Easter Egg hunts are so much fun! I love taking my children to them and watching them gather hunt the eggs. Over the years, we have gone to many different hunts in many different cities. Volunteers organized all of these hunts and we enjoyed ourselves very much at each one. We’ve been doing Easter egg hunts as a family tradition for nine years and have seen all types of hunts. A few have really impressed me. Although Easter is over, as I thought of these fun activities, I came up with my 8 tips for creating great Easter egg hunts.
- Create separate areas for the different age groups.
I love that most Easter egg hunts have graduated start times. I remember a few as a child where little children were bowled over because the organizers let all ages go out together. There were many hunts where I was excited to get one egg because the competition was that fierce. However, taking it one step further and actually having separate areas for each age group would improve the enjoyment of the hunt for all the children. It would also eliminate the problem of an older child taking a prize from a younger child just as the younger child reaches for it. Setting up separate areas for the age groups frees the older children to hunt as they desire (without needing to worry or be attentive for little children) and allows the younger children to feel successful at the hunt too.
- Stagger the start times.
The start times of all the hunts need to be staggered enough so that families can watch one child complete the hunt, gather that child, and then move to the next age group. This tip comes from the perspective of a mom with many children – in different age groups. The fun of the Easter egg hunts for a mom or dad is to watch the kids take off after the eggs. This is hard to do if all the ages start at the same time. There’s also a safety concern involved in this tip. Keeping track of all my children running around with everyone else’s children and making sure I gather my children back up at the end of the event is much more difficult if everyone is running en masse. Colored wristbands to designate ages/times are helpful to ensure that kids participate correctly.
- Children 3 and over should hunt on their own.
The concept of Easter egg hunts isn’t beyond the understanding of three-year-olds. It’s quite simple — run out into the field, pick up the prizes scattered about, and place them in your sack/basket. As parents, we need to let our children participate in this experience on their own. Sure, they might not gather sacks full of candy eggs – but really, how much candy does a three-year-old need? They’ll get enough to enjoy and also have the pleasure of knowing that they did it themselves. Personal accomplishment will increase their appreciation of what they were able to gather.
- Increase the difficulty of how the eggs are hidden as the ages of the children finding the eggs increase.
Hosting a hunt for children over age seven should include cleverly hidden eggs. Hide some eggs under leaves, or in trees – wherever to make the hunt more than just a Black Friday event for children. Let them look, and actually “hunt” the eggs. There’s no rule saying Easter egg hunts need to be finished in 30 seconds. Part of the enjoyment of the experience is searching out and finding the hidden eggs.
- Hide all the prizes in the same style of eggs
Searching for the golden egg is fun, but the golden egg shouldn’t really be gold. If the hunt organizers are going to offer large prizes, the prizes should be concealed in eggs that look the same as all the other eggs.One hunt we attended used actual hard-boiled eggs. Each egg was numbered. At the end of the hunt, numbers were drawn from a hat and those numbers won the large prizes. No one knew prior to the drawing who had won the large prizes.
- Don’t be afraid to charge a reasonable admissions fee
Hunts are expensive to put on, and charging a reasonable fee will help offset those costs. The fee shouldn’t be much, $1 or $2 should be enough and should be affordable for the families. This fee could be used as a fund raising event for schools, churches, charities, etc. Also, the fee increases participants’ feelings of ownership in the event, which increases the level of respect and positive behavior exhibited.
- Have other activities set up, besides the hunt.
Offering activities like a duck pond, pictures with the Easter bunny, a bouncy house, sell breakfast or lunch, etc., will help make the Easter egg hunt be more enjoyable. It will take some of the focus off of how many eggs/prizes the children were able to gather and will make the event last longer. Many families attend Easter egg hunts as their main Easter tradition – so setting up some booths (or letting others in the community set up the booths) will make the event more memorable and enjoyable for the entire family. There’s no rule that the Easter egg hunt needs to be 15 or 20 minutes of waiting for the hunt to start and then 30 seconds of frantic hunting.
- Plan for the older children too.
Prepare activities for teenagers that will be fun and enjoyable for them to do as well. Many families have children that range from little to teen and having some sort of activity for the teenagers will make it easier for the entire family to enjoy the event. Perhaps, set up a venue with music and video games.
Please don’t misunderstand, I am truly appreciative of everyone’s efforts in making and hosting Easter egg hunts. I know there’s a lot of work that goes into creating these fun events. I only offer these suggestions as a collection of the highlights from our Easter egg hunting experiences, and nothing more.