Thursday, March 28, 2013

Egg Hunt: Decor and No-Crying Tips

The decor for this event was very straightforward.  Easter eggs are so colorful and bright and that really inspired everything.
I also tried to work in pops of Peeps.  I love the look of Peeps (the taste, not so much) - they are so iconic and graphic and colorful.  To bring in the Peeps, I served Peep kebabs, added a "Keep Calm and Peep On" framed sign, and made my fun peep garland.  Check out that tutorial here:  Peeps Garland Tips and Tricks and read on for a link to the food post.
I relied on the food table to serve as decor as well.  The key there was variety and height  See this post for specifics:  Egg Hunt Food

With the peep and pennants strung behind, I think it made a nice presentation.  I was going to try to hang some curtain panels behind everything, but it was just too windy.  Next time!

Geeky Crafty Tips for a No-Crying, No-Whining, All Fun Egg Hunt

I love taking my kids to egg hunts, but I do not love scooping up puddles of crying kids because they only found 3 eggs and the older kids got 15.  In fact, I remember BEING that puddle kid, sobbing piteously because I would spot an egg and run for it, but a big kid would beat me to it.  That is no fun for anyone.  I will not have that at my egg hunt.  I will not HAVE it.

To even the playing field, I did 2 things...

Separate the little ones and the older kids
This idea came from an article on Kids Out and About:  KOAA Easter Egg Hunt Tips and Tricks.  (Check it out for other great tips as well.)  We put the hunt for the little ones in the front yard.  This allowed them to hunt without getting trampled by big kids as well as prevented them from climbing the slick rungs of our playscape and allowed the parents to keep an eye on them while socializing and snacking.  The big kids were in the back yard, which is bigger and provided more space for a more challenging hunt.  Because we separated them, we could really make it hard for the older kids.  I dislike it when egg hunts are over in about 2 minutes, so my husband REALLY HID those eggs.  The big kids were hunting for a good 15-20 minutes.  Victoire!
Customize the eggs for each kid
I designated a color for each child attending the hunt.  This required a little more work upfront and a disadvantage is that you do need a solid RSVP count to pull it off, but it was worth it.  It allowed me to control exactly how many eggs each kid got (i.e. they all got the same amount), ensured that all the eggs were found, and allowed me to customize the treats for each child.  For example, one kid has braces and can't eat gummy candy... no problem - all chocolate in his eggs.  Four kids with severe food allergies...  no problem, they get the candy that specifies that it's allergen-free.  I also tried to mix it up and have some eggs with candy and some with toys.  Customizing the eggs ensured that girly girls got the eggs with hair clips, less girly girls got eggs with stickers and bouncy balls, boys got the eggs with race cars, girls who like race cars got an egg with race cars... you get the idea.  It worked out beautifully. 

Tips for Next Year
The hardest part was getting enough egg colors, but even that wasn't too bad.  Target has a nice variety of colors and because I had hunts in front and back yards, I could use the same colors in those hunts.  Next time, I will get some eggs with designs as well to increase my options.
I was initially going to just TELL each kid their egg color, but after I realized that it might be a challenge for a bunch of kids to distinguish between wedgewood blue and cornflower blue or spring green and lime green in the heat of the hunt, I ended up giving each kid an empty egg in their color to start with.  Instead of making a master list, I just put some tape with the kid's name on the sample egg.  Easy peasy.
I had stocked up on eggs last year in the after-Easter sales, which not only saved my a ton of money, but it also forced me to actually do the hunt (I've wanted to do this for years, but never got around to it.).  When I buy my eggs for next year, I will look for bigger eggs this time.  It was hard to find non-candy treats small enough to fit in the standard-size eggs.  And regarding toys in eggs, I was very careful to only put in things that were obviously not edible.

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