Snow Day – no-printer-needed computing-themed activities for those at home #SnowDay #UKsnow

If your younger kids are at home but you don’t have access to a printer then we have some computing-themed activities that you can do on a computer to keep them entertained. (If you do have a printer there are also printable versions available too).

All of our free CS4FN magazines and booklets can be read as a PDF on a computer, and of course our CS4FN blog is designed with online reading in mind. Items highlighted in yellow here can also be done without a printer.

1. Egyptian kriss-kross (.pdf, .xlsx)

Our Egyptian kriss-kross puzzle includes lots of Egypt-related words (pyramid, hieroglyph) which can also help with spelling. The computing-related part is the strategies you need to develop to correctly fill the puzzle in. There are several five letter words and several spaces on the puzzle where those words could fit, but only one arrangement is correct. One word – mummification (13 letters) can fit in only one space so it makes sense to start with that and use the letter order of the other words to pattern-match where they might go. There’s a version to do via PDF or as an .xlsx sheet.

There’s also an Egyptian word search which you can use on a PDF with the highlight function to select the words as you find them. More Kriss-Kross puzzles below…

2. Symmetrical pixel puzzles (.xlsx)

Symmetrical colour by number pixel puzzles are a square grid with half of the information given to you. There are two tasks – (1) follow the numbers’ colour key (e.g. 4 = green, 5 = blue) to colour in each square – by changing the cell’s background colour, and (2) copy that information to the half of the grid that doesn’t have the numbers in, as a mirror image. “This can also be used as an introduction to the idea of compression – if you know something about the properties of a picture you can reconstruct the image despite storing fewer numbers!” You can do these puzzles in a spreadsheet.

Two grids, one overlaid. The top is the raw puzzle instructions with half the grid having numbers with each number representing a colour. The second half is blank and needs to be filled in by transferring the number or colour there using mirror symmetry. Hiding behind that is the full colour version, partially shown so as not to give the whole answer away.

3. Maths kriss-kross puzzles (.pdf)

Our two Maths Kriss-Kross puzzles require you to do a little bit of arithmetic first before entering the answer into the puzzle (PDF version for doing on a computer), and writing in the whole calculation. For example 1 + 2 = ? would be written in a space for 5 symbols, like this

1 + 2 = 3, written with each digit in its own cell

4a. Technology kriss-kross (.pdf)

A kriss-kross puzzle with blank spaces for computing-themed words to go in

There’s only one space ‘touchscreen’ can fit and once it’s there it will help narrow down which other words can fit around it. You can do this puzzle on a computer, no printer needed. Do you know what all the words in our technology kriss-kross puzzle mean?

See also the programming kriss kross (.pdf).

4b. Some more interdisciplinary kriss-kross puzzles (.pdf)

Each requires a bit of computational thinking to come up with a strategy to fill the puzzle in, but the actual puzzle content might be about animals or different words to spell.
Year 4 spelling kriss kross puzzle | Minibeasts kriss kross | Animal classification | Spring.

5. Word caterpillar patterns (.pdf)

For younger children our caterpillar patterns look at similar sounding (and spelled) words, with a gap to fill in a missing word. Can be done on a PDF on a computer too (or with a printer). There are also number caterpillar pattern puzzles which use coloured dots (e.g. 4 = • • • •) as a counting puzzle.

See also Odd Cats Out.

6. Python Assignment Dry Run Table Puzzles (.pdf)

Use these kinds of sheets of simple dry run tests as a diagnostic test to catch problems with student mental models immediately, or just use them as puzzle sheets. Can be done on a computer.

See also pseudocode pattern puzzles (.pdf)