Ever since my children were toddlers, they have been in love with holidays and our small traditions and rituals: gingerbread men, hot cocoa, and movie nights for Christmas, Halloween dressing up, and, of course, Easter egg hunts. As they grew, I tried to improvise and change the way we did things in order to create a lot of different, but equally wonderful memories every year. It turns out that this is a good idea as my children love surprises and look forward to every new holiday, wondering what will mommy, Santa, and Easter Bunny come up with this time.
Coloring Easter eggs
One year I was stubborn and swore I would color the eggs like I used to: boil them first and dip them in cups of dye water. What could possibly go wrong, I asked myself. Needless to say, there was dye all over the place, as well as tears and screams since my kids insisted they were big enough to do it without any help. Lesson learned – from that moment on I was looking for alternative ways which involve less dye and lower risk of a terrible mess (and tears). This year, we are going to ‘tissue paint’ our eggs and they will be able to do it all by themselves. A spray bottle of water and a bunch of colorful ‘bleeding’ tissues you can find on Amazon (the cheap stuff from your local store won’t work) will be enough to create real magic.
Easter lunch is a tradition, too, but it’s always the same and that started bothering me. This year, we decided to have a picnic and spend some quality time outside as a family instead. Since my husband and I are both passionate about cycling, we have a wonderful cargo trike from Butchers & Bicycles which allowed us to go grocery shopping on a bike and take our children on picnics even when they were very little. We are going to pack a ton of food with us and spend the day doing healthy things – cycling, enjoying fresh air and sunshine, and eating a nice, healthy meal outside.
Pin the tail
Pin the tail is a lovely and funny game my children love playing on birthday parties, so we decided to prepare an Easter version with a bunny who lost its tail. The best thing is that you can draw a bunny on a piece of white paper and make a tail out of cotton wool, or you can take two round paper plates, draw the eyes and the nose, and add the ears. Place a piece of sticky tape onto the cotton wool, this is much easier than dipping it in glue and it’s much safer than using pins or needles. This game is harmless and funny; we all enjoy making the bunnies together and then playing with them. This is a nice way for us to bond, encourage healthy competitive spirit, and learn to laugh at our own mistakes.
Night egg hunt
I didn’t want to do this when my children were too young, but now that they’re ‘all grown up’, I decided to spice things up a bit and organize a night egg hunt. All you need are some plastic eggs and glow sticks – we’ve prepared plenty of plastic eggs (the ones which can be opened, not just the ones for decoration) and candy. Children are going to fold the glow sticks and put them in the eggs along with candy, and my husband and I are going to hide them all over the garden. They will probably be so excited and ask when it’s going to get dark a million times, but I think it will be worth it when they finally start egg hunting in the dusk.
Sticking to traditions is great, it connects the family and creates some lovely memories, but when you look back, you will have a hard time remembering exactly which year you did something since every year resembles the next. By changing things up just a little bit, you will create a magic around the holiday, which your children will recognize and love. As your children grow, try to get them involved in the preparations – they will feel so important and be very proud to be of help.