With the countdown to Easter officially on, there are loads of fun traditions that you and the rest of the family can get involved in - from rolling Easter eggs to baking hot cross buns.
One of the most popular Easter activities to take part in is an Easter egg hunt - but where do you begin when it comes to planning your own hunt?
This is what you need to know to get started.
How to set up a hunt - and the materials you’ll need
To set up a successful Easter egg hunt, you’re going to need the right supplies - lots of eggs to be found and baskets to hold all the goodies. Of course, you can decorate your house or garden as you please, but these two items are necessities.
Next, decide where you’re going to host your hunt - if you have a garden, this is always a good option, but don’t let a lack of a garden put you off.
Easter egg hunts can be held around the house as well - you just need to figure out what works best for you.
You should also decide on some ground rules for the participants of the hunt - for example, if you have multiple children taking part, perhaps make it a rule that once they have found five eggs, they need to stay in a base camp until everyone has found five eggs before being released to find more hidden treasures.
This ensures that each child will get to find the same amount of eggs, and no-one will be left with none.
You could also prepare activities for kids to do when they find an egg - so at each egg, you can leave a note with instructions on it. For example, you could leave a note that says that they have to hop on one leg until they find another egg, or they can only walk backwards until another egg is found.
Clues for children
You should consider whether you’d like to have a treasure map on hand for the kids searching for the eggs.
If it’s particularly young children, or you’ve hidden the eggs in especially tricky places, a treasure map or some sort of clue might be best to save anyone from getting too frustrated.
Alternatively, you could set up some riddles to act as a guide for the Easter egg hunters.
Riddles and clues might be the best course of action for those who are conducting the hunt inside a home rather than in a garden, as there are infinitely more places to hide eggs.
Some suggestions for clues include:
- It’s time to get all squeaky clean, you’re on the right path, better grab some shampoo, because there’s an egg hiding in the …..? (Bath)
- Are you wearing socks, well you’d better get in the queue, best put on your jacket, because you’ll find an egg in your ….? (Shoe)
- This clue is easy, but don’t be a grouch, this egg is in plain sight, located under the ….? (Couch)
- The last egg is still to be found, but don’t get stuck in your head, no need to overthink it, the egg is in your …? (Bed)
Alternatively, there are loads of printable Easter egg hunt kits available online that you can use, such as the PDFs from 5 Minute Fun which include different clues based on the age range of the participants, and additional print outs, like Easter bunny footprints.
Choose what kind of eggs you want to use
When it comes to your eggs, you should decide what kind of eggs you want to choose - do you want to hide chocolate eggs, or real eggs?
If you decide to use chocolate eggs, perhaps make a rule that no eggs are allowed to be eaten until all the eggs have been found.
If you opt for real eggs, consider boiling them first to save yourself from potentially having to clean up any cracked raw eggs.
Additionally, if you decide to go for real eggs, why not decorate your eggs with your children prior to hiding them?
Painting Easter eggs is also a beloved tradition that the whole family can get involved with. Simply hard boil some eggs in boiling water for about 10 minutes. After they’ve cooled down, you can paint them however you please.
How to dye eggs?
Alternatively, why not try dyeing the eggs instead? Traditionally, people would dye their eggs the colour red, to represent the blood of Christ, with the hard shell of the egg symbolising the sealed tomb and the cracking of the shell representing his resurrection from the dead.
To dye eggs, you’ll need food colouring (or natural dyes like beetroot or onion skins).
Decide whether you want to keep your eggs once they’ve been dyed, or if you’re okay with discarding them. If you decide you want to keep your eggs, you’ll need to hollow them out.
Hollow your eggs by following these instructions:
- Use something sharp like a needle or a sharp knife to prick holes at the top and bottom of the raw egg
- Use a skewer or needle to swirl around inside the egg to break up the yolk
- Blow into one end of the egg to get the inside out through the other end of the egg
If you’re okay with discarding your eggs once they’re finished with, you can skip that step.
Next prepare your dye. In a bowl, mix a teaspoon of food colouring, a tablespoon of vinegar and enough warm water to cover the egg.
A fun trick is to wrap elastic bands around the egg to create intricate patterns with the dye.
Why do we have Easter eggs?
While today lots of us enjoy chocolate eggs at Easter, in the past eating eggs was not permitted by church leaders in the week leading up to Easter, known as Holy Week.
So during that time, any eggs laid were saved and decorated to make them Holy Week eggs, which were then given to children as gifts.
It’s thought that we have eggs at Easter to mark the end of lent, and also because eggs are a symbol of new life, much in the same way that Christian’s view Jesus’ resurrection.
As tradition has evolved, chocolate eggs became much more popular as gifts for children than real eggs.
The first ever chocolate Easter egg was manufactured in 1873 by J.S Fry & Sons, with Cadbury then producing the modern chocolate Easter egg that we know today in 1875, which was made after developing a pure cocoa butter that could be moulded into smooth shapes.
Similarly, a lot of people give up chocolate for lent, so being able to indulge in some chocolate Easter eggs is a great way to mark the end of the Christian fasting period.