Compiled by Robyn © March 2005
Easter is celebrated between March 22 and April 25 and usually falls on the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or following the spring equinox, March 21. Easter is about new life. It celebrates spring and new growth. Christians celebrate Easter as the religious holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Long ago people celebrated Easter as a spring festival with feasting, dancing, singing and exchanging gifts. They rejoiced over the rebirth of life. The name Easter is thought to come from Eastre, the goddess of spring and fertility. The rabbit is a symbol of fertility. The egg is a symbol of fertility and new life. For centuries, it has been the custom to give eggs as gifts during the spring festival. Today we have fun dyeing them in bright colours and decorating them with simple designs. All these customs combine together to make our Easter today.
The Best Easter Egg Hunt Ever (Read With Me Paperbacks) by John Speirs (ISBN 0590956248)
Go on an Easter hunt, look for hidden eggs, bunnies, chicks and more on these 32 fun interactive pages!
The Bird's Gift: A Ukrainian Easter Story by Eric A. Kimmel (ISBN 0823413845)
A beautiful Ukrainian folktale about decorated Easter eggs, or pysanky. The Ukrainian villagers help the birds trapped over the winter. The birds repay the kindness by leaving behind beautiful Easter Eggs in the spring.
Easter Bunny Handprints
Make a brown or grey handprint without painting the thumb and by keeping 2 and 2 fingers together for the ears. Add pink to the inside of the ears and add a bunny face and whiskers to the ‘palm’.
Bunny Ears Headband
Cut out a long strip of white, brown or grey card 5cm wide to measure around head and staple closed so the headband fits snugly. Cut out two long bunny ears. Either paint pink in the middle or add pink paper.
Staple them towards the front of the band.
Cotton Wool Chick
Dye two cotton wool balls light yellow the day before making this craft and let dry. Cut one section of an egg box out. Glue the two yellow balls one on top of the other into the egg box, one for the chick’s body and one for the head. Glue a tiny orange diamond shaped paper folded in half on for a beak and add two little googly eyes.
Magic Scratch Art Easter Eggs
Cut out Easter Egg Shapes. Colour them in with colourful pencil crayons in no particular pattern but make sure every bit of the paper or card is coloured. Then colour in the entire egg with thick black wax crayon. Using an instrument such as a coin, scratch off the black crayon in patterns across the egg to reveal the wonderful colours underneath!
Egg Box Easter Basket
Cut an egg box so that it contains four egg cups. Make small holes on 2 opposite sides of each basket. Twist 2 pipe cleaners together to form a handle. Push the ends of the handle into holes. Fill basket with cellophane grass. Decorate handle with ribbons. Add your dyed eggs.
Here is a template to print, colour and fold a simple cardboard bunny basket http://www.funpagesforkids.com/jellybeans/basket2.gif
Make your favourite cookie dough and use bunny and egg shape cookie cutters. When baked decorate your bunnies and eggs with bright coloured water icing and silver balls, 100s & 1000s etc.
Natural Coloured Hard-boiled Easter Eggs
Dye ingredients ~ fresh beetroot (pinkish), yellow onion skins (orange), ground turmeric (yellow), red cabbage leaves (light blue), onion skins (brownish). Use white eggs where possible. There are two methods of dying the eggs. Either by boiling the eggs with the dye ingredients or by boiling the dye ingredients and eggs separately and then cold dying the eggs until the desired shade is reached. For hollowed out eggs, the cold dye method is used. For robin’s egg blue using red cabbage leaves, the cold dye method is used. Do not add vinegar to the red cabbage leaf dye or it will not work. For any other ingredient, add 1 Tablespoon of vinegar per cup of liquid to set the dye. Dry eggs with paper towel once dyed and polish with vegetable oil for a nice gloss if desired. Eggs are edible for up to a week if you refrigerate them immediately after boiling. Do not eat hardboiled eggs that have gone for longer than 2 hours unrefridgerated or are cracked. To obtain interesting patterns on your eggs, draw patterns on the egg with a white wax crayon before dying or cover parts of the egg with tape or rubber bands for stripes, stars or round stickers for polka dots etc. Remove after dying to uncover patterns.
How to blow out an egg ~ http://www.fabulousfoods.com/holidays/easter/eggdesign/blowneggs.html
Egg Shell Mosaic
After you have finished with your colourful dyed eggs, break the shells into small pieces. Draw a simple design onto your paper such as a large egg shape. Spread glue over the inside of the design area. Use the pieces of shell like mosaic tiles. Sprinkle the bits of broken shell onto the glue and let dry.
Egg & Spoon Races
Using a spoon and either some hard-boiled eggs or chocolate Easter eggs, have an egg and spoon ‘race’ to practice your balancing skills! If you drop your egg, you need to pick it up and start again. Once you reach the designated finish, you may eat the egg or get a prize.
Easter Bunny Hopping
Set out a course that is appropriate to size and age. Start at one end and place some Easter Eggs at the other end. On ‘Go!’ the players hop down the course on one leg, pick up an egg and return it to the start line (all with only one foot touching the ground). If a player's foot touches the ground they returns to the start without the egg and begin again. They can eat their egg, once they make it to the finish!
Paper Easter Egg Hunt
Kids love hunting for anything! Cut out some colourful paper eggs and write a one letter clue of the treasure spot word on each egg. For example JOHN’S CUPBOARD or DAD’S DRAWER. The kids need to find all the letters and unscramble the words to figure out where the Easter treasure is. For younger kids, do a normal Easter egg hunt! Printable Bunny Footprints for hiding place clues -http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/bunny_footprints_printout.htm
Pin the Tail on the Bunny
Draw a picture of a bunny and play pin the tail on the ‘donkey’ blindfolded with a cotton wool ball for the bunny’s tail.
SONGS AND RHYMES
The Easter Bunny's feet
Go hop, hop, hop,
While his big pink ears
Go flop, flop, flop.
He is rushing on his way
To bring our eggs on Easter Day,
With a hop, flop, hop, flop, hop
HOP LITTLE RABBIT
Hop, little rabbit, hop, hop,
Hop, little rabbit, don't you stop.
Hop, little rabbit, one, two, three.
Hop, little rabbit, hop to me.
Visit a local animal farm and check out the chicks and play with the bunnies! You might be able to see some bunnies at a local pet shop if you don’t have an animal farm nearby.
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