Thursday, March 26, 2009

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

One of my favorite Spring activities as a child was Easter egg hunting. Although on the actual holiday we hunted dyed hard-boiled eggs, my mom always had plastic around for practice.

This is a tradition I am continuing with Linus and I must say he is quite the hunter. It's a really simple (and cheap) activity that can consume a lot of time on those rainy Spring afternoons when time just seems to stand still.

You can purchase plastic eggs from a discount store. We got 2 dozen from Joann Fabrics for a dollar. Start practicing with just a few even hiding them while the child is watching. Model the searching, finding, and placing in the basket.

Once he/she has the hang of it, send them off to separate location while you hide the eggs. Hand them a basket and let the hunting begin.

A few tips:

  • Allowing part of the each egg to remain visible for the first several hunts helps toddlers be successful.
  • Using a single room location in the beginning helps younger ones as well.
  • Motivation can be increased by hiding a small snack inside the eggs. We've used a piece of cereal (Cheerios, Puffins, etc) but small crackers (Cheddar Bunnies, Goldfish), cookies, or even candy would work well.
Of course, once your little egg hunter is more experienced you can increase the challenge by hiding more eggs, hiding them in trickier locations, expanding the hunting area, or even taking the game outside.


If you're looking for an educational tie-in for your older or homeschooled children, I have used a similar activity to learn about camouflage. Instead of eggs, I dropped inch long bits of pipe cleaner (green, brown, black, red, yellow, and other insect colors) throughout the grass. Students then collected as many as they could. The results were counted, tallied, and graphed in order to show how camouflage protects insects and other animals from being hunted. This tied into a larger discussion about predators and prey.


Heidi said...

And for kids who are ready, you can incorporate counting skills and simple mathematics. (I hid 12 eggs and you've found 6. How many are left?) Love it!

Can't wait for the day when Linus and Jackson can hunt for eggs together. I have visions of grass stained knees and chocolate covered faces! :)

Miche said...

What a FUN idea!! I love that, we will be giving this a try soon.

Laura McIntyre said...

Its a great idea, my kids already love finding hiding objects around the house.
Will give it a try during the holidays

Jo from Dixie said...

This is so much fun! We've been doing this since our oldest was one. He's now 9. All of our kids enjoy it so much. This will be the first year for our youngest. I'm sure she'll enjoy it just as much.

Jessica said...

A neat idea!