Easter is just around the corner and here are some fun, new ways to celebrate this holiday that will build the family bond and keep kids busy all day long so the Easter candy lasts longer then a day. Tips are provided by Robert Nickell (a.k.a. Daddy Nickell), founder of Daddyscrubs.com.
• Lawn Games: Venture beyond the traditional Easter egg hunt and create a series of lawn games that your family can participate in all together. I suggest a family relay race while balancing an egg on a spoon; “hopping” like a bunny in a sac race across the yard or even an egg toss (similar to a water balloon toss) – might I suggest using hard boiled eggs? Live in a climate that doesn’t always allow you outside on Easter? Hula-hoop contests, balloons stomps and Easter basket walk (cake walk) work for inside activities.
• Family Outing: Take advantage of your time together by doing something as a family. You could attend Easter service, take a picnic to a park, head to the beach (if you live near one), take a Spring family ski day, or even do something completely non-traditional like go to Disneyland! It’s not every day that the whole family can be together without the interference of work or school. Whatever you do, leave the cell phone behind and be present and together all day long!
• The Hunt is On: Of course it wouldn’t be Easter without an egg hunt. Gather all of the children inside for a snack and sneak outside to hide eggs everywhere! Divvy out baskets and let your kids loose to run around the yard gathering eggs and candy. It can be really fun to put homemade coupon cards inside of the plastic eggs, too. It doesn’t have to be all about candy. I put everything from Jelly Beans to pennies in eggs. You can also create coupons for “Ice cream with daddy,” “an outing with daddy,” etc. Your kids will love it, and they’ll be “cashing” in their coupon cards in the months to come!
• Scavenger Hunt for Eggs: Rather than the traditional egg race, slow things down a bit with a scavenger hunt. It can be elaborate with clues that send the children around the house or park, or simple such as “next look for a red egg.” Regardless, this slows down the activity, evens out egg distribution and encourages kids to work together.
• Arts and Crafts: My kids have always enjoyed making things; therefore, arts and crafts are a must. When Easter rolls around each year we like to make bunny masks and decorate eggs, too! Having an interactive dessert where kids can decorate their own cookies or cupcakes is not only fun, but yummy to. Everyone enjoys being creative and there are always smiles around the table.
• Family Meal: Make Easter, or any holiday, a time to gather with relatives and close friends. Some of my favorite memories are those spent around the “kid’s table” at holidays. The meal can be traditional such as an Easter ham or suited to your family’s tastes. Whatever you prepare, share the cooking, and the day, with family or those you consider family.
• Ribbon Untangle: As kids get older, hiding Easter baskets gets harder. Instead of hiding, assign each child a ribbon color and have them follow the string to their basket. Strings can go around trees, in and out of the house, and be tangled with other colors. The older the child, the more challenging the tangle should be. At the end of the string, your child will find their basket!
• Serve Others: Remember Easter shouldn’t be all about the candy and egg hunt. Many churches, shelters and nursing homes welcome volunteers to make and serve meals or spend quality time with their residents. This is a good opportunity to relate the meaning of Easter (Jesus giving His life for us) to us serving and giving our time and abilities to others. Your kids may grumble at first, but they will soon discover that they received much more from their time volunteering than they gave.
Robert Nickell (a.k.a. Daddy Nickell), father of 7, offers his “5 cents” worth of advice to expectant and new parents. Daddy Nickell is the founder of Daddyscrubs.com, delivery room duds, gifts and apparel for dads, and the Daddyscrubs.com blog where he covers topics about parenting and the latest baby and kids gear, all from a Dad’s perspective.