More Than Just an Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Egg Hunt For Kids and Grownups

The Easter Egg Hunt is a popular tradition for kids and families in communities all across the U.S. and Canada and many other countries around the world.

Easter Egg HuntMore than 85,000 eggs will be hiding in the massive gardens of Chateau de Vaux-le-Victome in France. Animals might be guarding eggs until kids arrive to look for them at a zoo in London, UK (Battersea). Kids might have to dig in the snow at Copper Mountain near Denver, Colorado or in the sand at Tai Pak beach in Hong Kong. There are eggs hiding at a museum in Sydney, Australia and a marine world in Durban, South Africa. 35,000 people are expected for the annual Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn that’s been an annual event since 1878. That’s more than one hundred years. These are only a few of the many hunts all over the world.

Why are Easter egg hunts so popular in so many places? Part of the reason could be that hunts are usually done in some kind of a group. It’s a way of connecting with others. Hunts that are outdoors give us a chance to be outside and explore nature. After a long winter, the fresh green grass and brightly colored flowers are especially welcome. Baby bunnies and chicks remind us of the cycle of life. Kids and adults are always looking for something. For a child it might be searching for a friend or a space to play; for an adult it could be a job, a partner, or a place to live. An Easter egg hunt is a way to celebrate looking and finding, of new discoveries and new life.

As grownups we tend to overlook the profound meaning of children’s activities. We see the surface and forget the deep foundation. This weekend, will the children and adults in your family participate in an Easter egg hunt?

Sing While You Spring…Clean

Remember the song to whistle while you work? In the same spirit, that work is easier when it’s fun, you can sing while you clean in the spring and turn chores into plays-of-the-day:

children help with spring cleaningThis is the way we vacuum in corners,
vacuum in corners, vacuum in corners.
This is the way we vacuum in corners,
When we clean in the spring.

This is the way we sort the clothes,
sort the clothes, sort the clothes.
This is the way we sort the clothes,
Now that it’s spring.
(or at least: since winter’s almost gone. Tune is Mulberry Bush)

Having kids help with chores such as spring cleaning is important for a number of reasons. Kids not only like to be included, doing so helps them feel part of the family. Work activities are mostly done by grownups so when kids do chores, that’s a sign they are accepted to the adult world, at least for some of the time. They learn valuable skills and strategies that they will use far into the future such as taking care of things, being responsible, and how to clean up messes.

A colleague, Jacquie Fisher at KC Edventures, has made a super printable for age appropriate spring cleaning chores. Here is a link to visit her blog and get a printable copy for yourself. She lists tasks such as sorting clothes and picking up toys inside the house and outside in the yard. For fun, partly fill a big container of warm soapy water and let kids wash toys. It’s a good plan to first wash toys from inside that spend a lot of time on the floor, like the wooden blocks and plastic bricks. Once that’s done, then kids can wash the ones from outside that are gritty and muddy. Spread some big towels on the grass or deck and let toys dry in the sun.

Besides singing for fun, add some imagination. Kids can pretend to be robots, or dinosaurs, or fairies as they clean. When done, could all the helpers celebrate with a tasty treat?KC Edventures-spring cleaning chart

Glorious Mud for Joyous Spring Play

Mud, mud, glorious mud; playing in the mud appeals to children, and to the child in all of us. It’s a joyous way to play in the springtime. The video below takes only 2 minutes to watch, but in just a few seconds you will be chuckling and envying the kids as they play. Clean up won’t be bad either, a bucket or two of warm water poured over their heads or squirt with the hose should wash off the mud. Better yet, the kids could wash and play in a big container of warm water and have double the fun.

There is no doubt that this is sensory play, and not just for hands. The children have spread the mud over every bit of exposed skin. This isn’t quite so delightful when the weather is cool and damp but squishing, patting, stirring and other actions are almost as much fun, especially when adding imagination to the mix of dirt and water.

mud playFor some mud play on a small scale, give kids some bowls and spoons. Sticks, rocks, pine cones, and bits of grass can also be added. Kids will dig and sculpt, exercising the small muscles in their fingers and hands and the bigger ones all over their body as they reach, stretch, run, sit, and balance.

In their imaginations they may be making meals or secret potions, engaging with dinosaurs or fairies. They can bury small items and find them again like treasure.

During the play, kids are exploring in a variety of ways such as:

  • figuring out the math concepts of more and less and how relationship matters for numbers. One spoon of mud is not equal to one bowl of mud even though they are the same number,
  • discovering the science of change and solids vs liquids. When dirt is mixed with water it changes to mud. A dry mud pie doesn’t pour but it will break into pieces,
  • using ways of interacting with playmates such as sharing and negotiating, and
  • communicating with others and attaching words to experiences.

This is only some of the learning that’s mixed in with mud play, and it won’t wash off like the mud. How about some fun in the mud for today’s play-of-the-day?

Celebrate and Discover Spring with a Neighborhood Walk

The calendar says it’s Spring!! We’ve been waiting months and today we can celebrate whatever the weather. And where will we do that? Why, outside, of course! A simple walk to check out the neighborhood can reveal all sorts of nature treasures. Even under the snow, (in most places, that is) there will be changes … Continue reading Celebrate and Discover Spring with a Neighborhood Walk