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Easter egg hunts: I always want to have fun, but that never seems to happen. #truestory
The next year, after healing from that trauma, I staged my own at the house with my nieces. I hid eggs in the front yard and was just about ready to let the girls have at it when I noticed the ones I strategically placed for the youngest participants were missing.
"What happened?" I asked my mom and mother-in-law, who walked in the door.
They gave each other knowing looks and giggled like guilty teenagers.
"You didn't hide them! They were just out on the grass, so we moved them."
"Yeah, those five eggs were filled with things my little ones could actually eat. Now they'll find eggs and have to give up the treat. Thanks for the help, ladies."
They shrugged and made faces that made me want to waggle a finger and say something like, "Wipe that smirk off your faces!" But I refrained and huffed off to re-hide my flippin' eggs.
The common denominator here is an egg hunt with various age groups. They're tricky, by nature.
Toddlers and preschoolers don't move fast and have the very cute, but very frustrating, propensity to drop as many eggs as they collect. Big kids can't contain their enthusiasm and plow through the field, snatching eggs left and right without consideration for others.
How can you make the experience fun when the kids are different heights, weights, speeds, and egg-grabbing expertise levels? I have some ideas that will keep it fun (and fair) for all ages in your family!
1. Rope (or tape) off separate areas.
If you're searching for eggs indoors, specify which room is for which child. Hint, the kitchen is a great spot for older kids who can reach cabinets. Avoid the bathroom at all costs!
2. Each kid gets a different color egg.
If you're using plastic eggs, assign each child a color. No matter how many blue eggs the yellow-egg-person finds, they're off-limits. This allows you to adjust where you hide them for the little ones, as well as what you put in them.
3. Little kids get a head start.
If the age difference isn't big enough to warrant the need to put different treats in the eggs but you're still concerned that older kids will bulldoze the littles, let the smaller egg-hunters get a head start. Time them, giving them at least three minutes, which, trust me, will feel like FOREVER to those waiting.
4. Think levels.
Eggs for the smallest kids are on the ground. Eggs for kids ages 4-6 are a level up, on couches, in low bushes, or otherwise just a bit higher. Eggs for the oldest kids can be in trees, on shelves, or anywhere that requires a reach.
5. Make it a scavenger hunt with a clue for everyone
While this will only work for small groups of children, it's a fun way to get them working together. Start with a clue that leads to an egg. In that egg, there's another clue which leads to the next egg. The kicker is that the clue is assigned to one hunter. "Claire, your next egg is in a cool spot that's chilled, but not too cold." The gang runs to the refrigerator, finds the egg and the next clue.
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