Spring is finally here and as I woke up this morning to bright sunshine, I breathed a sigh of relief and started getting excited about doing more activities outside and the fact summer is just round the corner. As Easter is nearly upon us, I wanted to share a great project I came up with that you could do with the children during Easter.
Hold an Easter tea-party
It may sound a little girly, but I can assure you it is a great way to get your children (whether you have boys or girls or both) do something constructive and ‘outdoorsy’ this Easter. You could use some of the creative ideas below as small activities which lead up to the tea-party and whoever knew a child to turn down yummy food? The party at the end is a great incentive to get involved in the other activities before hand.
- Considering the phrase ‘April showers’ it may be a good idea to be prepared. Perhaps a play tent or a wooden playhouse would make a useful place to hold a tea party in shelter if your children are small. For the slightly larger families, a gazebo or tent will do the trick. Another idea, is to use tarpaulin or plastic sheeting (old waterproof sheets or mattress covers can be useful) and string it up or drape it over the washing line, securing the corners to fences, wooden poles or even the corner of your shed. You could also use tent pegs to fix the corners to the ground. Even if the weather is nice, it is always fun to make a den or playhouse with your children.
- Decorate the den, play tent or playhouse with bunting. Easter-egg shaped pieces of card, or traditional triangles are great to decorate and can be strung up just like village-fete style bunting. This is a great way to get everyone involved if you have a larger brood as they can all be decorated individually then put together afterwards, so everyone feels part of the activity. They could make collages from tissue paper or magazines or even get the paints out for messy finger painting.
Finger painting is a great one for younger children – you could even transform their thumb prints into Easter chicks with a marker pen after the paint has dried.
- Make Easter bonnets. There is a page dedicated to Easter bonnet making here at Netmums. You could go traditional, or get a bit more creative like they did here at Sun Hats & Wellie Boots where they made Daffodil Head Boppers! A fun and definitely spring-themed idea.
- Make crazy egg creatures to join your tea party! You will be surprised how much fun a child can have painting crazy faces and attaching googly eyes and pipe cleaners to hard boiled eggs. Let them get a bit messy and have fun with it! If you don’t want the eggs to smell (hard boiled will after a while in the warm palm of a child) you could have a go at egg blowing. This article ‘How to Blow Out Eggs’ shows you how.
- Make Easter –themed treats. Now this is the tasty bit of the exercise! Making sweets, cakes, biscuits and the classic rice-crispie cakes with mini eggs in (to look like bird’s nests) can all be a great activities to get the children involved in and they taste good too. Just make sure there are enough left for the tea-party – or make them the same day. You could have a go at making anything chicken/egg or rabbit shaped, so the possibilities are endless.
- Decorate paper plates and cups, and even a paper table cloth, to brighten up the party and add that something egg-stra (sorry I was trying to write without using Easter puns but could not help myself!!) If you don’t have a little table you can use outside, just use a picnic blanket or old sheet. The great thing about an old sheet is you could decorate that with fabric pens if you wanted to?
I hope this has given you some Easter inspiration, and gives you some great activities to keep the kids amused. Enjoy the holidays!
Written by Abbi Stewart – one of the ‘play experts’ at Big Game Hunter’s playhouse shop.
I had a conversation with my sister about the fact that Peeps are disgusting. I’ve never actually met anyone who likes the way they taste, yet they are the quintessential Easter Treat. Why is that? I decided that I would like to make my own Peeps, but have you ever looked up a recipe for homemade marshmallow? It is way too involved for a lazy novice like me! What I decided on was meringue Peeps! How cute! I followed the directions for meringue from The Toddler Cookbook and then I used Martha Stewart’s directions on how to pipe out the shapes. You can also make bunnies!
The meringue recipe says to bake it on Parchment paper, and I decided that since all I had was wax paper, it would be fine…it wasn’t! Learn from my mistake; USE PARCHMENT! This meringue will seriously melt in your mouth! It was super yummy!
After the conversation about Peeps, Stefanie found this adorable idea from EclecticRecipes.com. Since Peeps are so yucky that nobody can eat them, make s’mores out of them! I had my doubts that they would be good in s’mores, but they are perfect! You can’t taste any yucky Peeps, you only taste s’mores! Genius!! My family gobbled them up!
My favorite Easter treat are these Pastry Easter Eggs. I used Pillsbury Pie Crust so all I had to do was unroll it! The dough has already been rolled for you! It’s so nice and quick! You just use a cookie cutter to cut out ovals (or circles) lay one on an ungreased cookie sheet, add a spoonful of pie filling and then top with another dough circle. I used lemon pie filling since lemon reminds me of spring. My nephew was eating these in one bite! To make them colorful, mix food coloring with an egg, then brush them on. (My colors turned out more like Christmas than Easter! When I do it again, I will not use as much food coloring.)
