What a better way to celebrate a beautiful, sunny spring day than to watch dozens of happy kids racing to find over 1000 Easter eggs? This past Saturday we participated in our 6th annual street-wide Easter Egg Hunt organized by one of our talented and crafty neighbours, Denise (you can follow her on Pinterest @dbarac). The street was closed to traffic and eggs were hidden all over the front lawns and bushes of about 15 houses on the street. Prior to the event each family contributed at least one dozen plastic eggs per child, each filled with small treats. We were able to reuse our eggs from last year and stuff them with small chocolates and toys/stickers we already had at home. Of course, out of all the eggs hidden, my oldest daughter managed to find two of the eggs that she decorated with stickers after last year’s hunt (and she remembered them)!
I always assumed that the tradition of the Easter egg hunt was rooted in the Christian faith. Although the colouring of eggs at Easter may be rooted to the legend that Mary Magdelaine brought eggs to Jesus’ tomb to share with the other women, and upon seeing the Lord the eggs turned a brilliant red, the tradition of the hunt is actually more likely rooted in Pagan tradition. This fun post of the history of the Easter Egg Hunt describes how the tradition was likely brought from Germany to America in the 1700s.
In addition to the eggs, each family donated one toy gift ($5-$10) per participating child. At the end of the hunt each child ended up with about 25 eggs including one “shiny” egg which held a “Magic Ticket” that they used to collect one of the gifts. Denise had placed a little animal sticker on the back of each ticket and called the kids forward in waves according the the animal on their ticket. In past years the children lined up from youngest to oldest to collect their gifts.
To help organize this and other community events Denise created a community page on Facebook which is a great way to keep everyone connected. Through the page, Denise was able to recruit volunteers to help with set-up for the day and also pitch in to provide cookies, baked desserts and juice after the hunt for all to gather and mingle. However, Denise’s Rainbow Jar Cupcakes stole the show!
This truly was a fun morning and has been a yearly highlight to our Easter weekend. The event is organized perfectly and runs so smoothly and provides an opportunity for the neighbors and kids to get to know each other. Although we’re quite a ways from the world record of 501,000 eggs searched for by 9,753 children and their parents on 1 April 2007 at the Cypress Gardens Adventure Park in Winter Haven, Florida, USA, we look forward to an even bigger hunt next year, hopefully on another sunshiny spring day.
We’d love to hear about your ideas and experiences in planning a community Easter egg hunt. Leave us a comment below!