Easter activities with the kids
Stuck for inexpensive things to do with the kids at home over Easter? Look no further...
If the Easter holidays are stretching ahead and you're lacking inspiration - and cash - for fun activities, check out our low-effort, low-cost ideas.
Pin the Tail on the Bunny
A twist on the old party favourite Pin the Tail on the Donkey - simple to do, and you can have a main prize plus a jamboree bag of 'lucky dip' presents (pay a visit to the Pound Shop beforehand!).
You will need
- An A3 or larger sheet of paper
- A smaller piece of paper
- A marker pen
- Some sheets of gummed coloured paper (try WH Smith or an art and crafts shop)
- A pack of Blu-Tack
- A scarf to use as a blindfold
1. Using the marker pen, draw a basic bunny shape on the sheet of A3 paper (a large circle for the body, smaller circle for the head and two large bunny ears is all you'll need: remember, the bunny is facing away from you, so you won't even have to draw a face).
2. Get your child to help you cut up the gummed paper into 'mosaic' squares and decorate the bunny. (If you don't want him licking the gummed paper, place a square of sponge or florist's oasis in a dish of water and let him moisten them on this).
3. Cut out a paper bunny's tail shape from the smaller piece of paper and fix a blob of Blu-Tack to the back. Hang the bunny picture up at child height, blindfold your child, turn him around a couple of times and give him the tail to fix to the picture.
4. Mark the spot where he fixes it with his name, then let the next child have a go. The winner (the child who pins the tail closest to the designated spot) receives a prize, and everyone else has a dip in the jamboree bag.
Easter Egg Hunt
You can either use this idea on Easter Sunday itself as a way of prolonging the fun (and spreading the rate of egg consumption!) or as an extra activity when friends come to visit (just keep the prizes smaller and substitute practical gifts for chocolate!).
You will need
- A long-handled basket and length of ribbon for each child (you can pick these up quite cheaply from florists or stores like IKEA and Wilkinson's)
- A bag of coloured cotton wool balls Multi-coloured (or plain) paper
- A thick felt-tipped pen (young children find it easier to read more thickly formed letters)
- A bag of mini eggs or other sweets
- Your children's Easter eggs (if you're playing this on Easter Sunday)
1. It's best to set the hunt up the night before you plan to play. Choose half a dozen places to hide the eggs (avoiding cupboards near radiators so that the chocolate doesn't melt).
2. Write a series of clues that will lead your child to each hiding place, tailoring the difficulty to your child's age. For instance, if you're hiding an egg in the fridge, write something like 'Your yoghurts are here where you fancy a snack, but open the door and check at the back'.
3. Place each clue next to the previous 'find', and finish with your child's main chocolate egg (or other Easter present).
4. Line the basket with cotton wool balls and decorate the handle of the basket with colourful ribbon. Encourage your child to collect her finds in the basket.
5. It's a good idea to get the kids involved in the hunt while you prepare lunch - but make sure you lay some ground rules about how many eggs may be eaten straightaway and how many must be saved for later.
A Grand Production
Some kids are natural performers - and what better way to encourage them than to get them involved in an Easter production at home? It's a great way of building confidence in children of all ages, and will keep the whole family entertained.
You will need
- Your child's favourite Easter-related story (something with a rabbit or chick as the central character would be great, but keep it simple)
- Some cotton wool and coloured paper for making masks and other accessories
- Paper ring reinforcers
- Elastic bands
- Face paints (optional)
- Paper, paints, gummed shapes, stickers and glitter glue for making a backdrop (optional)
- An enthusiastic audience!
1. First, decide which child (or adult!) will be playing which part, then rehearse with any younger children so that they're sure of the words they'll be reading. There's no need for them to memorise their lines - just type up and print out the dialogue for each of them and highlight their particular parts.
2. If there's time and you're all keen, paint a backdrop on some old wallpaper, print-out paper or sheets of A3 paper stuck together. It could be just sky, grass and flowers or, if you have some budding artists in your midst, you could make a whole farmyard or other scene. Younger children could decorate it with stickers; gummed paper shapes and glitter glue if you like.
3. Make some basic 'costumes': it's easy to make a mask from coloured paper: cut out the mask shape, make the eye-holes, then punch some holes through the sides for threading elastic bands through (it will help if you use paper ring reinforcers over the holes, back and front). The elastic bands can then hook over the actors' ears.
4. You can make a bunny's tail with some cotton wool, and double-sided tape for attaching it to your child's clothes. For a chick, just make a beak from yellow paper folded into a cone shape and attached with elastic bands as before. If you're feeling adventurous you could paint your child's feet and ankles with orange face paints, too!
5. Make sure all the children are comfortable with what they're doing before you put on your production, and have the camcorder at the ready: you could capture some of those priceless moments to treasure for years to come! Finally, be an appreciative audience: allow for plenty of ad-libbing and don't expect a word-perfect performance?
Welcome to the iVillage Easter extravaganza, providing you with all you need to have fun family time over the Easter period. ...