Take your Easter egg hunt up a notch this year by hosting it at night!
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For some reason, kiddos of all ages find flashlights fascinating, so by pairing them with a quintessential Easter egg hunt, you’ve just won yourself some Mom of the Moment points!
The beauty of this activity is that it’s super easy to put together and doesn’t take much forethought, let alone effort. Even better, I’ll spell it out for you below, so really, no forethought at all.
The first thing you need to do is figure out when it gets dark in your area. You can either wait it out one night to determine the best time, or if you’re planning in advance, you can use this website: Time and Date.
Type in your location and scroll down to the chart. Move the locking line to the date you’re aiming for and click to lock it in place. While you could totally plan this for the Civil Twilight frame (best for toddlers), I’d hold out for Nautical Twilight for older groups.
Once you’ve figured out your ideal time frame, invite all of your friends, because no one is going to want to miss this fun!
Just remind them all to bring a flashlight and basket! Alternatively, you can use saved egg cartons, which works perfectly if you’re trying to limit how many eggs each child can collect.
Once you’ve got a dozen, you’re done; sorry, Charlie. This prevents older kids from gathering way too many and leaving the little one’s with the few stragglers.
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As far as the eggs go, you’ve got three options:
1.) Use plain and simple plastic eggs.
Each hunter will have to use their flashlight to find them in the dark. No bells and whistles to this plan, but still lots of fun.
2.) Put mini glow sticks in each plastic egg.
This will speed up the hunt, because they won’t be that difficult to find. The cheaper eggs work best for this. The more high-end the egg, the thicker the plastic and the harder it is to see the glow.
You can purchase mini glow sticks at the Dollar Tree this year. They come four to a pack as little favors. Find them here. All you have to do is pop the sticks out of their plastic housing, snap them, and insert them into your eggs. You could also hunt for bulk deals online, if you’re aiming to make this event huge.
It goes without saying, but it should be said, regardless: Don’t snap the glow sticks until shortly before your activity. I love to plan ahead on things, but you don’t want the glow to run out early.
3.) Buy glow-in-the-dark spray paint and spray your plastic eggs.
You will need to account for dry time when doing this, so this option isn’t your best bet if you’re down to the wire.
If you choose Option 2 or 3, I don’t recommend putting candy in the eggs. With Option 2 you won’t have the room and with Option 3, you really don’t know what’s in the paint. In those cases, I would opt for goody bags at the end. Perhaps their Easter baskets, if the bunny’s already stopped by.
Remember, you don’t have to give out candy either. #1’s first Easter, the bunny left him goldfish and puffs inside his Easter eggs.
If you have lots of kiddos doing the hunt, you’ll want to remind them of flashlight rules, as well.
1.) We don’t point our lights at anyone’s faces.
2.) We keep our toes in the circle of light that comes from the flashlight.
As far as locations for your hunt, you can place your eggs in an open field. If the grass is a little taller, they’ll be a bit harder to see, even when they’re glowing. Otherwise, you can place the eggs on a trail to raise the difficulty level and keep your hunters guessing around every corner.
With a background in community events, I’m all about safety for activities like this.
-Make sure that the eggs are only hidden in safe places.
-Do a walk through while the sun is up to make sure any large sticks are removed, or holes are marked with something bright: an orange cone, bright duct tape, even a white t-shirt will be visible as a warning sign.
-Be certain parents have flashlights, too, just in case of emergency.
-Ask parents to stay with the little one’s for protection.
-Make sure to explain hunting boundaries to older kids, too. You don’t want anyone wandering off.
And I always, always save the plastic Easter eggs for next year. I store them in Ziplock bags with our holiday stuff. About a dozen usually make their way into #1’s stash of toys, but they work great for color recognition and hand-eye coordination activities, too.
I hope you give it a try this year and wow others without the effort! Have fun and Happy Easter!
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