brush or use your finger. Use your codes to make an invisible message!
A good chunk of the time spent indoors in Enid Blyton’s books are spent either doing homework, reading, or playing card games.
Now you can play any of the card games you have in the house, Top Trumps, Uno, Happy Families, but if you want to try and learn a new game, some of the ones that Enid Blyton wrote about for example, you can check out this website for 12 games to play with a standard deck of cards, or ask permission or a grown up, to look up these games below:
• Beggar my neighbour
• Go Fish
• Old Maid
• Chase the Ace
A good way to pretend that you’re camping like many good Enid Blyton characters is to build a den in your house. We’ll be looking at what you’ll need to create a den and a few ideas on how to put it together.
What you might want to get together, or ask an adult if you cause use are:
• Cuddly toys
• Fairy lights
Find a space you can use, maybe a living room, or under the dining room table, or between two chairs. Drape your blanket over the table, chairs or the sofa in the living room. Then make your den as comfortable as possible and enjoy!
This den can be anything such as a tent, a cave, a castle, a ship, treasure island, whatever you want! You could even use your new codes as an entry word, or you can play some of the card games you’ve just learnt to do in your den, colour, draw maps, and discover some treasure. If you’re lucky enough to have a tablet, laptop or set up in front of a TV maybe you could enjoy the Malory Towers TV series that’s on CBBC iPlayer right now!