After reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to my fifth grade students, I was Inspired to modify my croquet set. The change is simple and definitely improves the fun of the game as all those who pick up a mallet can't resist the urge to shout "Off with her head!"
Step 1: Materials
Pink garden flamingos are available at nurseries and hardware stores. The box contains two birds each with a different neck shape. You will transform a regular croquet set into this more animated version by inserting the handle through the flamingo body.
Since croquet mallet handles vary in diameter and length, you will have to determine the size of the drill bit to use.
Dremel cutting tool
Safety Glasses, because plastic will fly!
Step 2: Drilling Top Holes for Mallet Handles
Determine the location for the hole by placing the handle against the back of the head of the flamingo. Mark the spot for the hole. Make the hole slightly larger than the diameter of the mallet handle. We used a 7/8" drill bit as shown. Clamp the flamingo and drill straight in. Position the handle into the hole and shape the angle of the hole with the Dremel as shown.
Step 3: Drilling Bottom Holes
Insert the handle into the top hole and mark the spot on the bottom of the flamingo where the handle will emerge. You will have to determine where the handle will come out using Jedi Force or estimation. Tap the handle on the inside of the body and get a feel for where it will come out. Drill into the flamingo and shape the hole with the Dremel so that the handle comes through.
Step 4: Curiouser and Curiouser
You can play without hedgehogs but why? My daughter drew pictures of hedgehogs on paper and then copied them on the croquet balls with a "professional" permanent marker. You may make a much simpler design. There is a certain satisfaction that comes from whacking a hedgehog with a flamingo. You'll never know until you try!
Step 5: Whose Turn Is It?
If you are going to play with this set properly, you should know that it helps to have a sense of humor and imagination.
Just as the equipment was modified, you can modify the croquet rules as well. I laminated a big deck of cards and players made up games with them.
Happy summer days.