In early March, we started talking about Easter at my house. It’s a holiday my five-year-old daughter eagerly anticipates every year, mainly because she knows the Easter Bunny brings treats. She told me how much she was looking forward to the annual MOMS Club Easter Egg Hunt we do annually with a group of local friends. I wondered if the Schiele would offer their “Cute and Cuddly Animals” outing again. My own mom, a perpetual planner, started crafting the menu for a day at her house enjoying family and spring weather.
As increasingly strict social distancing measures were enacted to slow the spread of COVID-19 ending in a 30-day statewide Stay at Home order, it became clear that Easter would look a lot different this year. The springtime field trips, community egg hunts and even low-key celebrations with extended family I’d come to associate with the holiday weren’t happening. But I’m committed to still making this isolated Easter special for the people I’m sheltering at home with. Here are six ideas for making this very unusual Easter special for your kids and immediate family.
Dye Easter Eggs
Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to the 13th century, and it’s estimated that Americans dye and decorate 180 million eggs a year for Easter. “This will be our first year dying eggs,” says mom of three Jamie Jackson. “I decided to do it because usually, we go to my brother-in-law’s for a huge Easter egg hunt he sets up every year, but obviously we can’t go this year.” For Jackson, participating in the age-old egg-dying tradition is not only a stand-in for a tradition that won’t happen this year. It’s also a way to fill a day they’d usually spend traveling. There are many contact-free ways to get your hands on Easter Egg decorating kits like ordering from Amazon or ordering and paying online for pickup at your local Target store. You can even make your own dye from ingredients you can include in your next grocery order: just add 1 tsp vinegar and 10-20 drops of food coloring to ½ c boiling water.
Host a digital gathering
Just because you can’t gather with extended family and friends in person doesn’t mean you can’t see them for the holiday. Zoom, Google Meet, Facetime, Facebook Messenger, Skype, and other video conferencing platforms have been utilized in recent weeks for everything from elementary school morning meetings to virtual happy hours. Consider using one of these platforms to bring the family “together” for the holiday. “Easter is one of the holidays we enjoy together – time with loved ones and chocolate bunnies!” says mom of two Rosie Kakachyan. Although she admits it won’t be the same, Kakachyan is thinking about using Zoom to simulate her usual family gathering.
Bake something traditional – or new!
Just because you’re not catering for a crowd doesn’t mean you can’t make something special. Now’s the perfect time to get your kids involved, teaching them the ins and outs of making a special dish or dessert your family cherishes for the holidays or trying a new spring recipe. Not a chef? Support a local business and order a cookie decorating kit from Daphne’s Bakery. Available in a variety of spring and Easter-themed shapes like eggs, carrots, bunnies, ducks, tulips and daisies, the 6 or 10-cookie kits come with your choice of 2-3 icing packets and sprinkles. Cookie decorating kits can be ordered and paid for online and delivered curbside for a limited-contact transaction.
Have your own Easter egg hunt
You may not be able to attend a packed community Easter egg hunt at your local park, but you can host a very special Easter egg hunt in your own yard! Plastic Easter eggs are in short supply on Amazon right now, but you can have an assortment ready to pick up curbside in four hours from the Matthews Target when you order and pay online. Make this year’s Easter Egg Hunt unforgettable with JOYIN Mini Glow sticks available on Amazon. These long-lasting 1.7” glow sticks fit inside a plastic Easter egg for a glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunt! For a more environmentally friendly solution, sew or hot glue your own out of felt, available for order online and curbside pickup from Michael’s.
Create Some Art!
If your kids (and maybe you!) are missing all those cute crafts that come home from school and daycare, raid your art supply stash and get creative. Busy Toddler (www.busytoddler.com) has rounded up over a dozen Easter-themed arts and crafts activities. Many like “Easter Egg Rainbows” and “Easter Egg Potato Stamping” can be done with materials you likely have around your house already if you have young kids. Lacking time or ideas? Support a local business and order a DIY at-home crafting kit from The Gift Workshop. Bunny Door Hanger Kits are available for both kids ($25 + tax) and adults ($50 + tax). You can also make a super-cute wooden bunny tablet/phone holder with an attached pencil holder. Craft kits come with all the materials necessary to complete your project: paint, brushes, wood cutout, glitter, glue, cotton balls and more! Supplies are limited, so email email@example.com or message The Gift Workshop on Facebook to reserve yours for curbside pickup.
Be a Community
Last but not least, reach out to the communities you’re already a part of. Just because you can’t gather in person doesn’t mean you can’t work together to make Easter special. Many local churches are already streaming services and bible studies online or offering other alternatives that meet social distancing guidelines. “Our church has been having a drive-in service,” says mom of two Samantha Gordon. “Everyone stays in their car and the preacher preaches outside with speakers.” “The children’s director sent out a story about what Easter means for the kids with activities to do at home,” says Arlington Baptist parishioner and mom of two Erica Larter. “I’m reading the Easter Story on Arlington’s Facebook page for the kids.” Larter also plans to have her kids participate in a “Bunny Hunt” in her parents’ neighborhood where participating families will put a stuffed bunny in their windows for children to spot and enjoy on a walk or drive.