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Easter Egg Hunts: Thinking Outside the Basket
Every year we plan an Easter egg hunt for my children and their friends. As my son gets older, we try to think of more creative and challenging ways for them to enjoy the event. Here are our ideas, but we are always looking for more. Please add your ideas as well.
Classic Egg Hunt
The classic egg hunt consists of egg hunters being let loose on a field where eggs have been scattered. Some groups use real eggs that have been colored. Some groups use egg-shaped candies. Some groups use plastic eggs filled with treats.
Plastic eggs now come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and even shapes. They have the benefit of the color not running if the grass is wet, and that insects don't start nibbling the candy before the hunters find them. The eggs can be filled with anything that can fit inside: Candy, fruit snacks, toys, stickers, money, etc. Some groups will hide a special egg, like a golden egg, or place a special item inside of an egg, that lets the finder get a special gift, like a large chocolate bunny.
The classic egg hunt can be made more challenging by having it take place in a playground, or somewhere where there are more places to hide eggs. Some hiding places include trees, bushes, mailboxes, flower boxes, rain gutters, boots, or attaching one to the dog's collar.
What do you fill plastic eggs with?
Find Your Own Eggs
My mom likes to have egg hunts for the grandkids. The grandkids range from age 6 through 16. She customizes the eggs for each grandchild. First she sorts the eggs by color or by design and assigns one color or design for each grandchild. Then she fills the eggs with each child's favorite candy or small toys, or money. (The older grandchildren prefer the cash.)
When it is time for the egg hunt, each child has to look for their eggs. If they find someone else's egg, they put it back where they found it, and continue looking. The eggs for the older children are hid in more challenging places than the eggs for the younger children. Everyone knows they have found all their eggs when they have twelve eggs in their basket.
Flashlight Egg Hunt
There is no rule book that says the egg hunt must take place during the day. A nighttime egg hunt works just like a daytime egg hunt, except you give each participant a flashlight to help them find the eggs.
We do this one with the neighbor kids. Each family hides a couple dozen eggs around the backyard(s). We gather the children in the front driveway, give them their flashlights and baskets, and let the hunt begin. For safety reasons, we make certain that everyone knows there are no eggs hidden across the street, and that they should not leave the yards for any reason.
A bonus to this kind of egg hunt, is that there are always eggs left unfound. The next day, some lucky kids usually find a few more eggs!
GPS Egg Hunt
My son is active in boy scouts. One Easter, we decided to have him and some of his scout friends use their map and compass skills to complete the egg hunt.
We filled 6 shoeboxes with Easter treats and placed them throughout the development. We could have done the same thing at a large park. The GPS location of each shoebox was recorded on a piece of paper.
The boys were given the paper with the GPS locations and a GPS. The boys were instructed to stay together at all times. They were to use the GPS to find the location of each shoebox. When they found the shoebox, they were to use their cel phone to call me, pick up the shoebox, and then find the next one.
It took them awhile, but they accomplished the challenge. We are looking forward to doing this one again.
A variation of this would be to have each shoebox location on a separate piece of paper. Participants are organized into teams. Each team chooses one piece of paper and has to find the shoebox at that location. When they have completed the task they return to home base to get another shoebox location. This would work well with a larger group of participants.
The Egg Quest
Quest, as in the beginning of Question. This makes the participants really use their brains.
In this hunt, the prize is not in finding the eggs. Rather, you have to find the eggs to find the prize.
We organize the participants into two groups. Each group receives a "Starter" egg. Inside the egg is a riddle or clue that will lead the team to the next egg. You can have as many clues as want. You want there to be enough to make it challenging, but not so many that it becomes frustrating. Depending on the age of your participants the eggs can be hidden throughout the house, or throughout the town.
I personally like everyone to be a winner, so I would have a larger prize for the winning team, and a lesser prize for the other participants.
Double Dare Egg Hunt
For this egg hunt, you use real eggs. Half of the eggs are hard boiled. Half of the eggs are not. All of the eggs are colored.
Participants go out and find an egg. When they find an egg, they call everyone over. They can either sit on the egg, or try smashing the egg on their head. If the egg is hard-boiled, they win. If it is not hardboiled...well...I guess everyone else wins.
You can have different prizes available: Most hard-boiled eggs found; Least raw eggs on your head; Yolk-free. Be creative.
Egg hunts can be fun for all ages. What challenges can you think of?