How was your Monday? It was the first day of our Spring Break...which is markedly less exciting as a parent than as a child. Suddenly removing structure from my kids' days for a week turns them into fragile little monsters (fragile as in they cry about anything and EVERYTHING all day long and monsters as in they've suddenly remembered they were raised by wolves). Hoping the next 4 days go a little smoother. Otherwise I'm going to need a lot more chocolate to get through the week.
Today we're continuing our series "Just Five Things" with our latest edition: Easter Egg Hunts! It's that time of year and we've already started prepping for this year's shindig. This isn't our first rodeo, so we've picked up some useful tips and tricks along the way that we're happy to share with you!
Here are five things we suggest to make your egg hunt extra fun and less stressful.
1. Know your climate. If you live somewhere that's virtually guaranteed to have snow on the ground for Easter, maybe consider an indoor egg hunt or encourage your guests to wear snow/rain boots that can be removed after the hunt ends so your home doesn't have muddy footprints running through it. If you live somewhere that tends to be hot in April, consider opting for non-chocolate candy in your eggs. I know, chocolate is clearly the most delicious form of candy, but when it sits in the sun and melts and seeps out of your plastic eggs... It's gross. Your yard will never recover. And your kids will be a filthy mess. And if you have a dog, chocolate is poison. We may know some of these facts from experience. Learn from us; don't be us.
2. Bring on the flowers! As we've mentioned before, they're one of our favorite things about spring (and in general). Despite their bad reputation, we love carnations! They're surprisingly pretty (given their constant bad mouthing) and last forever. Win-win!
3. Make it a potluck! If you're hosting the hunt and are already in charge of stuffing and hiding the eggs (bonus points for neighbors who offer to bring candy and/or eggs to help you!), might we suggest having your attendees each bring a snack or beverage to share? Unless you're having the hunt as part of a more formal brunch/lunch/dinner event or reeeeeally love cooking/baking, there's no reason to slave away all by yourself making countless dishes that none of the kids are going to touch anyway because they're going to be too busy devouring every piece of candy they can before the adults notice.
4. A few decorations go a long way. They don't have to be elaborate or expensive, but adding a few bits of Easter decor to your house will set the mood for the hunt. Even if your hunt is outside, you'll probably corral everyone inside while you wait for the whole gang to arrive. So, you might as well make your home look the part. We typically start with a festive banner and then add additional small items around tables to set the tone.
5A. Stuff the eggs well in advance. There's absolutely no reason to wait until the night before or the morning of the hunt to stuff your eggs. Candy has a long shelf life, so feel free to stuff those babies weeks in advance! And, if you realize you're missing a key candy type or you're way short, you won't be running to every store in town trying to find candy the day before Easter. Good luck with that. Easter is second only to Halloween in terms of last minute candy shopping being a terrible idea.
5B. (Sorry - couldn't stick to just 5 and these are totally related, right?!) Count your eggs twice: before you hide them and once everyone is done hunting. Especially if you're using any hardboiled eggs. There's nothing worse than not knowing for sure whether there's a rogue egg just waiting to become something truly disgusting over the next few weeks. (We no longer include hard boiled eggs in our hunt after a particularly unfortunate year in which more than one egg was left to rot for so long we were convinced there was a dead animal in one of our walls. Sorry for the graphic description, but you've been warned.)
OK, we're cheating again and adding this final tip (if we don't number it, it doesn't count, right?): give the little kids a chance. If you have a mixed age group, either give the littlest ones a slight head start or give everyone a max number to collect until the little ones get bored and start picking dandelions or playing open-shut-them with the eggs or dissolve into complete meltdowns because they're hungry/tired/bored/upset-they-saw-a-purple-egg-in-someone-else's-basket-and-realized-they-didn't-get-a-purple-one. Once they've gotten a few, the bigger kids can resume their complete domination of the hunt and everyone will be happy.
Do you have an annual hunt? With who? Family or friends? We'd love to hear about your traditions. Comment below or drop us a line!
Erin & Sarah