Without a doubt, Easter is one of the top three favorite holidays for a lot of kids. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out why. Candy. Kids love the stuff. Everyone knows what the top candy-obtaining holidays are (in no particular order): Halloween, Easter, and Valentine’s Day. Sure, a kid could possibly score some candy during Christmas, but it’s not really traditional. The Easter Bunny is the Santa of this spring holiday and kids count on him to deliver the goods as much as his fat, jolly friend is expected to.
Of course, the types of candy available during Easter are glorious. Beautifully, cheerfully pastel-hued eggs, bunnies, chicks, and jelly beans adorn the aisles of the supermarkets waiting to be snatched up and stuffed into a mound of green, plastic “grass” nestled within a basket. And the flavors and ingredients are enough to give you a cavity just thinking about them. Chocolate, marshmallow, peanut butter, caramel, nougat, licorice, coconut, even fake egg yolk! Delicious! It’s no wonder kids love this holiday. Besides the candy, which is admittedly hard to compete with, there are many other fun aspects to Easter that can make it memorable for kids and may even distract them from the sweet stuff for a couple of minutes!
How about a scavenger hunt? Give your kids a test run of the big Easter day hunt by setting one up in your yard or inside your house if it’s too cold outside. Instead of stuffing the plastic eggs with candy, be a bit more creative and stuff them with clues. Perhaps tiny toys or notes that can guide the kids to bigger and better things like an Easter-themed toy or coloring book. Older kids who are over the whole Easter thing can get involved by helping to set this up for their younger siblings.
Commemorate the holiday with the essential picture with the Easter Bunny. You can always find one of these guys at the mall but sometimes small cities, towns, and even neighborhoods hire someone for the job. Really small children might be terrified of a giant, goofy rabbit, but the sweet-toothed kids who can’t wait for his visit will love sitting on his lap for snapshots.
Obviously if your kids are having their picture taken with the Bunny, they’ll need Easter clothes. Granted this doesn’t make Easter more fun for them per se, but parents love to see their children all dressed up like life-sized dolls. Girls luck out as far as Easter attire goes. Beautiful, fancy dresses that make them look like tiny princesses are traditional as is the optional matching bonnet to make things extra fancy. Boys get the short end of the stick with pastel, and often plaid, short-sleeved shirts with a sweater vest, and usually khaki pants or heaven-forbid, shorts. Sometimes they’re even forced to wear a bow tie! Now, every Mother thinks her son is handsome, but are there no clothing designers out there with a little more imagination who can create something other than the typical Easter “uniform” these lads are forced to wear?
Make sure the kids are NOT wearing their Easter clothes when partaking in one of the best, and most traditional Easter activities – dying eggs. This malodorous project involves a dozen or two hard boiled eggs and a lot of messy dye/vinegar solution. These days you can buy the fancy decorating kits at the store, but good old-fashioned food dye can do the trick in a jiffy. A cool effect to show the kids is to color on the egg before dying it. Also stickers, glitter, and anything else one would care to adhere to the egg can make them look like miniature works of art. Just make sure you don’t put anything toxic on the eggs if they’re to be eaten.
While you’re dying the eggs, why not sing some Easter songs? You thought holiday songs were just for Christmas, but you’re wrong. Here are some favorites: Here Comes Peter Cottontail, In Your Easter Bonnet, Hot Cross Buns, Little Bunny Foo Foo, and many more. It doesn’t have to be a popular Easter song, you can make one up yourself! Give your children the tune to a popular song, like I’m A Little Teapot and have each of them write new Easter-y lyrics. Later, have the children perform their original tunes for friends and family, and make sure they wear their new Easter outfits for maximum adorability!
Another Easter adaptation of a Christmas tradition is to bake Easter cookies just as you would make Christmas cookies. Instead of red, green, and gold sprinkles, simply decorate egg-shaped sugar cookies with pastel sprinkles and icing. Get creative and shape the dough into a bunny head, chick, or Easter basket before baking and decorate accordingly. This project is great in case you were worried that your kids weren’t getting enough sugar from all the candy and you thought they needed to supplement their intake with delicious, freshly-baked cookies.
Need more Easter fun? Who can forget that old stand-by: crafts and projects. Kids love doing crafts and projects, especially messy ones, almost as much as they love candy. There are countless crafts and projects one could do around an Easter theme. Some of the more popular ones are construction paper bunny ears for your kids to wear, planting and growing Easter (spring) flowers like hyacinth or tulips or even herbs, buying a plain basket and having kids decorate it themselves for their Easter basket, and making pom-pom Easter chicks with googly eyes and felt beaks. Most kids are happy if you just give them paper, glue, and glitter and can surprise and amaze you with their resourcefulness and creativity.
Easter is a wonderful time of year. The days are getting longer, the snow is finally melting, and the Earth is coming alive again after its long winter slumber. Easter symbolizes rebirth and the beginning of something new. Easter doesn’t have to be just one sugar-filled morning in the spring. Celebrate it with gusto in the weeks leading up to it and show your kids how to get the most out of this glorious holiday!