It’s only a few days away and the stores are packed with chocolates, candies, baskets and everything else that has to do with Easter. Actually, in some places those shelves have been packed since just before Valentine’s day but Easter probably hasn’t been on your mind for that long.
Every year I do the exact same thing. I give myself a budget, tell myself over and over again that one chocolate bunny and a couple chocolate eggs around the house is enough for the kids. They don’t really need all the candy and for that matter, neither do I. Then I get to the store to pick up my Easter Bunny supplies. Suddenly one chocolate bunny isn’t enough and they will need a chocolate character from the latest hot movie. I grab the usual brightly wrapped chocolate eggs but on passing by those I see the brightly colored over-sized jelly eggs. Oops, can’t forget those since my husband loves them so much and into the shopping cart they go. The next aisle over and I notice those cute little peeps, horrible things if you ask me but they are very sweet looking and I have just the hiding place for them. Now I need to find some type of gummy treat (my personal favourites) and then I realize that I don’t have jelly beans for the baskets…how could a basket be complete without jelly beans and for that matter, where are those KinderSurprise eggs. By the time I get to the checkout, I have enough chocolate and candy to supply my son’s school for the entire year and I end up throwing half of it away within a week or two after Easter.
Chances are, you do the exact same thing and really, do children need as much candy at Easter as we load them down with. I personally enjoy the expression on their faces when they race into the room(s) designated for the hunt and I love the excitement that the hunt brings, which is probably why I tend to buy more candy than I really need. Over the last few years, however; I realized that the hunt doesn’t have to be about candy only and there are lots of alternatives to create a healthier Easter for everyone.
1) Don’t forget the candy. Yes, I know I just said healthier but let them enjoy one or two types of candy. Maybe purchase a small chocolate bunny and some jelly beans and that will be it. The chocolate bunny can usually last a few days and the jelly beans will provide lots of little treats through the day.
2) Bouncy Balls. Every child that I have ever known loves bouncy balls and you can purchase them for boys and girls. Instead of having chocolate eggs littering the nooks and crannies of your home, why not place out some bouncy balls for your children to find.
3) Dollar Store Loot. I love the dollar store and this won’t be the only time that I rave about it. They have tons of small toys, books and hair accessories all for a dollar or under and you can use those for your Easter Egg hunt instead.
4) Blown Easter Eggs. I’ll have a how-to guide for these tomorrow but in almost every home, eggs are decorated for the Easter season. I always blow the egg out of the shells before decorating and then incorporate them into the hunt. My children believe that they are helping the Easter Bunny out by dyeing the eggs for him so he can hide them when he stops by. We always place the eggs beside a plate filled with carrots for the Easter Bunny. After the hunt, I save the eggs for keepsakes but they can also be used to create Easter decorations for the following Easter.
5) The Baskets. Most people enjoy giving a basket to their children and if you are like me, you probably fill them with too many candies. This is usually where my overage comes from but over the years I have shifted from doing candy baskets to doing a themed basket. Last year was a sports theme with different sporting stuff in them. Soccer equipment for my oldest and backyard play equipment for my youngest. The year before was a clothing theme with a nice toy and this year I am going with a store bought basket that has toys for exploring and water fights. I try to make up a basket that will get the kids outside and running around so they can burn off the extra sugar they ingested over the Easter holiday.
And there are a few healthy alternatives to having huge piles of candy. Do you have a few more ideas that you would like to share? If so, please feel free to comment here.