Easter Isn’t Cancelled!On April 1, 2020 by Calgary's Child
by Trista Arney
Despite Calgary’s weather, April has arrived – and Easter is close behind! With budget concerns, physical distancing, and isolation in place, Easter celebrations will likely look very different for many families. While these measures are necessary for public health, it is also important to acknowledge and allow ourselves to feel strong emotions about having to alter traditions and celebrate differently this year. It’s normal to feel disappointed by these disruptions! However, it’s a good time to think about finding new ways to celebrate and come together while remaining physically separate.
Here are some suggestions for fun ways to celebrate the holiday:
For many families, Easter and other holidays are a chance to gather for meals. Health officials tell us that this isn’t an option this year; it’s best to restrict our gatherings to those we live with.
We’re so fortunate to live in the digital age! Why not host a virtual Easter brunch or dinner celebration with family and friends? There are many free online video chat platforms that allow groups to virtually gather; Zoom, Discord, Skype, Google Hangouts, and FaceTime are just some examples. Set up a smart phone or laptop at the dinner table and pretend that relatives have been able to gather – no need to pull the folding chairs out or do extra dishes!
If you regularly celebrate Easter, your family likely has some traditional recipes which always feature. Here are some suggestions to keep those traditions going:
- Reach out to the family member who makes a special dish and ask them to share the recipe – or, better yet, give you a virtual lesson over the phone or via a video call! This is a great way to pass on family recipes to your kids.
- If you’re used to purchasing Easter breads like hot cross buns or paska, try your hand at baking them yourself! Here’s just one online recipe – there are many different varieties available. Contact your local bakery if you’re able to support them; many are offering delivery or curbside pick-up options.
- Try using a smaller ham or turkey than you would usually prepare for a crowd, or plan ahead to freeze and repurpose leftovers! Our family loves turkey soup, so even though there will only be the three of us this year, we’ll freeze the extra meat for use in soups, casseroles, and other recipes. If you need a starting point for leftover inspiration try these round-ups for turkey and ham!
Entertaining the Kids
Children love to celebrate! While some children may be disappointed that things are different this year, we can still bring simple joys and family time to our children and create wonderful (if different) memories. If your children are older, you can even include them in thinking up ideas for how they would like to celebrate Easter this year.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need some suggestions. we’ve got some ideas to get you started:
Easter Egg Hunts
This is a huge tradition for many families! While there won’t be large community hunts this year, that doesn’t mean that the tradition can’t continue on a smaller scale.
- Hide treats around your own home/yard for your children to find. If you have some of the reusable plastic Easter eggs handy, this can be helpful for keeping treats dry.
- Be creative with treats. If getting chocolates and jellybeans from the store isn’t an option this year, try repurposing treats that are already in your home, bake some special cookies to hide, or try these printable bunny coupons for non-candy rewards.
- Try hiding eggs that the family has decorated in place of Easter treats, or try a printable Easter scavenger hunt like the ones available from My Sister’s Suitcase, Rubber Stamps.com, or Fun With Mama.
- If you have reusable plastic Easter eggs, fill them with puzzle pieces, pieces from a LEGO or craft set, or even printable activities like MadLibs!
There are so many ideas online for different art projects that you can create with children of all ages! Here’s a sampling of ideas to get you started – we’d love to see what your kids create to celebrate the season!
- Dyeing Easter Eggs. Always a fun activity, there are so many ways to decorate hard boiled eggs or even craft eggs that can be kept year to year. Try dyeing eggs using the shaving cream method, washable marker tie-dye, or using melted crayons!
- Coloring pages are a fun and calming activity for many children (and adults!) Find free printable coloring pages from Crayola, The Mad House, Red Ted Art, and Picklebums.
- Paper weaving creates beautiful art and is a great activity for practicing fine motor skills. Try this tutorial from Easy Peasy Fun for a simple Easter Egg, or this printable to make a Bunny Basket Card!
- Repurpose some empty egg cartons to create some bunnies, flowers, or spring chicks.
- Create basic paper mache easter eggs or try these paper mache lanterns using electric tea lights.
- Create bunny silhouette art using chalk or chalk pastels. You can adapt this project to use any shape that you would like!
- Older children and adults can try folding these origami Easter bunnies, and younger children can try this bunny face origami.
- Make these adorable handprint Easter bunnies – these would also be a great keepsake or something to mail the grandparents to brighten their day!
- Salt painting can seem like magic and creates a beautiful piece of art without specialized skills or equipment. Try this tutorial for salt painted Easter eggs
- Practice fine motor skills with this adorable sewing craft using a paper plate and yarn to create a spring chick. This tutorial could be adapted to create other shapes/characters as well.
Some of these Easter-themed science projects are really magical! Entertain the kids – and maybe learn something yourself! – with these experiments.
- Can a raw egg bounce? It sure can! Try out this experiment which will dissolve the shell of an egg and leave a bouncy “rubber” egg to experiment with. (Remember, the egg is still raw and if handled too roughly it will break!) A fun variation is to add food coloring to the dissolving solution which will change the color of the egg (although then you can’t observe the yolk.)
- A classic of science fairs – grow a carrot top! This is a fairly simple experiment which is appropriate for all ages and gets kids thinking about how plants grow.
- Experiment with jellybeans. Have children try to dissolve jellybeans in different liquids and create a beautiful jellybean rainbow. This experiment also works on other candy-coated treats, like M&Ms and Skittles.
- Explore what sinks and floats using plastic eggs. Challenge your children to take plastic eggs and fill them with various items to see which will stay afloat and which will sink.
- Try this collection of Easter STEM activities including using empty plastic eggs and Play-Doh to experiment with engineering.
- Create geodes using egg shells and borax. This is a beautiful and engaging project, but remember that Borax is a chemical which can be dangerous – children should be fully supervised for this project, and only an adult should handle Borax.
Have fun and enjoy your Easter celebrations, whatever they look like this year!
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