We usually visit extended family at Easter-time and my sister-in-law puts together an Easter Egg hunt for the boys and their cousins. This year, of course, we are confined to our own home so it fell to me to devise the clues.
Fortunately, I have been evaluating the Mindsets products and kits to see what we could use in our home learning next term, and several were ideal for generating codes and hidden messages.
Clue 1: Morse code
The components for this clue can be found in the Crumble Starter kit.
The boys had to connect the battery box to the Crumble, then connect the buzzer to output A (as indicated by my very cryptic clue). I had pre-programmed the Crumble so the buzzer would cycle through the Morse code for “S”, “H”, “E”, and “D”. A few minutes later we were off to the shed!
Clue 2: Invisible ink
This uses the “UV” bank note checker kit, which I had pre-soldered, and a UV pen.
The 7-year-old had received a Harry Potter “Marauders map” for Christmas which has hidden features revealed by a “magic wand” with a UV LED so he had no trouble knowing how to decipher this clue and reading the message: “look in the washing basket”.
Clue 3: Copycoder
In the washing basket, the boys quickly found a Copycoder. This is popular in escape rooms all over the world: you generate an unreadable message on the website www.copycoder.com and the lenticular surface of the Copycoder unscrambles it.
They’d already seen the scrambled message at the start of the hunt, so they knew exactly where to use the Copycoder.
Clue 4: Periodic Table Crossword
The week before Easter, both boys had been reading an Usbourne book about the Periodic Table and quizzing me about the facts in it. I decided to turn the tables and see how much they remembered.
The 10-year-old quickly realised that the squares highlighted in red spelled the final clue: “WARDROBE”. The treasure was found!!
Note: Our boys are 7 and 10 and we kept the clues simple enough that the 7-year-old had chance to participate fully. You could easily adjust the difficulty, though. Can you think of any other STEM activities that would make good clues?? Let us know…