Binary Code Bracelets for Kids

May 24, 2018 | Dawn

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Northern District Branch celebrates Digital Literacy Day on May 31 with our Binary Code Bracelets for Kids program. Toronto Public Library joins the City of Toronto and partners in the academic, arts, corporate and non-profit communities to commemorate the inaugural Digital Literacy Day by hosting programs that showcase our digital and technology resources and staff expertise.

An important part of digital literacy is knowing how our technology works. Most of our technology relies on electricity, data and the storage of information. An understanding binary code can remove some of the mystery from computers, because they are fundamentally machines that work using a binary system of on and off switches. Data is stored and read by computers in the same way, whether it is an image, a sound, text or the information on your DVD. Software decodes the binary information that is stored and displays the result in a form we can understand and use.

Binary bracelet decoder sheet      Completed binary code bracelet

The Binary Code Bracelets for Kids program offers children (ages 6 and up) an opportunity to learn about binary code by encoding their names using the ASCII code that computers use. Instead of using real on/off switches or zeros and ones, children will use two different coloured beads to string out their names. One colour will represent the on switch or a 'one,' and the other colour will represent the off switch or a 'zero.' The longer your name, the longer your bracelet, or you can turn it into a necklace.

This simple name coding activity introduces children to concepts like binaries, bits and bytes, which are fundamental to how computers work. It is fun to learn about coding without using a computer. Plus, you get to take home what you make.

While you are here, check out one of our other Digital Literacy Day programs at Northern District Branch or enjoy one of more than 110 free events offered across the City of Toronto. Can't make it out to a program? Check out titles from our Digital Literacy Day Reading List, a small sampling of our massive collection of tech-related books for children and adults.