After a long, cold winter, it is a treat to witness Mother Nature’s full renewal with beautiful blooms in the spring. Spring calendars are also full with lots of activities and family events both at school and in the community. One special date on the calendar is Easter, the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with your family. Here are some activities for you to consider doing with your family over the Easter holiday.
Children of all ages enjoy a good Easter egg hunt. Get your family involved by gathering everyone together and filling several dozen plastic eggs with candy and special messages written by each family member. The messages can be as simple as SMILE!, an encouraging phrase or even a small Easter-themed picture drawn by younger family members. Hide the eggs all over the yard, making sure to place some in more obvious places if you have young children. When each person is armed with a basket, signal that the hunt is on! After all the eggs are found, have fun watching everyone open their eggs and eat a few treats while reading the special messages inside aloud for everyone to enjoy.
Easter weekend is typically a great weather weekend, and with so many flowers in bloom, why not enjoy it up close with a nature hike? Explore easy hiking trails or stroll through botanical gardens or parks in the area. Make a list of things to look for so everyone pays extra attention to all the beauty. Items may include at least five different colors of blooms, an interesting insect, three types of trees, descriptions of spring fragrances and signs of wildlife. Give each person a small notebook and pencil so answers can be recorded. Make sure to take photos along the way to document your special time together.
Brighten the day of neighbors who may not have family in town over Easter, shut-ins or other people who may be lonely this holiday weekend with the gift of an Easter Surprise Bag. As a family, make a list of things that might be good to put in a gallon-size sealable bag or a same-sized gift bag as well as a list of people you all feel would appreciate receiving a bag. Items may include candy, travel-sized tissues, lotions, lip balm, fuzzy socks, devotional, gift card for coffee, small notepad and snacks. Head to a local discount store and give each person several items to gather for the people on your list. After returning home, fill the bags and include a handmade card with a nice note of encouragement. Decorate the bags with stickers and then make deliveries. Enjoy hot chocolate together when deliveries are complete and talk about the experience and what was especially meaningful for each of you.
Search for easy recipes for sweet treats to make together. Egg or bunny-shaped sugar cookies that can be decorated are a sure hit. Make “bunny” trail mix by adding a cup of each: mini marshmallows, pastel colored peanut M&Ms or other egg-shaped candy, small round pretzels and Craisins in a gallon-size, resealable plastic bag. Shake in pastel-colored sugar or sprinkles for extra fun. After mixing well, scoop out individual servings and serve in egg-shaped plastic cups (available at discount stores). Another easy treat is a fruity Easter egg tart. Shape sugar cookie dough on a cookie sheet in the shape of an egg and bake according to directions. While the cookie cools, mix one package of cream cheese, six tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature), two cups of confectioner’s sugar and one teaspoon of vanilla extract together. Spread evenly over the entire cookie and then “decorate” your egg with sliced fruit of your choice. Great options include blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, clementine slices, blackberries, pomegranate seeds, pineapple slices or chunks and apples. Refrigerate any leftovers, if there are any!
Whether you celebrate a religious or secular Easter weekend, it is a special holiday. This year, help make your celebration extra special with family by adding a few of these activities to your plans. Happy Easter!