My kids favorite were these super fun Nests. I used Jordon almonds like they ask for, but they were gross. I would recommend using something else, but they sure are pretty for the pictures! These are really messy to make, but so chocolaty and scrumptious.
On a final note, there have been ads all over the tv and internet for Rice Crispy Hidden Surprise Easter Egg Treats. I recommend turning them into Fruity Pebbles Surprise Easter Egg Treats; more colorful and even tastier. Watch out, they’re addictive!!
In all of these treats, anything that called for food coloring I used Wilton food coloring Kelly Green and Rose. Enjoy!!
10 Days of Easter Toys at Target.com
So on my lovely Chocolate Cream Pies I put some chocolate curls! It made it look really pretty, perhaps like I had bought the pie! Now you too can fancy up your cream pies with some chocolate curls. It is really simple.
First you put 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips because those are the only ones I like) into a DRY microwave safe bowl. (Make sure the bowl is completely dry because water will separate the chocolate and you will have to start over.)
after 90 seconds
You melt the chocolate chips in the microwave at 30 second interval. Then stir with a spatula and keep repeating the process until they are completely melted and the chocolate is smooth.
Once the chocolate is completely melted you then pour into on the the back of a cookie sheet. Spread it out pretty thin. You don’t want to be able to see the cookie sheet through the spread out chocolate so make it at least that thick. The bigger the surface area of the spread out chocolate the more curls you are going to be able to get out of it.
Once it is spread out completely you then need to refrigerate it. This is the most high maintenance part of the whole thing. You need it to get chilled, but you don’t want it all the way set up. The best curls come from a mostly dry chocolate surface. If it is completely dry then you will only get chocolate shavings not curls. If you do chill it too long, just leave it out on your counter for a few minutes and it will start to soften.
Take a metal spatula and “scrape” off the chocolate. Depending on your spatula you may need to play around with different angles. With my spatula I could just start pushing the chocolate almost flat to the surface and it made a curl. Later I tried a different spatula and I needed to set it at a 45 degree angle to kind of force the chocolate into curls. You will get curls the width of your spatula so keep that in mind. If you want fat curls you use a wide spatula, if you want skinny curls use a narrow spatula.
Not every curl turned out perfect, but because the chocolate was malleable I was able to form the imperfect ones into cute curls. Plus it was nice to have a few stragglers to use just as chocolate shavings to fill in the cracks on the whipped cream.
These curls are really easy! You can do it! Once you do it, please email me your beautiful store bought looking pies! Happy Baking!
For my oldest daughter’s 6th birthday, my girls and I along with my sister, her husband and their boys, went to the Hutchinson City Zoo. It is one of our favorite summertime activities- this is the first time we’ve gone in the spring. We got in and out between rain showers! Nice timing!
We love the Hutch Zoo because it is much smaller and we can see everything and do all of the activities in under an hour. We can always take more time if we want, but the girls never feel like we have missed anything. (When we go to the bigger zoo in Wichita, it takes all day to see everything, so we have to pick and choose which animals and exhibits we want to visit.) There are some really fun activities for the kids to do between animal exhibits. Their favorite is the Dino Dig. There are some dino bones in a sand pit and the kids get to be archeologists and uncover the fossils. There is a big dinosaur fossil that the kids can climb up and then they slide out his mouth- if you look at the upper right corner, you can see the tunnel slide.
At the Hutch Zoo, they have mostly native Kansas animals on exhibit. (Obviously the Tamarins are not native to Kansas!) Many of them are being rehabilitated like the Bald Eagles. They have tons of cute looking animals that are fun to see up close- but we would never have the chance otherwise. They have deer, bobcats, porcupines, a raccoon; all kinds of animals! The boys liked the snakes the best, but my girls really loved this adorable swift fox couple and the tiny burrowing owls.
There is also a spot where you can look across the lake through a telescope where the Bison are. Near the telescope station, geese and ducks congregate on the rocks and we were surprised to see 2 American White Pelicans resting! They are native to Kansas, but still very unusual to see! They are HUGE!!
Admission to this Zoo is currently free (but it is rumored that they may start charging a small fee in order to expand). Our favorite part of this zoo is the train ride! It only costs $1 and it takes you all around the woods and there are some really funny animal statues to spot from the train; everything from coyotes to alligators! It was not running during this last trip, but we’ll catch it next time!