The Hunt Is On!
For kids, the Easter egg treasure hunt is one of the best loved traditions-the big race to find treats to fill up your Easter basket. Now that I have little ones of my own, I'd like to re-create the Easter egg hunting scene out of "Steel Magnolias". Okay, maybe that's a little over the top and I may have a problem finding a bunny suit, let alone someone to wear it at 6 o'clock in the morning! There are still lots of things a parent can do to make it a safe, fun event and not an annual head-bonking wrestling match.
- You'll want to make your Easter egg hunt age-appropriate and pet-friendly. Nothing's worse than having a three-year-old plowed over by his eight-year-old cousin on a hunt for hidden treasure.
- Have the little ones go first, and instead of the teeny-weeny chocolate foil eggs, fill up the larger plastic eggs and have them color-coded so that each child searches for only one color. Also, if the treats are in a plastic egg, maybe Fido won't spoil the fun by sniffing out and eating the children's chocolate in one point two seconds. Make the hunt harder for older kids.
- Try to remember where you put the eggs so that no pets or outdoor animals pass over their birdseed or dog dish to eat a four-month-old chocolate. They could get very sick.
- Use different colored yarn to weave all over the house or outside for each child to find their treasure. Have them follow the trail so that at the end, they'll find a beautiful basket just for them.
- Have an outdoor Easter egg hunt around the neighborhood. Kids can follow a hand-drawn map or use clues to locate the next egg or clue. They'll have a blast! If the weather is bad, keep it indoors.
Easter Fun Food
After all that running around collecting eggs and chocolate, the kids will get hungry! Like I said, my family is Polish Ukrainian, so we'll be having the headcheese and pickled beets, but here are some ideas for food the kids will really love.
- Have a brunch, complete with champagne (7-up!) and orange juice. It's so easy to put out fresh cut fruit and veggies, croissants and pastries...oh yes, and boiled eggs. When I was a child, we each got a little chocolate egg at our place setting. (You can never have enough of those chocolate eggs.)
- Another fun brunch idea is to cook up a batch of waffles with every topping under the sun or make an omelette bar (more eggs).
- There are lots of traditional foods that can show up on your Easter dinner table as well: fresh buns and breads (Ukrainian paska), ham, scalloped potatoes, carrot cake and cheesecake. Make everything colorful and pretty to celebrate spring: add blueberries to the cheesecake or put a fresh flower in the pad of butter…and don't forget the daffodils!
- Before dinner, everyone can take an egg (boiled and/or one they decorated) and have a "cracking contest." One person hits their egg against another person's egg in an attempt to crack it. Whoever "wins" and keeps their egg intact, can get out of doing the dishes or do a dare. One family friend of mine had to eat really hot horseradish when she won the contest! (I suggest getting volunteers for that ritual.)
- Get some different molds and make your own Easter chocolates. That way, you'll be able to use more colors than the traditional white or dark chocolate. A fun addition are those beady, creepy eyes the one-dimensional bunnies usually have. Your child can wrap up their home-made chocolate bunny and give it to their friends and relatives. Now they will be giving something away, instead of just stockpiling their candy.
- Make cupcakes topped with colored coconut and jellybeans. Then put a bent pipe cleaner in the top to make it look like an Easter basket. How easy is that?!
Whether you eat the chocolate bunny ears first, so he doesn't hear you coming…or the feet first, so he can't run away, here's hoping your Easter or Spring celebration is fun and "hoppy"!