Easter — on April 17 this year — is coming up. Many families have traditions they’ve been celebrating on the holiday for as long as they can remember. At the same time, some of those traditions — like everything else in our lives — have gone out the window the past two years as we’ve been living through a pandemic that required social distancing, avoiding crowds and lots of flexibility.
This year, lots of us are getting back to normal, some are still wary of our new normal and others are wondering how to integrate our old traditions with some of the new stuff we’ve been doing the last two years, and maybe add even more novelty to the holiday.
Whether you’re still taking COVID precautions and looking for exciting close-to-home activities, or you won’t be able to visit family and friends this year, or you’re just looking for something new to supplement your Easter traditions, here are some ideas.
1. Have an Easter Bunny dress-up contest. Have everyone look through their clothes, dress-up stash and makeup to dress as the craziest-looking Easter Bunny possible. Give out chocolate eggs as prizes.
2. Marshmallow roasting doesn’t have to just be for ordinary marshmallows. Try roasting marshmallow Peeps in your backyard firepit or on the grill. You could even make them into s’mores with graham crackers and melted chocolate eggs.
3. If the traditional egg hunt isn’t your thing, do it in treasure hunt form instead. Give clues to the kids, and have them follow them to find their Easter baskets.
Four. Watch a movie that the Easter Bunny stars in.
- “Hop” is the story about EB, the Easter Bunny’s teenage son.
- There’s also “Rise of the Guardians,” which covers lots of favorite fantastical characters, including the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Jack Frost.
- Rudolph and Frosty are probably part of your Christmas repertoire, but there’s a claymation Easter show too: “Here comes Peter Cottontail.”
- Speaking of holiday TV specials, don’t forget Charlie Brown. He’s not technically the Easter Bunny, but Snoopy does a pretty good job in “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown.”
Five. Got marshmallow Peeps on hand? Instead of just eating them, get creative with them. Take inspiration from the Racine Art Museum’s annual art show dedicated to Peep art. Have everyone make an artwork out of Peeps.
6. Do your kids think they could do a better job hiding the eggs than the Easter Bunny? This year, let them try. First, time them to see how long it takes them to find the eggs. Then let them hide them, and see how long it takes you.
7. 7. Are you tired of the traditional egg dyeing you do every year? There are a wide variety of egg dye kits you can find at Target and Walmart this time of year. There are also different ideas online. Try out a few that are different than from what you typically do.
8. 8. Make a homemade papier mache piñata, fill it with chocolate eggs, jelly beans and marshmallow Peeps. Then take it out to the backyard and break it open!
9. Take a walk around the neighborhood, and have the kids make a list of the signs of spring they see, from flowers growing in the yard to green grass to any insects, birds or animals they notice.
Ten. We spend so much time in November and December admiring Christmas lights and decorations. Easter decorations aren’t nearly as ubiquitous, but you can probably find some. Pack up some of your Easter candy for road trip snacks, and take a ride around town to see who can find the most Easter decorations.
11. 11. There are so many Easter-themed trinkets that show up at stores as Easter basket stuffers this time of year — things like bubble makers, Easter Bunny paddle balls and carrot-shaped sidewalk chalk. Go with your kids to get some of the most interesting- looking ones and spend an hour or two playing with them. Grown-ups have to participate too; that’s what makes it fun.
12. 12. Do an Easter-themed taste test with your family. Close your eyes and taste jelly beans to see if you can identify the correct flavors. Or eat different types of chocolate — pieces of chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, Easter M & Ms — and rate which tastes the best.
13. Split up the family into teams (make sure there’s an adult on each team). Give each team the same Easter-themed ingredients (maybe ham, jelly beans or hard boiled eggs). Compete to see which team comes up with the most appetizing dish featuring the chosen ingredients.
14. Many families volunteer to serve meals on Thanksgiving and donate toys at Christmastime. What about Easter? Brainstorm a service project the whole family can participate in.
15. 15. Set up an Easter-themed obstacle course in the backyard or at a nearby park. Some ideas for obstacle course challenges? Hopping like a bunny from one landmark to another, eating a carrot or two before moving on to the next station, or collecting several plastic eggs in a basket as quickly as possible.
16. 16. If that’s something your family typically does, make sure to get a few good family photos. If not, embrace the colorfulness of Easter by dressing the whole family. And take a few crazy family photos. Those can be more fun than the more traditional ones.
17. 17. Watch home videos of previous Easter egg hunts. Your kids will be amazed at how far they’ve come in their hunting abilities, and they’ll laugh at how adorably oblivious they were when they were little.
18. 18. Do a family photo art project by printing up pictures of previous Easters and making a scrapbook page or collage.
19. 19. What’s your typical family feast for the holiday? A big breakfast? Brunch? A ham dinner? Come up with a new dish that intrigues everybody and work together as a family to cook it.
20. Easter is about rebirth and making things new again. Take inspiration from that and, in a twist on New Year’s resolutions, make a few springtime resolutions.
Contact Amy Schwabe at (262) 875-9488 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @WisFamilyJSInstagram at @wisfamilyjs or Facebook at WisconsinFamily.
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