Introduction to Binary

Welcome to Stage 1. The fun and excitement formally starts here!

Before going to the main activities, here is a simple exercise for you to start with.

Counting is the very basic skill that you must master in order to understand binary numbers. If you think you already have mastered it, here is an extra challenge for you.

What are the materials needed?

For this simple exercise, you need a set of cards containing 1-16 code bugs (these are the BUG CARDS), ones and zeroes (these are the CODE CARDS) – these are provided in the link below.

First….download the Card Game by clicking on this link

Then print the sheets and cut around the cards.  You should now have 3 sets of cards;
~ the bug cards
~ the ones
~ the zeroes



Next…arrange the BUG CARDS.  Place them in a row, in number order, highest first.  Like this;

The BUG CARDS are what you will use to decipher a binary code.

The CODE CARDS are what you will use to make the binary code. 

The binary numbers – 0 and 1 – will work like a switch for the BUG CARDS.  A 1 will switch ONBUG CARD while a 0 will switch OFFBUG CARD.  Then, adding up all the switched ON cards will give you the decoded answer.

Lets have a practice before we go on to ACTIVITY 2

Underneath each BUG CARD, place a CODE CARD card in this order;  first a 0, then a 1 , then a 0, then a 0, then a 1.  Like this;

Each CODE CARD tells you which BUG CARD is switched ON and which is switched OFF.

Next, add together all of the BUG CARDS that are switched ON9 is your answer – you have deciphered the binary code!

This tells us that binary code 01001 is for the number 9.

Why don’t you try a few?



Click here to download a copy of this activity (with the answers!)

And here’s the link to download the cards


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