It’s almost Easter weekend and you might be starting to think about that Easter egg hunt…and maybe feeling uneasy at the thought of chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, and all the sugar.
Have no fear! Because I have a unique approach to Easter with children, that I think will help you.
I’ve used this Easter Egg Hunt strategy with my kids for the past few years.
And I’ll be using it again this Easter weekend.
Growing up, most annual events were centred around food – like Easter, Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving (obviously). Food was the focus, and in many cases, it wasn’t the most nutrient-rich foods that made an appearance.
While I’m not for the restriction of chocolate or other sweets, I did want these events to be about more than the food. In fact, I wanted to take the focus off the food, and make it more about quality time and creating positive memories with my kids.
I think I’ve achieved both with our new (healthier) approach for celebrating Easter with kids.
Our version of an Easter Egg Hunt isn’t just searching for chocolate.
But rather an educational opportunity that allows your child to:
- get some exercise
- practice counting
- learn about money
- practice about self-regulation
- get rewarded with special moments we often don’t have time for
I also love this strategy because it isn’t over in 30 seconds. When we’ve done Easter Egg Hunts in the past, once all the chocolate eggs are found, they eat them and that’s that.
Our new Easter Egg Hunt approach run over an hour, plus kept the kids occupied and entertained much longer. I call that a win!
Ok, I’ve made you wait long enough..let’s get to it!
Here’s how we do Easter Egg Hunts
You’re welcome to steal these ideas for your family too!
Get a bunch of fillable eggs
Make sure they can be opened and closed. While I’m not a fan of plastic, we’ve had ours for years and they will be used for many more.
Fill each egg with an activity “treat”
We took pieces of paper and on each wrote things my girls would love to do. Some were food-related (like “bake cookies with mom” and “have a tea date with dad“) while others were not (like “stay up late tonight”). Here are the other fun ideas!
Fill each egg with 10 cents
Or use what ever coins you have handy. This is the money they will use to “buy” their other treats.
Set up an “Easter store”
This part is optional, but also pretty fun so I highly recommend doing it. This is where the educational element comes in, because the kids get to count their money/coins and use them to buy items in the temporary store. We simply had a table set out with things from the Easter Bunny, including: notebooks, markers, card games, and of course, chocolate eggs and a bunny.
Hide the Easter eggs outside
Because fresh air has so many benefits. It gets the family away from screens and exposed to vitamin D. Plus the natural light has a positive effect on our melatonin (sleep hormone) and thus reduces our cortisol (stress hormone). Note: melatonin and cortisol have an inverse relationship.
Send the kids searching!
This is where you get to sit back and soak up the moment, watching your children have the time of their lives. Give yourself a pat on the back for creating a memorable Easter egg hunt experience that’s a win for them – and for you.
I will say that this took more time to prep than standard easter egg hunts (with chocolate eggs simply strewn across the floor, leading into a closet or other hiding place). But that extra time is worth it, in my option.
Especially because my 5 and 7 year olds are learning to count money. And I needed a fun, non-school-ish way to teach them how money works. And that money can run out! So they are learning to spend their cents wisely and even save some for their piggy bank.
There’s one other thing we will do this Easter.
We let them eat chocolate – even if it’s before 11am.
The girls don’t typically eat sugary foods before lunch. However, on Easter I give them free rein. Similar to what I do on Halloween. So they get an opportunity to self-manage their chocolate and chose when to enjoy their sweets – no judgment, no criticism, nor control from me.
Just to warn you…
Last year, Naomi devoured all of her chocolate in 30 minutes But I’ve noticed recently that she’s following her older sister’s footsteps, and opting to save and savour her favourite foods (so they last longer). I’m excited to
It’s important to remove the forbidden status of treats, especially on holidays like Easter when the grandparents or other family members swoop in to save the day with baskets of treats. (gotta love them)
Let me know how the Easter egg hunt goes for you! Or if you do something different I’d love to hear too. Please share your Easter traditions below.