An Easter egg hunt is a wonderful way to celebrate Easter Sunday with your family. Children of all ages love the challenge - and the rewards! Plus, you can be sure the annual Easter egg hunt will become a much-loved family tradition as the years roll by.
Set a few ground rules before you start the hunt to ensure it remains fair and happy, rather than a scramble to bag all the eggs and start scoffing with the potential for tears from frustrated ‘losers’. Small children can be overwhelmed by older kids frantically foraging so it may work better to pair them up in teams. If you have a big group of children, colour code eggs for different levels of difficulty (see below).
Alternatively, divide your outdoor space or park area into two zones - one for younger children with more obvious hiding places and the other for older children with more well-hidden eggs. Keep a note of the number of eggs and hidey holes, rather than discover leftover ones months later inside a flower pot or under the hedge.
’Finders keepers’ isn’t really the Easter spirit, so once all eggs have been found and brought back to one place, it’s a good idea to divvy them up fairly. The child who found the most could get an extra egg reward. Explain this is what you’re going to do before the hunt. Also agree on chocolate consumption with the children: a few eggs once the hunt is over as reward and the rest of their chocolate collection to be eaten on another day.
If the weather isn’t on your side, don’t worry: your home still provides lots of perfect hidey holes - from inside shoes to under the bed.
We’ve got some suggestions to make your Easter egg hunt fun for everyone, from easy discoveries for younger children to more challenging clues and tasks for older kids. You can make the hunts increasingly sophisticated as your children grow up, although it is remarkable how teenagers still love an old-fashioned egg hunt.
For little ones
Create to collect
In the days leading up to Easter Sunday, get the egg-citement rolling by spending some time with your children helping them decorate their individual paper bags (felt tips, glitter pens, even the dreaded glitter), decorating baskets with cut out and coloured Easter bunnies, chicks and hearts or creating their own Easter baskets from papier mache made over a balloon with stapled on cardboard handles.
Colour code eggs
Colour code the eggs you hide according to age so toddlers can hunt for pink eggs, middle one for blue eggs, older ones for purple. You can cover them in coloured tissue paper or buy inexpensive plastic eggs (to recycle every year). Specific colours to children mean the littlest (and slowest) have an equal chance of finding eggs, while also fostering a helpful spirit amongst the kids who will try to help the others gather the eggs they aren’t entitled to.
E is for egg
If children are old enough to recognise the first letter of their names, they’ll love the challenge of finding all the eggs marked specially for them.
Follow the bunny
For little children, you can add some extra excitement by making Easter bunny prints from black paper card, a sprinkle of talcum powder and prints with your fingers or a carrot with a ‘bunny’ chew mark to guide them to the hidden eggs. This works well indoors.
For older kids
Act for eggs
Set up different ‘activity stations’ around the garden or park. Children have to complete a simple task before starting to search for eggs in the vicinity (or simply being rewarded with an egg). Activities could include doing three bunny hops, skipping back and forth or racing with an egg and spoon from one post to another.
Dress up relay
This works well for a group of children if you’re entertaining friends and family. Children form teams and at each ‘egg station’, have to add an extra item of clothing to their ensemble. At the end you’ll have children wearing onesies, grown-up shoes, a strange selection of hats - and big beaming smiles from all the eggs they’ve found.
All clued up
Easter egg hunts with clues are a great way to to slow down the speed rampage round the garden or park that’s over in minutes. Clues could be from the ‘Easter bunny’ and in rhyming riddles (search online for ‘easter egg hunt rhymes’ for inspiration). They could either be presented with eggs once they’ve solved each clue, or receive a basket of eggs once they’ve arrived at the finish spot - with a slightly bigger basket for the winning team.
Kids can search for a treasure trove of eggs with a treasure map for each child and clues to follow. For children too young to read, the map could include pictures or cut-outs of a tree or garden chair to show where each egg is. If you’re not too worried about your garden, you could even shallow bury some well-wrapped eggs and leave a couple of beach spades to unearth them.
For extra fun, wrap hidden eggs in themed jokes like “Why shouldn’t you tell an Easter egg a joke?”; “It might crack up.” Ta-da. You can find lots online.
Hunting in the dark
This hunt will only work for older children who know the pay-off of patience is even sweeter and can wait for darkness to fall (or perhaps you could do it the evening before Easter Sunday). Hide glow-in-the-dark eggs (you can buy them from Amazon and other retailers) or eggs wrapped in glow-in-the-dark sticks for an extra night-time thrill.
Challenge the adults
A reverse on the usual egg hunt, this time kids get to hide the eggs while adults wander in the wrong direction. Children will be hopping with excitement at knowing where the hidden bounty is and getting one up on parents. Parents have to hand over the eggs to their kids at the end - with a reward for searching, thanks very much.