Helpful Advice for an Awesome Easter Egg Hunt

I like Easter. It’s a fun holiday. There’s the simplicity of pastel colors, fuzzy bunnies, the budding of spring blossoms, and usually an Easter egg hunt or two!

I like that winter is packing up its belongings and (with any luck) getting ready to move on for a while. (Can I get an amen?)

And, of course, I must confess mention that I like the food that comes with Easter celebrations. Traditions like baked ham, carrot casserole, asparagus, and yeast rolls? My mouth is watering as I type!

And of course, I LOVE the Easter Egg Hunt.

Helpful Advice for an Awesome Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Egg Hunt Traditions

An Easter Egg Hunt in the 1960’s

When I was a kid, our annual Easter egg hunt was simple yet magical. On the Saturday before Easter Sunday, my Mom started her day by boiling 2 dozen eggs so we kids would have plenty to decorate. Keep in mind this was in the ’60s so our egg dyeing system was pretty modest compared to today’s fun ways to dye Easter eggs — we had to stretch our creativity with the simple supplies we used.

Just 4 main colors? No problem! Let’s mix them to make wild colors like purple and orange! We tried dyeing eggs at each end for two-toned eggs. We drew on them with wax crayons and then plunked them into the dye to see the color go around the design so it would magically stay. We spent the better part of the day getting ready for our egg hunt.

Easter in the 1960's

The hunt itself was on Sunday after lunch. And we didn’t use plastic eggs with candy inside. Oh, no — we hid our hard boiled eggs! That is, until that one year… Because of rain, we had to have our hunt inside. (You can see where this is going.) We must’ve gotten distracted and didn’t find all of the eggs. I’ll never forget the week after Easter when we realized something was VERY wrong in our house! The smell of those rotten eggs was disgusting.

My Mom probably made her decision that day that the Easter egg hunt next year would be different: plastic eggs! Much to my delight, we still got to use our creativity to decorate and dye real eggs, but Mom used those for deviled eggs or egg salad — no more hiding real eggs.

Easter Traditions Carried On

I did my best to bring these Easter egg hunt traditions to my family when I had kids. I wanted something simple yet fun — Easter egg hunt traditions they would remember for years to come like I do! We dyed and decorated eggs, treating it like a craft project. But I’d learned the lesson in childhood: use plastic eggs for the actual Easter egg hunt! And we’re still carrying on these traditions today.

Two weeks ago, my collection of plastic eggs made their yearly trip down from the attic and into the living room where I assembled them into little baskets that I’ve collected through the years. 

This year, we have the pleasure of hosting a 3-year-old guest and her mommy in our home. She is a beautifully inquisitive child and was simply delighted to see my collection of baskets and colorful eggs! We have been practicing our hiding and hunting skills inside the house for the last 2 weeks. (Unfortunately Tennessee weather tends to be confused — we keep going back and forth between chilly winter and warm spring!) Practicing with an indoor Easter egg hunt provides a fun activity to pass the time. But you know what else I’ve realized while practicing with my 3-year-old guest? There are many opportunities to teach her manners, respect, and a few little educational nuggets, too! 

I’m going to share with you some of these ideas along with a few notes collected through the years. Let’s call these “My Best Practices for a Mannerly Easter Egg Hunt.”

My Best Practices for a Mannerly Easter Egg Hunt

Before the Day of the Easter Egg Hunt

  • If you’re invited to a family or neighborhood hunt, promptly RSVP and ask if you can bring baskets with pre-filled eggs and a treat to share.
  • Pro Tip: Egg hunting can produce dirt and grass stains. Dress your kids in washable play clothes that won’t produce too much heartache if it gets dirty or stained. Save the Sunday best clothes for Sunday church services.
  • Pre-fill your plastic eggs BEFORE the hunt. Don’t show up with eggs and fillers to assemble at the hunt which can make the hostess a little crazy. (True story, it’s happened before.)
  • Kids love Easter egg fillers like trinkets, erasers, stickers, pennies, or candy. (Make it easy on yourself and try these pre-filled Easter eggs from Amazon, affiliate link.) Consider the ages of the kids and don’t use choking hazards as fillers if your crowd is mostly under 3 years old.

Before Hiding the Eggs

  • When all participants have arrived with the eggs, count the total number of eggs you have before you hide them so you’ll know when all of them have been found. 
  • Designate who hides the eggs. This can be an excellent way to include folks that may not have much to do, like grandparents, young adults, or guests without children.
  • Make sure the people hiding the eggs take into consideration the ages of the children participating in the hunt. Some eggs should be in plain sight for young children and some eggs should be craftily hidden for teenagers. 
  • Bonus Pro Tip: With a little coordination beforehand, you can label some eggs for the younger kids only. This nearly ensures they don’t get swiped up before little ones can get to them.

(Pin the image below to save for later, and keep scrolling down for more awesome tips!)

Helpful Advice for an Awesome Easter Egg Hunt

Mannerly Hunting 

  • Practice how to do an Easter egg hunt with your younger kids. I’ve seen a lot of little ones stop to open each egg when they find it. It’s cute, but may cause upset feelings later when they realize all the eggs were found while they were opening that one egg.
  • Talk to your older kids about being generous and helping the younger kids see nearby eggs.
  • Remind your children about what fair play is: not grabbing an Easter egg that someone else has already spotted, or not pushing/shoving/knocking a kid over to get an egg.
  • Emphasize to your child that egg hunts are more about fun and cooperation and not competitiveness and winning.
  • Talk to your kids about the difference between being proud of the eggs they found but not gloating or making fun of others with fewer eggs. 

Controlling the Chaos

  • Consider having separate hunts for the age groups you’re hosting.
  • For a small Easter egg hunt, encourage cooperation by assigning a specific color or style of egg to each participant so they’re only allowed to find “their” eggs. 
  • If there are too many participants for the above suggestion, tell the kids to stop hunting and come back to the start when they’ve found a set number of eggs, like 5-10 to start. Send them back out if needed until all the eggs are found. 
  • After the Easter egg hunt is over, ask preteens and teens to sweep the area for unfound eggs. Have a small treat for them, like a chocolate bunny or bigger filled egg for their service.

Spend a little time to set some ground rules and talk with your children about consideration of others and working together! This will help the Easter egg hunt be more enjoyable for everyone.

What are your Easter traditions or Easter egg hunt suggestions? I’d love to hear from you! 

READ NEXT: 9 Books to Teach Your Child Manners 

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About Julie Hunt
I’ve lived a full life with many unimaginable joys and heartache like you wouldn’t believe. Our blog exists to encourage folks to slow down, chill out, and love more.