We’re into the lead-up to Good Friday – and our annual Easter egg hunt and lunch (and usually descending into an evening party). Not to mention obligatory egg and spoon races, egg-laying twerk (if only I had thought to patent and manufacture the version I devised at home using empty tissue boxes and yellow table tennis balls – someone else had the sense to do that), and now-traditional tug of war. Males against females, Wales against England, children against adults – the permutations are limited only by everyone’s competitive spirit and occasional rope burns for adults. It has grown from one grandchild and his 2 cousins, to people from all over joining in the madness and mayhem – always out in the garden whatever the weather.   

Egg hunt in the sunshine

And boy, was it cold in 2018.

20 children at the latest count for this year – plus about 40 adults. Many joints of lamb to be slow-roasted, eggs to be hard-boiled, and piles of eggs hidden of course. Each year I try and theme the clues differently. We’ve had nursery rhymes, music, children’s songs, popular songs and performers, films, TV programmes, poems, animals, you name it. So here are some ideas from which to craft your clues for young book lovers of various ages, to be tailored to whatever your garden has – or to spark off other ideas. Parental supervision recommended! And parental involvement in solving the clues. I’ll mix up questions, such as ‘Who wrote..’ or ‘In what book might you find…’, or ‘Where in the garden might you find…’

Chicken Licken – if you keep hens, or have a figure of a hen, or even a patch of chickweed.

The Tiger who came to Tea, or Worzel Gummidge – ‘A cup of tea and a slice of cake, Aunt Sally’ – where might you sit down for a cuppa? (I have a box of herbs for making tea, with a sign up saying ‘afternoon tea’.)

Black Beauty. Or Pippi Longstocking, who lived with a horse, a monkey and gold coins. You probably don’t have stables, but there may be a horseshoe on a door, or horseradish growing.

Frog and Toad; or Dragonfly Pool, or ‘In what book does Toad of Toad Hall feature?’ You may have a pond, or a figure of a frog or toad somewhere. If not, you could put out a bucket of water somewhere. A willow tree or garden sculpture works for Wind in the Willows.

The Gruffalo – lots of scope for the different animals encountered – eg a path which snakes around the garden, a bird table for the owl.

The House at Pooh Corner – Tigger likes bouncing – maybe you have a trampoline.

Jungle Book – a banana slide or climbing frame.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, or Peter Rabbit in Mr McGregor’s garden, or The Princess and the Pea – a vegetable plot.

The Jungle Book – a tropical planting or just a patch of wild-looking weeds. (I have plenty of them going – dirt cheap!)

Fungus the Bogeyman – if you have fungi eg growing on pieces of wood.

Mr Magnolia – a magnolia plant.

James and the Giant Peach – fruit trees.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, or Some Dogs Do, or Lassie, or 101 Dalmations – a dog kennel, or dogwoods. Or leave a dog-eared magazine or book lying around.

Stig of the Dump – many of us have a dumping ground corner, or a compost heap?

Watership Down, Peter Rabbit, Brer Rabbit – if you have a rabbit hutch.

Peter Rabbit if you have a watering can lying around.

The Cat in the Hat, Macavity, Mog – near a cat-flap. Or catkins.

Tom’s Midnight Garden or the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland– if you have an outdoor clock, or are growing the herb thyme.

Anne of Green Gables – near the gable end of a house – adults may need to point out what a gable is.

Little Women – a doll’s or Wendy house.

Peter Pan or the tea party from Alice in Wonderland – Wendy house.

The Children on the Hill or High on a Hill – if you have an undulating garden – or molehills.

Adrian Mole – if you have the dreaded molehills.

Puss in Boots – wellies or boots outside.

And so on. Hope this sparks some ideas. So – all I need to do this week is to replace all the chocolate eggs I bought weeks ago and which have miraculously disappeared. Now there must be a book where the mice steal all of the chocolate…?

#easteregghunt #egghuntcluesforbooklovers #easteregghuntforbookworms #easter

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