What would Easter be without an old-fashioned egg hunt? Baskets in hand, motivated by the promise of candy, children dash about in search of colored eggs. It's an essential part of every Easter celebration, a tradition that creates memories ... and competition, and occasional trampling, and perhaps even a few tears.
Try one of these simple ideas to update this tradition and make this year's search the most fun ever.
A Tisket, a Tasket, an Egg Carton instead of a Basket
I've heard of hunts where an egg limit is suggested in the hopes of avoiding the imbalance of a few overflowing baskets while others have only a few eggs. Here's a thought, use an egg carton instead of a basket. What better way for kids to keep track of how many eggs they are collecting? Once you've collected a dozen eggs, you're done! Then kids can empty their egg-loot into that cute plastic pail or basket you bought just for the occasion. Need another reason? Reusing those egg cartons is a very green thing to do!
Making a List, Checking it Twice ... oh, wait, wrong holiday
Minimize the mad-dash, toddler-trampling, mayhem by handing each egg hunter a checklist. This takes a little advance planning, but the pay-off is well worth it. Of course, you also have to get kids to agree to find only what is on their checklist and no more, otherwise someone else would be without. You can increase their willingness to play by the rules by offering prizes for being the first to complete the checklist, being the most helpful to a fellow hunter, etc. A sample checklist could include clues pertaining to egg color and number (find 2 blue eggs) or location (find 1 egg buried in the sandbox). This type of egg hunt maintains some sense of competition, but reduces the chaos.
To make it fair for everyone - both big and small, fast and slow - each child is assigned a color. Again, this requires some behind-the-scenes effort, but creates a calmer, less greed-driven hunt. When a child finds someone else's color, they can either ignore it, give it to the other child, or re-hide it themselves. If you have more kids than colors, why not use numbers or symbols or letters of the alphabet. As long as each child is assigned something specific, you've set the tone for a fun-filled Easter!
I've got one last reminder, especially for indoor hunts, and this one is from experience. When hiding hard-boiled eggs, be sure you know how many eggs you’ve hidden and how many were found. I still remember the year my family found a rotten Easter egg ... behind the couch ... in the middle of summer!
This year start a new Easter Egg Hunt tradition that promotes both fairness and fun!