The Easter egg hunt is a classic holiday tradition that used to be fairly simple. Parents didn't feel guilty about giving their kids candy (and I mean the drugstore kind, not organic), the kids enjoyed running around looking for brightly colored plastic ovals, and everyone followed basic rules of courtesy — that the youngest could get a head start and the spoils would later be divided equally. But those days of pre-internet egg hunts are long gone. Now you need new Easter egg hunt ideas for toddlers because there are so many original and healthier takes on the egg hunt floating around Pinterest these days.
From adding realistic details like bunny tracks to your egg hunt, to making smashable confetti eggs or turning the whole thing into an adult-assisted scavenger hunt, these six novel takes on the traditional egg hunt will keep toddlers happily busy and avoid repetition from other egg hunts they may attend at church or in their community. That's another big difference from our own childhoods, when we enjoyed at most two egg hunts: one at a church and one at home. Now every town center, museum, zoo, or other public space offers its own egg hunt and related activities on the weekends leading up to Easter. By the time the actual holiday arrives, you may be desperate for novelty, too.
1. The April Fools' Approach
As you may have noticed, Easter falls on April 1 this year, making it a prime opportunity for anyone who loves a good joke or prank. From gluing a few of the eggs shut, to using fake money or carrot sticks as a filler in a couple "Fools' eggs", there are plenty of fun ways to incorporate the spirit of the day in your Easter plans. Just consider the temperaments of all toddlers involved first. Some kids will enjoy the laugh, while others won't find it funny at all and may even get upset.
2. For Toddlers Who Love Piñatas
The party inspiration blog Oh Happy Day shares step-by-step instructions for making confetti eggs from genuine, hollowed out egg shells. After finding the eggs, toddlers will get a kick out of the part that involves smashing them on other people's heads (this step could obviously be adjusted to avoid the potential for meltdowns). Whoever ends up with the "golden egg" wins a special prize. In my opinion, this egg hunt idea is the rare alternative to candy that seems like it would be just as fun and exciting for toddlers.
3. An "I Spy" Egg Hunt
Use the Easter Egg Hunt checklist featured on A Mom's Take or make your own. The point is to borrow elements of the popular toddler game "I Spy" to make your egg hunt longer lasting and more engaging. Toddlers will need an adult's help reading the instructions, but they are sure to enjoy checking boxes as they look for different kinds of animals, flowers, and colored eggs. This approach also turns an egg hunt into less of a free-for-all and more of a focused, deliberate activity.
4. Redeem Eggs For Prizes, Arcade Style
Instead of fretting over whether to fill the eggs with candy or forgo sugary treats altogether, let your kids decide. The Life As Mom blog has a printable system of tokens (they call them yokes) to hide in plastic eggs. Once kids have collected their share of eggs they can add up their tokens (a bonus counting exercise for toddlers) and decide what prizes to redeem them for. From one yolk for a piece of candy to five for a bigger prize like a beach ball, kids will have to balance their desire for candy with options for fewer, more durable treats. You could also use pennies or tickets instead of the printable to serve as tokens.
5. Avoid Frustration With An Easter Egg Flower Garden
For the youngest toddlers (or those with the shortest fuses), an egg hunt can quickly turn from fun activity to temper tantrum. To avoid the frustration of a toddler who can't find any eggs or feels overpowered by the big kids, these plastic Easter egg flowers from Make and Takes are a great alternative. Plant your flower garden in the ground so toddlers can have their own "hunt" alongside older children. A sandbox would also work well for this kind of hunt, or you could make a cute table centerpiece out of these Easter egg flowers for the kids' table.
6. Get Creative With A Sugar-Free Egg Hunt
All joking aside, there are plenty of reasons to keep candy out of your egg hunt. (For one thing, most kids will get plenty of sugar from other sources on the holiday.) All Things G&D lists 20 fun and candy-free Easter egg fillings from stickers and coins to seeds and miniature versions of favorite kids' toys like play dough.
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