As we approach the end of your Lent fasting (how did that go? Be honest…), it’s time to start thinking about Easter!
The four-day weekend of chocolate indulgence! But those of you with kids will know that feeding children an endless supply of chocolate isn’t very good for them (even if it is delicious). But not to worry, we have a list of Easter activities that’ll keep things fun and energetic. Sadly, managing how much chocolate you consume yourself is entirely your responsibility!
A classic tradition of family Easter is painting eggs for decoration. It’s a quick and easy way to have fun and encourages creative expression. To start, you need a whole load of eggs – we would recommend duck eggs because they’re white, whereas UK chicken eggs tend to be a less attractive brown colour. Boil the eggs for at least 10 minutes until they’re hard-boiled. If you’re in a rush, you can take the white eggs and draw designs on them with markers. You could go minimalist with a monochrome design style by just using black pens on the white eggs, or you could get colourful with paints or coloured felt tips.
Alternatively, fill some small bowls with hot water and add a teaspoon of vinegar and food colouring. Dip the eggs in and leave for five minutes and you’ll have perfectly dyed eggs! The kids will relish the chance to decorate their own eggs. Just keep them separate from any chocolate eggs!
Even if you’re trying to reduce the focus on chocolate this Easter, you will struggle to get rid of it completely – and why would you want to? Creating a fun activity where chocolates are the reward is a great way to keep the kids active, and that’s where the Easter egg hunt comes in. For older children, you can make the hunts more challenging, and perhaps even draw up some maps and clues for them to follow! But when it comes to toddlers, you’re going to want to keep it a lot simpler and on a much smaller scale.
Toddlers are prone to tears for anything they see as an injustice (i.e. whatever doesn’t prioritise them) so to avoid weeping tantrums, colour-code the eggs each toddler should be looking for. That way, no one is ‘stealing’ anyone else’s eggs and everyone gets the same number. But what about the hunting in this Easter egg hunt? Toddlers aren’t quite savvy with their foraging skills yet and might need some help. Try putting up some visual clues like colour coded arrows to help them.
Lastly, when it comes to the chocolate eggs themselves, remember to put them somewhere they won’t get too dirty! They shall be eaten, after all. If any of your friends and family bring eggs for your toddler, you can add those to the hunt as well to help manage how much chocolate your child will actually consume.
With the excitement of the Easter egg hunt over, it’s a good time to get the kids moving with some physical activities, especially if they’ve already started munching on their eggs. In your garden or at the park, you can initiate your very own Easter Olympics, starting with a favourite of kids, the sack race! Other ideas include an egg and spoon race, but, since you may have used up all your eggs, you could make them balance a small water balloon instead.
Not all the activities need to include races, though. Have you tried the Spoonful of Sugar challenge? This involves putting a large bowl of jelly beans on a table, giving the contestants a plastic spoon each, and asking them to fill a cup full of jelly beans using only the spoon in their mouth. First one to a full cup wins. Just watch out for bumped heads and have a LOT of jelly beans, because they are going to spill!
To finish the day, when energy levels are likely to be slightly lower, you could encourage your child to write a letter to themselves, describing what happened that day. Then you can save it for them to open next year, at the following Easter. It could even become a fun tradition!
Easter was always going to be a favourite with kids because of all the chocolate, but there’s no reason you can’t divert attention away from sugary treats to make Easter more about fun and games. But whatever your plans are for the Easter weekend, we hope you have a great time and enjoy yourself! After all, you deserve it for giving up [insert vice here] for Lent, which we’re sure you managed successfully with no lapses in discipline!