little: Easter Egg Hunt

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

A-hunting we will go . . .

Easter is just around the corner. Have everyone chip-in, and this enchanting morning of egg-hunting need not be a task. A small army of egg-layers and ribbon-tiers is all you need - and of course, chocolate eggs. Throw in some fluffy bunnies, something for little rabbits to nibble, and this Easter Egg Hunt will be something the kids will never forget.

- - - VENUE - - -

Hold the hunt in your back yard or choose a local park that is easy for everyone to get to. Check with the local council to see if you need to register. Some councils require payment if a large amount of people will be in attendance.

- - - TIME - - -

If the hunt will be on Easter Sunday, don’t start too early. Many families like to do their own thing at home first. Otherwise, hold it on a different weekend close to Easter.

- - - AREAS - - -

Section off a small area for children two years and under. They are far less adept at hunting for eggs and will simply get lost in the rush. Make it clear to other hunters that this section is for little ones only.

- - - AGE GROUPS - - -

Divide the children into age groups to make the hunting more fair. Send three and four year olds first.

Wait a few minutes before sending five and six year olds, then repeat with ages seven to ten and finally, eleven and up. This delay allows smaller kids to reap a harvest before the older, more adept children come in for a clean sweep!

- - - HIDING EGGS - - -

Make it more challenging for older kids by hiding eggs up high. Make nests out of florists’ raffia and perch birds inside, covering a snatch of eggs.

Make cornucopia cones from card and ribbon and hang from trees, brimming with eggs. Hide little baskets inside bushes, filled with chocolate treasure. Wedge smaller eggs between the branches of trees so kids have to climb.

If there’s play equipment, blu-tac eggs to the highest parts, so kids have to clamber around to fetch them. Tie eggs to lengths of ribbon and tie up high so kids have to jump to grab them.

- - - DECORATING - - -

Tie pastel ribbons to bushes and trees – no more than four or five different colours looks best. The wider the ribbon, the better it will be seen. Hide plastic eggs in the grass along with chocolate ones – kids can take these home too. Put bunnies at the base of trees and raffia nests in branches, with their chicks and chocolate bounty inside.

Hang plastic eggs from ribbons and dangle them from threes, or slide them onto pieces of wire and insert them in the grass, being wary of where you place them so children don’t trip and fall in the excitement!

- - - EQUIPMENT - - -

You will need ribbon, nests, decorative eggs and animals such as bunnies and birds, baskets, a table for drinks and snacks, and of course, lots of eggs! If you want to provide baskets, tie them with pastel ribbons and stuff with shredded paper to nestle the eggs. Cardboard ears are easy and inexpensive to make. You can measure them for each child on the day, for a custom fit. Simply tape them closed with sticky tape.

- - - REFRESHMENTS - - -

Hunting is thirsty work – set up a table with juice, lemonade and water, with a clutch of paper cups and napkins. For a centrepiece, nestle eggs and feathers into a grass-like pot plant. Set out some bowls with savoury snacks for mums and dads to nibble, or for the rare group of kids who would prefer them to chocolate.

- - - THE RABBIT - - -

Do you know an adult who would be game to don an Easter Bunny outfit for the day? Hire a suit and your children will be gob-smacked at his arrival. Otherwise, use face-paints to create a pseudo bunny helper.

- - - GAMES - - -

After the hunt, while the kids are still high on sugar, burn off some energy with these games.

Hold a classic egg and spoon race, lining up like-aged children and egging them on to the finish-line.

Easter egg rolling is fun but needs a hill or slight incline. Kids paint their eggs in racing colours, then first to roll to the bottom wins. No hill? The kids have to push their eggs through the grass with their noses!

For egg bowls, paint eggs different colours and leave one white. The winner is the child who rolls their egg gently, so it comes to a stop closest to the white egg.

Unless you want scrambled eggs on your lawn, be sure to hard-boil all eggs first!

- - - OTHER IDEAS - - -

Print off pictures of Easter-related themes and provide colourful crayons so the children can colour in.

Hold an egg-painting session with hard-boiled eggs and poster paint. Create you own little bunnies with face-paints and a willing adult.

Leave a small tuft of cotton wool somewhere inconspicuous, telling the children that if they can find some of the Easter Bunny’s tail, they will win a prize.

- - - AND MORE - - -

For older children, consider having a scavenger hunt or notelet hunt, where clues are left on notes for them to decipher. You could also play “What’s the time, Easter Bunny?”, a twist on the Mr Wolf classic.

Photographs by Tania McCartney. Read more of my ezine under "little Magazine".

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