The best egg hunt for preschoolers is one that is simply fun with no fighting, complaining, or disappointments. Ways to accomplish this perfect egg hunt?
- Limit the amount of eggs per child
- Each child searches for an assigned color
- Do not fill the eggs
- Let children turn in their eggs for a treat bag
I’ve tried all types of egg hunts, this has been my favorite for four year straight. The children are excited, happy, and content! What more can you ask for?
Why does it work so well?
- Assigned colors (chosen or randomly picked) give children a mission and a focus. It eliminates that overwhelming feeling of having to grab every egg they see.
- Limiting the number (we do 10) allows children to search just long enough that it doesn’t become boring or exhausting. It also encourages them to stop every so often to count how many eggs they have and how many they still need to find. (As a teacher, this is one of my favorite parts — counting practice that is initiated by children).
- Empty eggs – egg finding is the goal, not stopping to check each egg and being excited/disappointed with contents or the fact that you are not finding the same types of fillings as the other children. Empty eggs are also fun to hide again for each other once all 10 have been found. In my experience, the children invent their own games to play with the empty eggs and often ask to take their eggs home.
- When all the eggs have been found (and outside play time is over), we head indoors to get our identical treat bags. I usually fill them with 10 identical items — one for each egg found. (Another Option: The first year I numbered all the eggs and then gave them a number of specific treats based on the number, so they could practice number identification and one-to-one correspondence. For example, #1 was one tiny notebook, #2 was two sharpened pencils, #3 was three small pages of stickers, and so on, but I found it difficult to continue each year.)
More tips for a perfect egg hunt:
- Have a basket of each color to match the eggs the children will find.
- Start the hunt with one egg in each basket to help children remember which color they are searching for.
- Remind children of rules before hunting: find only your color; do not pick up other colors; only help a friend if he/she wants help (remind them that we all like to find our own eggs)
- Once a few children have found their ten, ask the remaining children if they would like their friends help them find their eggs. This provides help for younger children or those becoming frustrated.
- Recycled Materials Tip: The same baskets (and most of the eggs) can be used each year. A few children have asked to take home their eggs the last two years, so a few color sets had to be replaced. Plastic eggs are readily available on sale after Easter, so why not?
Treat bag ideas (non-edible):
- Wikki Stix (always a favorite or other crafty obect – individual play dough, set of crayons/markers)
- writing object (sharpened pencils are my favorite – can be used right away)
- small spiral notebook
- cute figure of some type (duck, chick, animal)
- cute holiday socks (inexpensive and useful to families)
- themed stickers
- reusable bag or container to hold items to bring home
- card game or book
- one parent-approved snack, such as organic fruit gummies or crackers
- one tiny chocolate bunny (because to me that says Easter)!