The Easter holidays are here, and it’s time to congratulate yourself and your family for giving up all those vices for Lent!
You did give up something for Lent, right? Ah, never mind that! It’s time for Easter egg fun! With all that festive chocolate around the house, the chances are any young children in the house are going to somewhat overloaded on sugar, so giving them activities to keep them occupied and using up that energy is good for them and their parents!
Easter egg hunts are a classic entertainment option for toddlers because they’re fun, relatively easy to arrange, and they help the kids burn off some of that excess sugar. However, do it wrong and you could be facing some furious tantrums, tears a-flowing, or even sick children. To help avoid any drama, we’ve written up this list of tips and tricks to keep everyone happy and healthy this Easter!
Keep egg hunts fair
Before you start to hide your eggs, have a think about how likely the eggs are to be found. It’s in everyone’s best interest if all the members of the egg hunt receive a similar amount of eggs, or whoever has the fewest will see it as unfair and then all hell will break loose. There are a few ways to make sure the tots won’t get upset about uneven egg distribution:
- Colour-code the eggs – One simple idea is to give each child a different colour egg to hunt for. This will make sure there are always plenty of eggs to find.
- Keep spare eggs – No offence, but unless your tot is the exception to the rule, generally, toddlers aren’t too bright. If it looks like one toddler has significantly less in his or her egg basket, it isn’t too difficult to sneak a few extra in to make them think they have found more than they have.
- Make a ‘base’ – Have a rule where kids need to return their eggs to ‘base’ and deposit them after every five eggs they find. Not only will this encourage more exercise, but it’ll allow you to make sure that everyone is getting the same number of eggs with some creative redistribution. As long as the kids have eggs to enjoy, they won’t even notice!
Don’t just hide chocolate
Dieticians are likely furious with how Easter has become a festival of chocolate consumption, especially when it comes to children. To be fair, lots of chocolate is definitely not great for a child’s health. Many parents prefer to make the eggs last over time to reduce the amount their children eat in one sitting (ruining their dinner!). This is a good idea, but why not also encourage other treats as part of the hunt? Egg-shaped containers can be bought so you can make the prize anything you want while still being true to the egg hunt nature! Prizes could include fruit, toys, colouring pens, or even vegetables. Just make sure there are some actual treats to keep everyone happy and be extra careful about using anything that could be a choking hazard.
Draw a map
For children aged around 8-11, their cognitive development is in a critical stage. You can encourage problem-solving skills and logical deduction by drawing a map for them to follow. Giving them the chance to solve clues is great for their development and is a lot of fun. Keep the fun going by having one map or clue lead to another, which will also make finding the eggs significantly more satisfying!
Maps can be very simple. For instance, if there is a prize hidden beneath the garden tree, then a drawing of a tree with an arrow. It’s that simple. Stick to pictures rather than text so the maps can also be used by children too young to read.
Check the weather
Possibly the most important factor for the 2018 Easter is the weather. At time of writing, there are ums and ers about the likely state of the weather over Easter. Despite some saying there will be a blanket of snow thanks to the benevolently named ‘beast from the east’, many news reports now say there will be no such thing. In any case, if the weather is likely to turn sour, it’s not a great idea to have an outdoor egg hunt.
But fear not, because indoor egg hunts can be just as fun! The advantages include everything naturally being cleaner and you can hide the eggs in a wider variety of locations. Be careful, however. You need to consider a few things if you’re playing inside, including what else might be in the places you are hiding the eggs (don’t hide anything near medicines or plug sockets) and what else in the house you want to keep away from children.
Don’t make it too difficult
Be sure to remember that you’re dealing with young children whose spatial awareness, eyesight, and logic don’t work in the same way as yours. That means don’t hide the eggs too well! Keep the eggs clearly in sight and easily reachable. In addition to these, it’s a good idea to set hunt boundaries to make sure the hunters don’t venture outside of a set area. This’ll make it easier for them to find the eggs, and also more convenient for keeping track of where all the little ones are!
It will be tempting to hide eggs underneath or inside other objects, but this could mean the hunt goes on for much longer than you intended, with a frustrated child and lots of eggs left for you to find yourself!
Keep track of your eggs!
Speaking of eggs you have to find yourself, it’s a good idea to make a note of how many eggs are out there and, ideally, where you hid them. Not only does it mean you know when the hunt has officially finished, but you also won’t accidentally leave any lying around. This is potentially very frustrating if your hunt is indoors and a few days down the line you find a piece of melted chocolate under a cushion, but it can also be dangerous if your hunt is outdoors and a forgotten egg is found and consumed by your children at a later date.
Those are our top tips for a successful Easter egg hunt! Do you have any we missed? We’d love to hear about them, so feel free to get in touch with our Twitter and Facebook pages! Have a great Easter everyone and, to those who gave up something for lent, congratulations for making it! Enjoy your well-deserved chocolate egg (or whichever treat you prefer)!