How to plan an Easter Egg Hunt
Easter is an exciting time for little ones. There are outdoor adventures to be had, Easter cakes, cards and decorations to be made – and of course, LOTS of chocolate to be eaten. As a parent, you might despair at the teetering mountain of sugar-filled eggs that appears in your house by the end of Easter Sunday, but there are some easy ways to sneak a few healthier options into your celebrations too.
Easter egg hunts are the ideal opportunity to gather friends and family together – and they don’t need to turn into one giant sugar rush! Whether you lay a simple trail around the house or go all out for a big bash in the garden, egg hunts are the perfect excuse to get creative. So don your best bunny ears and check out our guide to planning a cracking Easter egg hunt.
1. Location, location…
Easter egg hunts can take place inside or out, and are just as much fun whether little ones are charging through the house or hunting in the great outdoors. If it’s a beautiful spring day then an egg hunt around the garden is perfect (and runs less risk of chocolate-covered walls and sugar-fuelled collisions) but given the unpredictability of our great British weather, it’s always wise to have an indoor option up your sleeve too.
Parks and woodland can also offer a fantastic spot to host an Easter egg hunt for bigger groups. Just send your hunt leaders ahead to hide clues and prizes, then pack up a picnic and follow along with the kids. Alternatively, look out for organised hunts in your area – for example, the National Trust is hosting Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts at over 260 stunning locations during April (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/join-the-cadbury-easter-egg-hunts).
2. Hop to it
You’ll need to stock up on a few essentials before the adventures begin, but they needn’t cost the earth. Creative kids will love making their own colourful egg hunt kit (think pom-poms, felt and a lot of glitter) – and the more original, the better!
• Baskets – Your little chicks will need somewhere to stash their finds as they make their way around the trail. Traditional woven baskets are easy to find online, but we love the wooden baskets at Baker Ross (www.bakerross.co.uk/easter-egg-wooden-basket-kits), which are ready for little ones to decorate themselves. Alternatively, help the kids to create their own little buckets from colourful cardboard – visit the Hobbycraft blog (blog.hobbycraft.co.uk/8-quick-easter-crafts-for-kids) for inspiration, including a step-by-step guide to making the cutest cone-shaped carrot buckets.
Image courtesy of Hobbycraft.
• Signs – A few signs dotted around the trail will help children feel like they’re part of something magical. They can be as simple as a little piece of cardboard on a lollipop stick directing your adventurers (‘Egg hunt this way…’, ‘Almost there…’). Alternatively, ready-made signs are widely available, or you could invest in a set of blank wooden signs ready to paint.
• Accessories – From bunny ears and animal masks to painted faces and floral bonnets, Easter egg hunts are all the more fun if everyone looks the part. The high street has plenty of accessories and outfits to offer, or try making your own with little ones. Create ears from thick card or stiffened fabric and attach them to a hairband, use a pom-pom maker (www.hobbycraft.co.uk/pom-pom-makers-4-pack/620265-1000) to make quick work of bunny tails, or grab some elastic and make farmyard masks for your own little brood.
• All-in-one kits – For a quick and easy way to accessorise your hunt, look out for affordable all-in-one sets, which can include masks, fold-out baskets, signs and clues. Try The Works Easter Egg Hunt Set (www.theworks.co.uk/p/craft-activities-for-kids/easter-egg-hunt-set/5052089166899) which is great value at just £1.50.
• Easter egg hunts for toddlers - We have lots of hints and tips for hunts specifically for toddlers in our guide here.
• Easter egg decorating ideas - To create Easter egg decorations to treasure for years to come, we have 19 easy egg decorations ideas here.
3. Chocolate heaven
Those usually-so-strict rules about sugar consumption often go out of the window at Easter time, and stocking up on chocolate treats is clearly essential. However, it is possible to lose some of the sugar in an Easter egg hunt without cutting down on the fun. Granted, most self-respecting egg-hunters aren’t going to accept a complete absence of sweet treats, and will be penning angry letters to the Easter bunny should you try, but you can limit the amount they consume along the way, which is especially useful for very young adventurers.
Use fillable, reusable eggs (www.hobbycraft.co.uk/fillable-eggs-12-pack/640933-1000) to hold clues and challenges and, if you think they’ll demand a few treats along the way, pop in some healthier snacks such as mini rice cakes or blueberries. Or to balance out all the sugar, why not try setting a fitness challenge at each stage of the trail? We love the ideas and creative clues at Superhealthykids.com (www.superhealthykids.com/easter-egg-fitness-treasure-hunt).
If you’re not a fan of all the plastic and packaging that’s an inevitable part of most Easter eggs, you could invest in a set of moulds to make your own (www.lakeland.co.uk/9239/Easter-Egg-Moulds). There are plenty of options out there for children with dietary restrictions including Moo Free eggs, which are dairy, gluten and soya-free (www.waitrose.com/ecom/products/moo-free-chocolate-egg/690130-174619-174620).
4. Give us a clue
Get creative with your Easter egg hunt clues to inject some fun into each stage of the trail. Involve older siblings in writing rhyming clues and riddles, or head online to find a raft of free downloadable clues. Just type ‘Easter egg hunt clues’ into Google Images for links to colourful clues you can download and print out. It’s a great idea to set a few silly challenges along the way too. ‘For an extra prize, cluck like a chicken for thirty seconds…’ You could also include letters inside the eggs that spell out a clue to where the big chocolate stash is, or create an Easter puzzle on a blank jigsaw for participants to piece together at the end.
Make sure clues are age-appropriate and include the right level of challenge to keep everyone on their toes. Alternatively, you might consider holding separate egg hunts for younger and older children. Don’t forget that Sitters.co.uk is on hand to help with childcare if you’d like to keep little ones entertained whilst older siblings get together – or simply to give you a little time to prepare ahead of the family descending.
5. Deck the halls (in pretty pastels)
From beautiful bunting to fabulous floral displays, Easter is the perfect excuse to go to town with decorations in gorgeous spring shades. You’ll find ideas for bunting ranging from simple to sophisticated online (John Lewis’ easy bunny bunting www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeUYwD7wC7o is fun to make with the kids).
We love Hobbycraft’s elegant white trees too, which make an ideal display for painted eggs and decorations (www.hobbycraft.co.uk/decorative-white-twig-tree-76cm/578797-1000).
Outside, painted pots of spring flowers will add seasonal colour to your egg trails (remember that pots are perfect for hiding treats in too!) or for the more green-fingered, use wire frames to create elegant floral displays.
6. Food glorious food
Easter isn’t just about chocolate. Ok, so it’s a lot about chocolate, but it’s also a fabulous opportunity to bake up a storm and have fun in the kitchen. Whether you’re braving the April showers and eating al fresco, or laying a table indoors with a spectacular spread, think glazed ham, asparagus quiche, delicious houmous, seasonal salads, elegant cupcakes and super-sticky hot cross buns. Plus, of course, a little Easter fizz for the grown-ups…
Find ideas for fun Easter snacks at www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g4097/easter-snacks/ and an array of Easter recipes, including traditional Easter simnel cake, at www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/easter.
7. And relax…
After all that making, baking and entertaining, you deserve a well-earned rest! When all the hot cross buns have been demolished and the last guest has left, why not let Sitters.co.uk take care of the little ones while you enjoy an afternoon pampering session or grown-up evening out? Our babysitters all have at least two years’ professional childcare experience, meaning you can relax safe in the knowledge your children are in good hands.
We believe your little ones deserve the very best care. That's why our local network of babysitters are personally checked and picked by our family for your family www.sitters.co.uk.