Every year, since the birth of our second child, our family has challenges with traditional Easter egg hunts. Without fail, one or all of three issues would crop up:
1) Someone is left behind. The older children, being far more nimble than their younger relatives and friends, often snatch up most of the goodies, inevitably leaving at least one little guy or gal with an empty basket and wave of tears.
2) Someone is the clear basket queen (or king.) Again, usually one of the older children is fast on their feet and from experience, easily spots the obvious hiding places, thereby filling their basket up to the brim. This typically leads to rivalry amongst the children and sometimes, ill will.
3) Someone gets trampled. Usually a younger child, but sometimes an older one gets in the way and little “owies” happen.
Now, we could just chalk this up, with a resolute sigh, as part of the over-all Easter egg hunt process, but that didn’t seem fair to the children. Instead, our family came up with several Easter egg hunt alternatives that have minimized hunting mishaps and created a more festively fun time for all.
The results of our collected efforts are detailed below. Depending upon the ages of our children, weather conditions, and available resources, we change up the method we use each year. This also keeps the kids on their toes as they never know what to expect and it keeps the Easter egg hunts each year from being the same boring blah.
Materials needed for all of the hunts are the same (unless otherwise indicated): Fill-able plastic Easter eggs with candy or toy surprises stuffed inside or colored hard-boiled Easter eggs, and baskets or containers for the children to place the eggs in during their Easter egg hunt.
Easter Egg Hunt Tag
The Easter Egg Hunt Tag works well with small or large groups of children and requires very little advance preparation-simply hide the eggs ahead of time!
Line up the children in lines of five to six children each. Depending upon the size of your family group, you may have one to six lines set up. If more than six lines are established, continue to add to the existing lines instead of forming more lines.
A fun way to line the children up is to use height, birthday months, or age as factors to determine their situation in line. For example, those who have birthdays in January would line up first; February would be second, and so forth.
Beginning with the first children in line, start the hunt. Allow the child(ren) to run and find their first egg. Once they find an egg, they run back to the line and “tag” the next child in line. The first child to go on the Easter egg hunt, then moves to the bag of the line. The second child finds an egg, runs back to the line to tag the third child, and so on.
The Easter Egg Hunt Tag ensures that every child gets a chance to find a similar number of eggs. It’s also quite fun as the children tend to cheer each other on, eager to get to their own turn.
Rainbow Easter Egg Hunt
The Rainbow Easter Egg Hunt works best with smaller groups of (2-12) children and requires a little advance preparation.
Prior to the Rainbow Easter Egg Hunt, divide the eggs into color groups to ensure that you have one of each color for each child. Then mix the eggs back up and hide around the house, yard, or other hunt location.
Gather the children and explain the very simple rules of the Rainbow hunt:
1) The object is to find one egg of every color to put in your basket
2) If you find more than one egg in any one color, for example you find two red eggs; you must pass one of them to another child
Once the child has found all the colors, you may choose to have them help the smaller children find theirs or have them return “home” for a special treat, such as a chocolate bunny.
The Rainbow Easter Egg Hunt is a teaching opportunity for helping younger children to identify and name various colors. It also encourages children to share and help their relatives/friends to succeed, while keeping baskets filled in equal proportions.
Around the World Easter Egg Hunt
The Around the World Easter Egg Hunt works with small or large groups of children and requires minimal advance preparation.
First determine the ages of the children who will be in attendance, then determine what age groups will constitute a “section.” For example, ages 1 month – 2 years will most likely require help with their hunting, so this would be a good group section. Ages 3 to 5 might be another, and so on.
Once you have determined how many “sections” you need, you will then need to section off the appropriate amount of areas in the yard or other location you are hosting the hunt. If possible, use existing markers. For example, one year we used the front, back, left side, and right side of the house as “sections.” Or use creative means to cordon off the sections. For example, stakes and paper streamers make simple, colorful lines to divide.
Once you have the “sections” established, hide the eggs for the hunt, making sure to stock up each section amply for the number of children who will be hunting there. Then, name each section by using names of places around the world, such as U.S.A., Italy, Ireland, and so on. Use the origins of your family for inspiration. Instead of using real world names, you might wish to make some up instead, such as “Bunny Canyon” or “Duck Hollow.” The children get an extra giggle from Easter-inspired names.
When you are ready for the hunt, gather the children, separate by “section” and assign them to their portion of the hunt.
The Around the World Easter Egg Hunt makes it very easy to keep the younger children separate from their older relatives/friends and allows children at each level to successfully hunt together.