We all know about Easter Egg Hunts, although these can be difficult for very dreamy kids, who can’t figure out where to look. Another way of doing an Easter Egg Hunt is for you and your toddler to hide the eggs for Daddy (or older siblings) to look for. Toddlers will love watching Dad hunt for those eggs, and may even join in the hunt as well, all the more pleased because they know where to look. It’s like a game of peek-a-boo, with eggs.
If you want to have an alternative to grocery-store Easter baskets, why not grow your own with wheat grass? There’s still time, it’s really quick! Simply go to a health-food store and get wheat berries, then soak them overnight in a bowl of water, and put a layer about 0.5 to 1 inch deep in one of those plastic plates that you put beneath a plant. Put the whole thing in a basket, keep it moist, and watch it grow. Really, that’s it! I usually
put dirt in the basket first, but it’s not actually necessary.
You can also use moss to line easter baskets or to create little scenes. Growing up in Michigan we collected moss from the woods outside our school, but in Colorado we had to get moss from a flower shop. Here’s a little scene from Rainbow Bridge a couple of years ago.
Another way to decorate eggs is to blow them, decorate, them, and hang them. Cut a branch from a flowering tree and put it in a vase of water (you may need to weigh the vase down with rocks in the bottom. If the branch won’t stand straight, bunch up some aluminum foil and put it around the branch at the neck of the vase). It’s lovely when the branch starts bare, then flowers in the warmth of your home, and then green leaves come out. If you don’t have any flowering trees, get some willow fronds from a flower store. Afterwards you can plant them in a pot of earth or in your yard, if you want. Branches of pussy willow are also nice, and give little nobs from which to hang each string.
For the blown eggs, poke a hole in each end of the egg with a push-pin, and blow out the egg part (then make a yummy omelet with them). To get the eggs to hang, break a toothpick in half, tie a thread around it, and push the toothpick inside the egg. Blown eggs are delicate, but toddlers love to help decorate them. One way that works well is similar to paper-mache: first, get several colors of tissue paper that look nice together, then let the children help you tear it up into very tiny pieces (one inch square, or smaller). Using a paintbrush or a sponge, wet the egg and put pieces of the tissue paper on. They will dry hard. If this isn’t clear, go to the Wee Folk Art website (I love them!): http://weefolkart.com/content/tissue-paper-easter-eggs
Finally, if you’re feeling extra ambitious and crafty, try making a wet-felted easter
egg with a little chick inside! Children LOVE wet-felting, and really, what’s not to love? Be prepared to get wet, though. Here are some instructions from Rosy-Posy: http://rosinahuber.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/wet-felted-easter-eggs-tutorial.htmlJust to show that it CAN be done, here’s my mom wet-felting with a group of youngsters at Rainbow Bridge last december:Happy crafting! And don’t feel like you have to do it all. The point of these holidays and festivals is to come together, to be excited and inspired, and to feel connected. If you try one of these projects and you’re feeling stressed and disconnected, put it aside until your child is older. Hard-boil half a dozen eggs and color on them with markers, and know that in a year or two or three, you’ll be able to do more complex crafts together, if that’s what you want.Warmly, ~Faith Collins