When it comes to traditions, any little change can really throw a loop in the plans. All it takes is someone moving away, a family member's scheduling conflict, or a global pandemic with mandatory social distancing regulations to make you think about having a virtual Easter egg hunt this spring. Look, maybe your whole family isn't together this year, but that doesn't mean you have to give up all your traditions.
If your kids were looking forward to finding as many candy-filled plastic eggs as they possibly can this Easter with their cousins and grandparents, they can definitely still do that — it may just look a little different. Instead of hunting eggs with a big group of kids, you may have to play along as both the hider and co-hunter while extended family watches via Skype, but the ultimate goal — procuring pounds of processed sugar — will still pan out.
If your kid's grandparents typically provide the bulk of your kid's Easter swag (*cough*cough* Hi, mom!) they still can, even while maintaining safe social distancing standards or being away from family. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and anyone else who typically loves on your child at Easter time can send Easter gifts or candy to fill eggs through the mail so that you can have it ready and waiting for your kids on Easter morning. They can even send pre-filled Easter eggs full of stickers and novelty toys straight from Amazon to your doorstep so that you can hide them for your kids in your yard or throughout your home.
Are family members less than thrilled about missing out on seeing your kid's yearly Easter egg hunt? There are still ways to keep them involved through the wonders of modern technology. You can set up a FaceTime call or video chat through an app like Messenger Kids with grandparents and follow your kids around with your phone or tablet as they hunt for eggs.
If you and your family often host a big hunt for all the kids, you could send clues to each other in the mail with egg-hunting techniques to make everyone feel connected. Tell your brother to hide some eggs in a tree for his kids, just like you do every year, and then hop on a FaceTime call to watch them lose their mind with excitement when the eggs are finally found. Your kids can also talk each other through egg hunts, and you could have them start at the same time, phones in hand, so it feels like everyone's hunting together, even in their own yards.
You can even hide a gift or two from relatives throughout your home in lieu of actual Easter eggs and have your kids search for the gifts on their hunt. While these alternatives may not sound like the ideal way to have an Easter egg hunt, your kids will still get to have fun finding Easter goodies and your loved ones will feel like they still have a small role in the action of it all.
Gathering with gaggles of kids to do a community-wide Easter egg hunt is something my family has enjoyed in past years. More recently, my elementary school-aged kids have hunted for pastel-colored, candy-filled plastic eggs on their school playground with their classmates. Unfortunately, neither of these options will fly this year, but my kids are looking forward to interacting with their friends through a virtual Easter egg hunt.
The parents at my children's school have rallied together on Facebook and encouraged one another to color paper Easter eggs to place in our front windows so that kids can "hunt" the eggs while on walks through the neighborhood or riding in the car with their parents while maintaining proper social distance. These paper window eggs can be big, small, sparkly, colorful — anything goes. Some parents have even suggested using sidewalk chalk to create Easter eggs in driveways throughout our neighborhood.
Although this is definitely a "low-tech" way to have a virtual egg hunt, several local organizations throughout the country are organizing similar events. One Georgia neighborhood is organizing their virtual hunt through a community Facebook page, while the Iowa Egg Council even provides a printable egg sheet on their website. If parents want to organize this type of virtual hunt for their kids, the kids could even utilize video messaging apps like Zoom, Marco Polo, or Messenger Kids to hunt "together" from a safe distance.
Even though this year's Easter egg hunts may look different, you and your kids can still have a blast and stay safe while doing it. It may not be ideal and it may take a bit more planning than usual, but you've got this.