Children of all ages can enjoy the thrill of hunting for Easter eggs. “We love setting up a hunt at Easter,” says Anne, a grandmother of two girls. “It’s become something of an Easter ritual that the grandchildren look forward to just as much as we do.”
Easter egg trails don’t have to cost a fortune or take lots of preparation, but it is worth thinking ahead so that everyone enjoys it on the day.
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Setting up the Easter egg hunt
Plan a distraction for the children while you get set up. You could allocate someone to take them to the park or have an activity planned away from the action.
Here are some top tips to keep it fun and interesting:
- Variety is the key - use lots of different-sized and coloured Easter eggs.
- Imaginative hiding places – use bird tables, window sills, plant pots and wheelbarrows so your grandchildren have to use their detective skills to discover them!
- Be creative – tie gifts and eggs in colourful tissue paper and hang them from trees.
- Make your hunt go with a bang - place smaller eggs inside balloons and tie them throughout the garden or house - the children will have fun popping them to get them out.
Being fair and square
Lots of children plus lots of chocolate isn’t always an ideal scenario, so set a few ground rules to avoid meltdowns:
- Explain that the eggs will all be pooled and shared out equally at the end of the hunt - alternatively, create a ‘base’ to return to every time they find five eggs.
- Be clear about how many eggs can be eaten at the end of the hunt, explaining that the rest can be taken home.
- Don’t go overboard – work out how much chocolate you have per child and if it looks like too much then don’t put it all out.
- Choose your timing wisely – just after lunch is a good time, when tummies aren’t empty and appetites can’t be ruined.
Appealing to older children
Treasure hunts with clues add an extra dimension for older kids - create rhyming clues to take them from one hiding place to another. Or set up ‘stations’ with physical challenges to complete at each point to give your hunt a more competitive edge.
And don’t forget that big kids can play an important role helping the younger ones – pairing up older children with toddlers may be enough to make them want to join in.
When the garden isn’t an option
Don’t write treasure hunts off if your garden isn’t suitable or the weather’s bad. Indoor hunts offer lots of hiding places; just be clear about which rooms are off-limits and spread the eggs out well.
Incorporating a hunt into a woodland walk can be a brilliant way to encourage little ones to enjoy an Easter stroll – secretly send someone ahead to plant the eggs. The park is also a good alternative, although take extra supplies along in case other children find the eggs you’ve planted first!
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Easter egg hunts around the country
Don't fancy running your own? There are Easter egg trails around the country, including the Cadbury's Egg Hunts with National Trust and National Trust for Scotland properties.
English Heritage Easter trails allow children to solve clues with the help of historic characters and perhaps learn something about history at the same time.
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