This morning, my 4-year-old son and I were looking through some old photographs I found. Among them was a picture of him at age 1, picking up an Easter egg and looking at the candy inside.
"Mommy, I wish I had that Easter candy now!" he said wistfully. (My immediate thought? "Um, that would be gross.")
Easter egg hunts are such a joy for kids - and parents, especially when they involve young children who are just discovering how to hunt and collect eggs. Who doesn't have wonderful memories and stories about Easter egg hunts?
I can still remember the intense joy of hunting through a neighbor's yard when I was a child, locating hard boiled and carefully dyed eggs. The eggs would be traded for small prizes after the hunt was over. It was so much fun.
Today, some Easter egg hunts take on a colossal scale. I covered one while working for a small local newspaper once where bright, multi-colored Easter eggs were literally just covering a field. When the egg hunt kicked off, kids and their parents made a mad dash across the field, scooping up as many eggs as they possibly could. It was fascinating and horrifying all at once.
But just because there are huge community events like that doesn't mean you can't plan a smaller scale egg hunt for your loved ones. With Easter just two Sundays away, now's the time to start.
First, you need is a stash of brightly-colored plastic eggs. How many? It really depends on how many kids will be hunting - but figure 10 eggs per child, roughly. Be sure to collect the eggs after the hunt - they are totally reusable year after year.
Fill the eggs with small change (just a few pennies or so), small token prizes like bouncy balls and bead necklaces and - of course - candy. Remember, if it's a warm day, chocolate will be a bad idea. Jelly beans, gummy bears and other non-melting candy are always safe.
Next comes the best part: hiding the eggs. Consider your audience when hiding them. If you have young children (as in toddlers, preschoolers), then hid them in semi-obvious to pretty-obvious places. For older kids, get creative. In bushes, on branches, etc.
Finally, decide what the kids will use to collect their eggs. You can have them bring their own bags and baskets to use. Or, if you prefer, pick up inexpensive baskets or sand pails for the kids to use.
So, ready to send the kids out? Don't forget the camera - the photos will be great to look at in years to come.
Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron is a food writer, editor and blogger. Find her online at Sarah's Cucina Bella.