Let's go hunting

Get your Easter baskets ready for Sunday ...
Get your Easter baskets ready for Sunday ... Photo: Getty Images

You can forget Christmas, and birthdays. The calendar event my children look forward to the most is Easter. The glorious experience of waking up and following bunny footprints to a stash of chocolate eggs is the stuff childhood dreams are made of.

There are several large community Easter egg hunts being held around Sydney on Easter weekend. Centennial Park will hold four hunts, with visitors required to purchase a map of the Parklands trail to participate.

The Historic Houses Trust are celebrating what they call a “19th-century style Easter” at Vaucluse House and Elizabeth Farm in Parramatta. Children will be able to decorate their very own Easter basket, and join in The Great Egg Hunt through the gardens and grounds.

But long weekends also call for events that you can enjoy in the comfort of your pyjamas, so consider hosting a very special egg hunt in your own backyard.

Under 5’s will get a kick out of all things magical, so some talcum powder foot prints and gnawed carrots will be telltale clues that the Easter Bunny has been in attendance.

Hand the children a labelled basket - no fights that way - and send them on an egg trail inside or outside, depending on weather. There’s no need to make things too tricky for this age group - scattering over the lawn is sufficient.

If you have older kids and younger kids hunting for eggs together, try colour coding them so all children are in with an equal chance. For example, tell the older kids look for purple and the littles for gold.

Real, hard boiled dyed eggs are the traditional choice for an egg hunt but it’s not surprising that chocolate has taken over in popularity. If using real eggs, boil and decorate them the day before, then refrigerate until just before the hunt.

Chocolate may not be the best option in hot weather or with pets around. Another idea is to purchase plastic eggs which allow you to put whatever you like inside. Some fun ideas are lollies, small toys (not for toddlers!) and even Play Doh.

Older kids will love a scavenger hunt. Clues can be hidden inside a plastic egg or wrapped around an edible one. Offer little treats with each clue, leading to a large stash.

For something really different, hold an Easter egg hunt at night, featuring glow sticks inside plastic eggs. You add coins and hard lollies too. Concealed in the garden behind rocks and leaves, this will be a fun and challenging activity for older children and the perfect sleepover game. Using the ‘night’ mode on your camera will capture the entertainment.

Whether you’re hunting inside the house, in your backyard or at the local park, make sure you clearly define boundaries. You don’t want kids rifling through your closet or digging up the neighbour’s flower beds. Happy hunting!