Like many Dads, I'm required by my family to go out on Easter Sunday morning and hide eggs in the garden. My kids have built up a reputation for me as quite the egg hider, but with the same garden to hide eggs in every year, and with both my kids in their late teens now, it was getting tougher to find new places to hide the eggs. So when, soon after the egg hunt we had in 2013, my daughter told me that the 2014 egg hunt had to be the best one ever (she'd already invited some friends to it) I put my thinking cap on, got my tools out and almost every Sunday morning for a year, started work on the 2014 egg hunt.
Step 1: Bazoo-egg-a
A cup attached to a plastic tube by two elastic travel cords holds the egg. A metal chain attached to the bottom of the cup pulls the cup down the tube and is attached to a trigger mechanism- I used a gate latch. A piece of string trailing out of the secured area releases the latch when pulled, firing the egg into the air.
Step 2: Magn-egg-tic Floating Egg
In another secured area, behind the garden shed, an egg is attached to a pipe below by a fishing wire and held hovering in the air by the power of a large magnet hanging on a string. The egg hunter pulls the string to raise the magnet causing the egg to fall down and knock an identical 'stunt' egg that rolls down the tube towards the egg hunter.
Step 3: The One and Two Pipe Problems
A cheap toy that fires plastic balls is attached to the end of a drainpipe cut to a length slightly shorter than the height it can fire an egg. The one pipe problem is solved by clicking on the toy's trigger to fire the egg up the pipe and out of the end. The two pipe version, pictured here, fires the egg up the upper pipe where it then drops into and rolls down the lower pipe. Firing the second mechanism sends it hurtling out of the end of the lower tube.
Step 4: Flying Eggs
Ariel Runway: A pulley threaded onto a washing line running from my bedroom window to our apple tree with an egg hanging from it was a favourite with the younger kids. Like the Bazoo-egg-a, I used a gate latch with string as the trigger.
Parachute: A tube held vertical in a small wooden frame by an elastic band is stuffed with an egg attached to a parachute. Pulling the string pulls the tube down and gravity does the rest (although you may need to give it a few tugs to shake it free). I was on the verge of giving up getting this to work but then discovered the London Science Museum's parachute which doesn't tangle and works brilliantly.
Step 5: Dal-Egg...
..Or any remote controlled toy can be used to pick up an egg in a secured area and bring it to the egg hunter who finds the remote control. I used a magnetic ball in the egg and in the Dalek's plunger, but velcro would be a better solution if you have younger kids participating.
Step 6: Egg-stremely Noisy
Get a packet of those balloons that make a whizzing sound, inflate it and stick it up a tube. A clip attached to the bottom of the tube stops the air coming out. A piece of string is attached to the clip so that when it is pulled, it releases the the balloon. The air escapes making a whizzing noise and, once the balloon has sufficiently deflated, the egg falls out. You can stick it up a tree or a pole, but I found it works well up a sun shade we had in our garden. One little boy thought it was hilarious, calling it the farting umbrella!
Step 7: Play Ball Egg-alanche
Keep an eye out for workmen digging up the road to lay big plastic pipes underground. They often have cut offs which they would take to the dump but are all too keen to have someone take it away and save them the trouble if you ask. I attached a 'lid' to one end held in place by a plastic hook with an elastic band. Pulling on a piece of string releases the door and the bag of plastic playballs (and a couple of eggs) roll out. Looks great!
Cut open one of the plastic playballs and hide an egg inside it.
Add a water bomb!
Step 8: Egg Box 360
A transparent box with a maze built from a couple sheets of transparent plastic and affixed to a hamster wheel so the egg hunter can spin it around and try to get the egg to the centre. You will need to create dead ends that can be used to take the egg upwards and use gravity to descend into the next inner circle.
Tip - Use document binders to slot the 'walls' of your maze in and out of. You can then design your maze and easily adjust it till you get something that works. You can also re-arrange the walls so you have a different maze every year.
Step 9: And There's More...
Watch the 'trailer' video and you'll spot some ideas that I didn't get around to covering. I hope I've given you enough info here to become an egg-gineer and set up your own unusual egg hunt. I'm hoping to see some of your ideas on this web site that I can use for next year.
If this proves popular, I'll put up a sequel to this instructable which will include an egg cascade, fishing for caviar, a door-bell, a slinky, a marble runny egg and more.
Here's to Easter 2015!