Easter is rapidly approaching, before long it will be April 24th and you may find yourself rushing to do something special for your children. If you have little kids who celebrate the coming of the Easter Bunny, you may feel a little overwhelmed. I will offer up some of the things I have tried in the past with my kids, and why they may or may not be a good idea. In the end though it only matters how happy you and your child are.
Clean up is a key concern for any parent. The less mess a kid makes that we the mother have to clean up is always a very important thing. We want our kids to enjoy the holidays just as much as we do but, we don’t want to spend half the day and the day before and after just cleaning up. So before you think about allowing your inner Picasso to run lose, consider how much time you will actually be spending on decorating and cleaning.
Almost every year we have decorated hard boiled eggs. We never had a system really, we just bought those cheap dye kits, because one thing I have learned while being a mom is; kids make colossal messes and have very low patience. In the time alone it takes to boil and cool the eggs for them to decorate, they could already be ready to do something else.
I always see eggs decorated in magazines and I think, “Oh if only I could do that.” It’s not that I am a creativity-challenged person; it’s just that when you have little kids you don’t want to spend the time necessary it takes to make perfect beautiful eggs. Plus if you are a person who hides the eggs outdoors you realize, that the lifespan of that egg is much shorter than normal. So unless you are making eggs for some posh magazine spread you may want to keep it low budget and simple
No matter what you decide to use to decorate eggs there are many different ways to make them pretty. Don’t be afraid to use whatever you can find in or outside your house; like leaves, flowers or bread twist ties. LOL I might try that one year with a theme of ‘You’re lucky we can afford eggs’. But, back to the real ideas now. Stickers of any kind can be applied to completely dry finished colored eggs. You can try rubber bands to make lines on your eggs; carefully place them on the eggs before inserting them in the dye. The old fashioned approach of drawing on them with a white crayon always works; but, if you are like me you get to a point where you don’t know what to draw on the eggs. Lots of dye kits come with different methods of decorating ranging from stickers to sponge painting. Make sure to read the box while in the store, some kits call for white vinegar to be mixed in with the color tablets. Don’t forget that the color will stain while it’s wet, so protect your furniture and the little ones hands and clothing.
One year the kids decorated 3 dozen eggs the day we had an Easter BBQ with some friends. I hid the eggs out in the back yard, which has a gated wooden fence and all concrete, so not much chance of the eggs getting terribly filthy. The kids happily went around finding them until I realized some were still unfound. Make sure you count them and remember where you hide them because there’s always at least one egg missing in action. I then got busy preparing and cooking food; unfortunately, I am also the BBQ’er in my family, so I became unaware that the eggs were not inside. The children had taken all the eggs they had found and continued to hide them over and over throughout the day. Needless to say, they only got to eat a few from the initial hiding because after that I was petrified they would catch some sort of chicken-related disease and die. Obviously paranoia slapped me pretty hard but, better safe than sorry when it’s comes to a child’s health.
I have done every kind of Easter basket known to be done, anywhere from the prepackaged to the handmade ones. The prepackaged are easy and require nothing more than ripping off a price tag. But, I always felt like I was cheating my kids of actual “goodies” and a loving mother’s touch. Therefore, I only did these kinds of baskets when I didn’t have the time to make up 2 baskets or if we were going out of town. Funny how I still feel bad about those baskets years later.
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If you decide to do your own baskets there is a variety of ways to do it. You can find cheap toys and stuffed animals from any store ranging from Wal-Mart to dollar stores. If your kids are anything like mine, you are lucky if anything you buy them is still intact after a few days. Usually, I would buy them some sort of cute basket or bucket and fill it with a variety of candy and toys. One of the toys that always went over well with them were those little click and catch ball games. I wish I could find a picture of it but, unfortunately Google doesn’t bring up anything useful under Easter ball games. LOL I occasionally use Easter grass but, every time I go to buy it I remember being a little girl growing up in a wooden small town and seeing the birds make nests out of it. Then my inner animal lover slaps me in the head and says NO, don’t buy that. You can hide the baskets indoors or outdoors or just leave them placed nicely on a table or floor; it’s completely up to you.
One year I got super creative and used a kit for leaving bunny tracks in the house. It was time consuming, because for one you have to get on the floor and keep placing the tracks, and I lived in an apartment complex and had to place tracks all the way up and downstairs, in and out of the building. Maybe, I didn’t have to but, if you are going to lie to your children about imaginary holiday creatures I say GO BIG!!! However, the delight on the kids face as they ran around tracking the bunny prints was priceless and kept me beaming all day long. I even smiled while vacuuming them up and listening to the gripes of the other tenants who had no small children. There’s a Grinch for every holiday I swear. The kit I bought had some kind of powder and a bunny footprint shaped sponge in it. You could use stickers of bunny tracks or make your own powder prints. I wouldn’t suggest using anything that could be toxic to your child or pet because kids are curious and will touch it and most likely taste it. Powdered sugar is an idea unless you have a tendency to get ants. Maybe some baking soda will work. Check around though at Walgreen’s or Wal-Mart, I am sure they sell something in a kit.
No matter how you celebrate Easter with your kids make sure it is fun for them. If you want additional ideas you can always Google, no point in me writing a novel on Easter Bunny Madness. LOL Take pleasure in this time with your kids, they eventually get too old and don’t enjoy the holidays like they do now. Feel free to come and tell me what you did with your kids and how they liked it. Above all, Happy Easter to you and yours.