You won’t believe how fun it is to make binary code Christmas ornaments with holiday messages written in binary! Learn how to say Merry Christmas in binary and more in this fun STEM lesson!
So, we’re pretty nerdy around here, in case you haven’t noticed. We love all things science, technology, and video-game related.
We were having such fun making science ornaments this year that I wanted to see if we could make a geek-related ornament (and maybe even give them away to my equally nerdy family).
I have seen binary used before to make jewelry, but I thought it would be just as fun to make Christmas sayings for a Christmas STEM activity.
Read on to see how to make these coding Christmas ornaments to practice coding with kids!
Binary Code Christmas Ornaments
A Christmas coding ornament is simply an ornament made up of beads that are patterned to make Christmas phrases.
We made these ornaments years ago, and the kids still love pulling them out each year and trying to remember the right binary code to read the ornaments!
You can say just about any holiday phrase with these, and it is a fun way to bring Christams coding to the table for any kid’s Christmas party!
You can even make them in STEM class or science class as a fun Christmas-themed project.
What you need to make Christmas coding ornaments:
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Coding Christmas Ornaments STEM Lesson
To turn this activity into a STEM activity, you’ll need a bit of discussion about the topic.
Computers still use a base 10 computation system called binary code. Binary code is a system of coding that uses zeros and ones to represent data.
The computer then reads that data and executes programs and activities. You can think of binary coding like a computer’s DNA. The 1s and 0s are strung together into a pattern that a computer can read.
Binary code isn’t a program or the computer, but rather a building block or tool that a computer uses to process and decode information and complete processes.
Here is a good lesson from Khan Academy on how binary coding works inside a computer.
How to Make Binary Christmas Ornaments
You can make your own twist on these Christmas coding ornaments, but here is what we did to make ours!
How to Say Merry Christmas in Binary Code
First, we decided on what phrases to use. We thought “Merry Christmas” and “Ho Ho Ho” were pretty good sayings to start with.
Other phrases you might try include:
- “Goodwill to all people.”
- Happy Holidays.”
- Season’s Greetings.”
- “Happy Christmas.”
After we had picked our phrases, we looked up letter coding in binary using this chart.
Ho Ho Ho fit on a wreath.
Merry Christmas was much longer, so we had to turn it into a star. It took two pipe cleaners where the wreath only took one.
For Merry Christmas, we decided to put a bead separating each letter, than two beads separating the words.
For Ho Ho Ho, we didn’t separate the letters, just the words.
The kids thought it was a lot of fun to have hidden messages in our Christmas ornaments.
They wanted to learn more about binary, so as we worked to make these ornaments, we talked about how the computer uses binary to do just about everything.
This was certainly a fun activity to try coding with kids! If you try it, let us know how it went for you and send pictures using #steamsational!
Christmas STEM Activities by Grade
Find age-appropriate Christmas STEM activities below! Each list contains at least 11 hands-on STEM activities that are suitable for each grade level.