Easter egg hunts are great seasonal activities for family holiday gatherings or children’s parties. They also make very popular church and community family events.
Here are some helpful tips for organizing a successful hunt:
• Ask guests in your invitation to bring baskets in which to collect their eggs, but have extra baskets or bags for guests who forget theirs.
• Include a rain date on your invitation if the hunt is a large outdoor event, or plan alternate indoor activities to have at the community center, school or church. If you are having the hunt in your yard, have a contingency plan of what to do if the weather is bad. (see below for ideas)
• If this is a community event, you may want to ask parents to bring packages of plastic eggs and candy/trinkets to the hunt coordinator in advance or pay a nominal fee to cover the purchase of eggs and candy.
• Fill plastic eggs with small toys, stickers, pennies, or wrapped candy a few days before the hunt. Make sure that the contents of the eggs are not choking or allergy hazards.
• Store Easter candy eggs in a cool place, but don’t refrigerate them if you want the chocolate candy to retain its glossy shine.
• Plan for a few special eggs to be put out with the regular ones. Put numbers in these hollow eggs, and the children can exchange for prizes such as small stuffed animals, Easter books, chocolate rabbits or eggs, or gift cards for local stores.
• Have a gold Easter egg with a very special prize in it. This makes the hunt even more exciting.
• Try a color-coded egg hunt for a multi-age guest list. Choose a different color hollow plastic egg for each age group you have (for example, blue eggs for ages 3-5, yellow eggs for ages 6-8, and so on) or a different color for each individual child. This way older children cannot pick up eggs put in easy spots for younger children, and every age group or child is guaranteed a chance to find some eggs. If you are doing a color per child, be certain each child has the same number of eggs to find.
• Try assigning each child a different motif or number which is put on the eggs with stickers—one child might be looking for eggs with a star motif and another for one with a chick. Then these stickers can be put on eggs of any color, and each child will have to look longer for his/her eggs.
• Use plastic Easter eggs for egg hunts for young children, and let the younger ones find as many as they can. You can blanket a lawn with eggs for easy picking, or use spots in low branches and other easy-to-reach spots. No matter how many eggs each guest finds, every child gets the same prize.
• Use challenging hiding spots for egg hunts for older children. Hard-to-find spots can be atop car tires, in the mailbox, under leaves in drain spouts or potted plants.
• Divide your outdoor space into two areas for a large hunt—one area for the youngest children and another for the older ones.
• Ask for the help of other adults and youth to lay out the eggs. If you gather some helpers to assist you before the guests arrive, the faster the work will go.
• Keep the children busy out of sight for another activity for at least 30 minutes if you are unable to put out the eggs before the guests arrive.
• Stand out of the way when you give the signal to start, because the children will be off and running. The hunt doesn’t end until the last egg is found, so keep count of how many eggs you’ve hidden. Preteens and teens can be recruited to help the little ones find their eggs.
• Have a contingency plan for activities that can be used in case of bad weather. If you are having a large party, you may just want to postpone the hunt for a prettier day. If your hunt was to be part of your Easter Day celebration with family, you may just want to substitute some other activities.
• You can have an egg-decorating contest—you will need to provide hard-boiled eggs, dye, crayons, glue, stickers, glitter and the like. You could make paper bunny headbands, have the children do the Bunny Hop, or have a teen or adult do some Easter face painting.
• You can also have an Easter bonnet-decorating contest. Provide inexpensive straw hats, white painter’s hats or white paper plates with silk flowers, ribbons, crepe paper and other craft supplies for the guests to use as they create their own masterpieces. Have some of the adults serve as judges, and encourage them to create a category in which everyone can be a winner—best use of ribbon or glitter, craziest color scheme, most likely to hit the runways next spring.
• You can also offer a contest of egg-rolling where members of two teams race each other rolling blown-out eggs with their noses or blowing them with drinking straws.
Easter signals the coming of spring–hope your friends and family members will enjoy celebrating with a egg hunt!