What could go wrong at a fun event involving kids, candy, and the outdoors? I hope that I won’t shock any new parents out there, but the public egg hunt is not always all fun and games. It’s lots of fun but it can also result in tears from both kids and parents. After attending my share of egg hunts and talking to lots of other parents, these are my 5 tips for keeping the egg hunt fun this year.
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Tip #1 – Choose Your Egg Hunt Wisely.
Different egg hunts have different rules and it’s smart to choose a hunt that fits your family’s age children and temperaments. For example a fast, competitive child might thrive at a free-for-all egg hunt that’s every man for himself, but a shy child might find the same hunt frightening and leave without a single egg.
Find out . . . What are the rules for this egg hunt?
- What are the ages of kids hunting together?
- Is there a limit of eggs per kid?
- How large is the event? (The larger the number of kids hunting at the same time, the greater chance there will be some aggressive behavior from the kids hunting.)
- How much waiting is involved?
Beware of the hunts that allow parents to “help” kids. It’s not unheard of to watch fellow parents run toddlers over while they help their very capable preschooler fill an overflowing basket of eggs.
Tip #2 – Dress Appropriately
Easter is mid-April this year which means the day could rapidly go from a cool early morning to a hot late morning or afternoon depending on the weather.
- It’s not a bad idea to layer your kids clothing if it’s cooler so that you can take off a layer if it gets warm or if your kids get hot from running around.
- Don’t neglect the sunscreen. The UV index can catch you by surprise this time of year.
- Have your kids wear shoes that they can run in. Tennis shoes are best. Fire ants pop up even in well-maintained spaces and you don’t want your kid to end up with a bunch of ant bites. Also, toes can easily get stepped on during the hunt.
- Many of the public hunts offer bounce houses for the kids to play in so be sure your kids wear socks.
Tip #3 – Plan ahead.
Make sure that you plan time to park. If your egg hunt has an age requirement for a specific time, your child will likely only be allowed to hunt at that time. If the hunt is large, plan at least 30 minutes for parking and registration before the hunt.
You might end up waiting for your hunt, so bring water and snacks if you think the kids will get hungry. Several of this year’s hunts offer free food and entertainment for the kids while they wait. If you attend at the end of the event though, be aware that food sometimes runs out and the lines can be long. It’s best not to count on free food and to bring some emergency snacks.
If you attend a hunt that doesn’t guarantee a certain number of eggs, it’s not a bad idea to have a backup plan in case your kid’s basket ends up empty. I’ve heard of smart moms packing a couple extra eggs in their purse so that they could add them to the loot if necessary. Also, preparing kids to understand that not everyone is going to get the same amount of eggs can help prevent meltdowns.
Tip #4 – Go Over Rules.
Be sure to go over your expectations of behavior before the craziness starts.
Our family rules are there isn’t a problem with racing for eggs but we don’t allow pushing, shoving, or taking eggs from other people.
Consider taking a step back from helping your kids during the hunt. In my opinion, having adults compete with the little kids isn’t fair for the little kids. It’s disappointing for your children to get no eggs, because they weren’t fast enough to keep up with someone else’s mother.
Tip #5 – Consider Planning Your Own Hunt.
In lieu (or in addition) to the big community hunt, consider planning your own private hunt with just your own kids or with your neighborhood or friends. Smaller hunts can allow for actual hiding (rather than just a bunch of eggs dumped in a field) and a smaller event can also be a fun chance to dye eggs and enjoy Easter games.
We have enjoyed a small annual egg hunt with our friends where everyone brought boiled eggs, the kids dyed the eggs, and then the parents hid the dyed eggs in the grass for the kids to find. It’s a simple event that the kids enjoy and it doesn’t involve tons of candy. With friends and family, I’ve found that it’s easier to create an environment where the older and faster kids help and encourage the smaller kids making the event fun for all ages.
Bonus Tip! – Consider COVID-19
Many egg hunts have adjusted the way they’re doing things this year thanks to COVID-19. Be sure to check event web pages or contact organizers if you have questions about what to expect. For example, some places may require you to pre-register. Some egg hunts are asking you to leave your baskets at home this year and are providing you with a bag or basket. Several are encouraging the use of masks and social distancing. And some have gotten innovative: Check out our list of COVID-friendly Easter events such as drive-thru experiences.
Want to know more about Things to Do this Easter in Greenville? Find all our fantastic Easter content on our Guide to Easter in Greenville.
What tips would you add to my list of how to keep the Easter Egg Hunt fun this year?