Perhaps you think eggs come from chickens. For 364 days of the year, you’d be right. But on Easter, the eggs originate from … bunnies.
While this might appear to be in defiance of science and rational thinking, it does date back to 17th century German folklore, which gave us the Osterhase. The Easter rabbit laid eggs and delivered eggs to children on Easter, to symbolize fertility and renewal. And this has morphed into the modern Easter egg hunt, in which the bunny brings loads of dyed eggs, chocolate eggs or plastic eggs filled with treats and lays them for children to find (and naturally, devour).
“When we think of Easter we think of pastel flowers, the Easter bunny and Easter egg hunts,” says play expert Laurie Schacht, known as the Toy Insider Mom. "A traditional egg hunt is always fun with eggs randomly hidden throughout the house or the yard. Kids are excited for the holiday and looking to scoop up all of those eggs but there are some fun twists that we can add into the mix."
Now, you could go the easy route and buy a few store-bought chocolate eggs (no judgements here) and hide them around your living room and backyard. If that’s your vibe, go for it. But if you’re aching for an Instagram-worthy experience, below are some simple yet glorious Easter egg hunt ideas to get your little bunnies into the holiday spirit.
1. The treasure hunt
Not only does this get kids excited, but it helps them develop problem-solving skills as they navigate a map. Create a treasure map for the kids, and just like a “real” treasure map, include sections on the map where the treasures will be different. One section might be “eggcrator” where all of the special Easter eggs are hidden. The next section of the map can be “collector village” that includes lots of favorite collectibles the kids have been begging for. And of course, include something devoted to candy because after all, it’s Easter.
2. The Easter Olympics
Pair kids up into teams, and give them lists of sports and activities they need to complete. For example, they need to do five jumping jacks, followed by hopping on one foot, and followed by running around the yard twice. Kids learn to work together and when they complete each rotation, they get an Easter prize. You can either give them chocolate (always a win) or something non-edible, like a themed coloring book and markers.
3. Easter by flashlight
Try a novel twist on the traditional daylight search: Arm your kids with flashlights, and send them out at dusk to hunt for eggs. For even more fun, make it a glow-in-the-dark egg hunt: Just fill plastic eggs with lit glow sticks and candy, tape them shut and hide them.
4. 'The Voice,' bunny edition
Three adults sit down, their backs to the kids. And the kids, in turn, perform an Easter-themed song of their choice. Might we suggest such gems as "The Bunny Hokey Pokey" or "Little Bunny Foo Foo." The adults have to identify which child is singing, and decide which child joins which musical team. Of course, there’s a sing-off at the end.
5. Color-matching showdown
Perfect for kids who can’t yet read, but can recognize and name their colors, this one has you printing out swatches of vibrant shades. Yellow, orange, purple, blue, green, red, and the like. Each child gets a stack (ideally, because little hands are grubby, you’d laminate these) as well as a bag and kids have to find objects in the yard that match each color. And then, each swatch and matching item goes into the bag. Because kids this age are not great competitors, make sure there’s a prize for everyone.
6. Assign egg colors
If you’re having a hunt for kids with different age groups or searching abilities, consider ways to ensure the bounty is well distributed. You can opt to assign each child a certain color to hunt for, or a list of different colors to find (i.e. two red, three blue and one green).
7. The Easter egg countdown
Great for kids who can’t yet read, this one relies on matching and color cues. Hide eggs of various colors around the yard. And then tell kids what they need to find. First, three blue eggs. Followed by two green eggs. Followed by four red eggs. You get it. You can either dye the eggs yourself, or purchase plastic eggs and fill them with treats. Kids stay active and learn to take turns and follow directions.
8. The Easter egg scavenger hunt
You can cater this to either younger kids or older kids, making the challenges greater or more accessible depending on age group. Kids split up into groups, and each group gets an old-fashioned scroll map. On the map are clues: The ickiest book in your library; your favorite pair of shoes; mom’s favorite picture of you. When each team finds the correct clue, they pick up an egg. The team who finishes first with all the eggs wins a prize.
9. Easter’s Got Talent
A great activity both for younger and older kids, this one unifies everyone because of its sheer silliness. An adult holds a stack of activity cards and asks kids to yodel, spin around on one leg, moo like a cow, quack like a duck, hop backwards, you get the drift. Not only is this a fun group activity, but everyone gets a prize for completing their challenge with panache, finesse and pure talent, of course.
10. The Easter egg relay
First, find the eggs the traditional way, but to win the highly coveted “Easter basket”, take the eggs, take a spoon, and get ready to run!! Balance, physical activity, and lots of laughs make this a great way to keep the entire family engaged, as kids and parents race each other to the finish line without dropping the eggs.
11. The Easter scavenger hunt
Forget eggs. OK, not really. Eggs are a big part of Easter, but so are flowers and bunnies and so many other things. Create an egg hunt guide, directing competitors to find things on the list like a leaf, a feather, a shiny smooth rock, and anything else that’s in your yard. Not only does it teach kids to appreciate nature, but it gets them outdoors and engaging in critical thinking as they figure out the best and most efficient way to get everything on the list.
12. The egg crate showdown
Save those egg crates. And when you have enough, bring them out at Easter. First, let kids decorate them with stickers, glitter, and markers. And then, have them line up at the starting line. The first child to fill the egg crate with eggs (either real or plastic or chocolate) wins … a later bedtime or a movie of their choice.
13. The bunny hop
Instead of eggs, hide stuffed bunnies all over the yard. They come in a shocking variety of shapes, sizes and colors, so go nuts. And here’s the kicker: To find them, kids have to hop around like … bunnies. The kid who finds the most bunnies wins. It’s a fun twist on the original egg hunt, which merely has children rushing around.
14. A hunt just for parents
Turn the tables on your kids—let them each hide a few eggs for you and the other adults at your party to find. The child who stumps you the most (with the last egg found) gets a prize.
15. Think outside the egg
When it comes to filling your Easter eggs with loot, sometimes you have to think outside the egg—check out these clever ideas from Alpha Mom. If you’re concerned about your kids getting hopped up on sugar this Easter, check out the fun, sugar-free alternatives that Mindful Momma rounded up, including fizzy dinosaur bath eggs.