When my kids were very young, we used to hide Easter eggs for them to find in the little fenced-in yard behind the house. But once they were old enough to read, we set them clues written on strips of paper to follow to find their eggs. Each clue is a puzzle that they need to solve to get to the next egg, with the next clue wrapped around it, and an Easter bunny at the end.
The clues have gotten harder as the kids have gotten older. This is the downside of having educators for parents – you have to work for your Easter chocolate! We’ve also made the distances they have to travel longer. It’s at least a km now from start to finish for each kid. That’s the downside for us, as we chase along behind with a camera.
Some of the clues refer to things that you have to live here to know about, for example one of the twins (13 yr old) got as his last clue:
You’ve travelled so far,
now home you go,
back to a place
you used to know.
You could climb up there
without anyone seeing,
though the ladder’s now gone,
it’s where you’ll be being
finishing this quest
and finding your bunny,
we hope you enjoyed it,
love, Daddy and Mummy
which refers to a cubby built into the roof space that was accessible by a ladder from the downstairs bedroom the twins used to share. Now they’ve moved upstairs, and the ladder is gone, and that space is used for storing boxes of books.
Other clues can be decoded by anyone, but the answer only makes sense if you live here, for example:
Start at *, and follow the x,y path: +2, +2; +0, +3; +6, +2; +2, -5; -7, -2; +4, +4; +4, +2; -3, +1; +0, -7; -6, +1; -1, -1.
Some are pretty obvious if you’ve read much of this blog, such as:
Cocky bastard come to feed,
but what’s this shiny thing I see
hidden here amongst my seed?
Was it placed here just for me
or is it here for someone else?
If that’s the case, I’ll be jealous!
Others don’t need any local knowledge at all, for example (for the 8 yr old):
bork, bork, bork,
what a lot of work,
finding all these eggs!
This one’s been laid
where the eggs are made,
you just have to use your legs!
The middle of the rainbow,
gives you my first word,
my second sounds like “mouse”
if my name you’ve not quite heard.
Of course, as STEM people, it’s not all words. The little one got some times-table practice:
5 X 4 = __
6 X 3 = __
35 / 7 = __
60 / 12 = __
24 /12 = __
3 X 5 = __
24 / 24 = __
10 X 2 = __
Then decode using A = 1, B = 2, C = 3…
And the twins, who started algebra at school recently, got some simple simultaneous equations to solve and then apply the same code to, for example:
W + X = 8
X – W = 6
YW + X = 141
YZ – (W+X) = 92
W,X,Y,Z = __ __ __ __ , now apply A=1, B=2, C=3… to get ____________
A couple of eggs did melt in the sun (28C here today!) while clues were being decoded, but none were eaten by animals this year.
Oh, and if you want the answers to the puzzles above, post your solutions in the comments and I’ll tell you if you’re right!