Easter Egg Hunt(134786)Credit: Amy Burton

[7853] Most parents want to ensure that their children understand the Christian significance of Easter and observe the day by taking their children to church or Sunday school. At the same time, most parents want the holiday to be a fun and colorful celebration for their children, and they frequently seek fresh and creative ideas to accomplish a memorable and kid-friendly Easter observance.

About the Holiday

Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. The day also marks the end of Lent, a season of fasting, penance, and prayer. The traditional bunny and Colored egg hunts have become part of the modern holiday celebration, and that aspect of the  observance is often marked by Christians and non-Christians alike.

Origin of the Easter Bunny

Though the bunny is a common symbol of modern  observances, the concept is not a new one. The symbolic bunny originated with the pagan festival of Eastre who was a goddess worshipped by the Anglo-Saxons through her earthly symbol, the rabbit. The Germans brought the symbol of the bunny to America, but the symbol was generally ignored by other Christians until after the Civil War.

Origin of the Egg Hunt and Baskets

The symbol of the Easter egg also predates the Christian celebration of the holiday. The exchange of eggs in the springtime was a custom that had been around for centuries before the day was first celebrated by Christians. The egg has historically been a symbol of rebirth in most cultures. They were often wrapped in gold leaf or, more economically, colored brightly by boiling them with petals of flowers.

Legend maintains that it was the custom to fill baskets for early seedling and give them to the fertility goddess to ensure a good harvest. The goddess would carry a basket of eggs to signify new life.

Easter baskets for children were a custom started many years ago in Europe, and they were introduced to the America in the early 18th century by German settlers.

Baskets of Candy for Kids

In the early years of Easter celebration, not only would children find candy and eggs in their  baskets, but also a bonnet to wear. Baskets that appeal to today’s children require advance planning and creativity.

Parents can purchase colorful ready-made baskets to fill or make their own baskets for filling. The more craft oriented parent might want to make a more personalized Easter basket by buying an unfinished basket with a handle and spray paint it in their children’s favorite pastel color. By using cut-out spring- themed die-cut images, stickers, or even personal photos of their children, parents can decorate the painted basket with the images.

Parents should fill the baskets with their children’s favorite candy.,even if it’s not typical Easter candy. Many children would prefer candy bars, such as peanut butter cups or Hershey bars, to jelly beans and marshmallow chicks, even though they don’t look as festive.

Parents can add plush toys or small toys tailored to their child’s personality and interests. Both young children and older children would enjoy finding in their baskets fun, novelty tee shirts, DVD’s of favorite movies, as well as books by their favorite authors. A new Bible in a child's basket would be a gift befitting the Christian holiday, as well.

Fun  Egg Hunts

 Parents can add a twist to the traditional  egg hunt by creating a scavenger hunt. One type of scavenger hunt is the plastic egg hunt with clues inside. Parents should fill plastic Easter eggs with candy and clues and then hide the eggs. As each egg is found, it will give a clue to the next egg, ultimately leading to a special Easter basket or another grand prize.

Another type of scavenger hunt is a photo scavenger hunt. Parents should divide the participants into teams, and each team should fit into one car. It’s necessary to have at least one adult per team to drive and supervise the children. Each team should be given a digital camera, a colored egg, and a list of  Easter themed items for which they must search.

 Ideas could include tasks similar to the following:  "Find a church message board listing Easter Sunday service times, a golden egg, a blue bunny, a basket or bowl of colored eggs, children hunting eggs in their yard, girls or women wearing bonnets." The teams must take pictures of all the items on their list before returning. Each picture should include the item on the list with the colored egg you gave them next to the item. The first team to return with photos of all the items on the list wins the holilday photo scavenger hunt.