Kids love Easter Egg hunts. If you have a verbally gifted child, you can create an egg hunt that is more of a challenge than a traditional egg hunt. Instead of hiding eggs for children to find in the morning, hide plastic eggs. Inside each egg is a clue from the Easter Bunny on where to find the next egg. You can hide as many eggs as you like, but remember that even the most eager reader might tire of reading too many clues. The last egg should have a clue to the hiding place of a simple gift. If you don’t want to buy a separate gift, the final clue can lead to where the Easter Bunny has hidden the Easter basket!
This is a fun activity for any occasion, not just Easter. For other times, like birthdays, you can use small envelopes instead of plastic eggs. While this hunt is perfect for verbally gifted kids, you can also follow find directions for a math version.
What You Need:
- Bag of hollow plastic “Easter” eggs (or envelopes for other holidays)
- Paper and pen for writing clues and making a chart
- Marker for writing numbers on plastic eggs
- List of places to hide eggs
- Clues for finding the eggs
- Gift for getting the answer to the last clue
What to Do:
- Decide how many eggs your child should have to find
Younger children will probably be happy with fewer clues to work out than older children, but the number you choose really depends on your child. Too many clues can make the game tedious, but too few won’t be challenging enough.
- Gather supplies
Count out the number of eggs you will need. Remember that you’ll have one less egg than you have clues because the last clue leads not to an egg, but to a surprise. If you’ve prepared the clues ahead of time, collect them. If not, get the paper on which you will write the clues as well as a full sheet of paper to help you keep track of where you have hidden the clues and which clue leads to which egg.
- Determine where to hide the eggs
The plastic eggs should not be hidden where a child could easily spot them without the clues, behind a photo on a table or on the floor behind a table leg, for example. Instead, think of places like inside the refrigerator or in the dishwasher. The hiding places can be anywhere in the house, not just in the living room or family room, where the Easter Bunny is most likely to visit. Older children will enjoy branching out, but younger children might do better with the clues confined to smaller areas.
- Prepare a chart to keep track of the clues, the eggs, and the hiding places
Draw a table on a sheet of paper with three columns and as many rows as you have clues. (Or just download a chart.)In the first column, write down the row number, starting with number one. The second column is for the clue to be placed in the first egg. Leave it blank for now. In the third column, write the hiding place the clue leads to. It is where the second egg will be placed. Continue filling out the chart so you can easily see where each clue leads and you’ll know where to place each egg. Egg number one contains the clue that leads to egg number 2, and so on.
- Write out the clues
Write the clues in the chart. That will help you keep track of them and not get mixed up before you place them in the eggs. If you’re poetic, you can write them in rhyme. Otherwise, give clues that will make your child think. For example, if you hide an egg in the refrigerator, you can say something like “Look in a place where food is kept cold.” That hint would work for a younger child, but might be too easy for an older child. For early readers, much of the fun is in the reading, so the clues can be pretty easy. The egg in the refrigerator has a clue leading to the next egg and so on.
- Number the eggs
Writing the numbers on the eggs can make hiding the eggs in the right order much easier. The numbers can be very small since only you need to see them. The numbers will correspond to the numbers on your chart.
- Put the clues in the eggs
Following your chart, write down the clues on the slips of paper. Fold the papers and insert one clue in each egg. Make sure that you put the right clue in the right egg! Clue number one goes in egg number one and so on.
- Hide the eggs
Again following the chart, place the eggs in the proper hiding places. The first egg will be out in the open since it contains the first hint. You can put it in the Easter basket if you leave on out for your child to see on Easter morning. Or, if you plan to use the Easter basket as the gift at the end, you can just leave the egg where the Easter basket should be. Whether in the open or in the Easter basket, it needs to be where it can be seen easily. Remember that egg number one is not the egg the child finds first, but the one that contains the first clue. Egg number two is placed where that first clue leads.
- Hide the surprise
The last hint leads to the surprise. A book is a good choice for kids who love to read, but it can be anything you think your child would like. If your child likes puzzles, it can be a new puzzle. If your child likes movies, it can be a DVD. It doesn’t have to be an expensive surprise; it can even be the Easter basket itself, so you aren’t spending any more money that you would have spent anyway.
- Number the plastic eggs so you don’t get them mixed up. One egg out of order and the hunt won’t work!
- The egg hunt can be prepared ahead of time so that all you need to do on Easter Eve is hide the eggs. Determining where to hide the eggs and creating the clues ahead of time gives you more time to think of good hiding places and great clues!
- Make the clues challenging enough to be interesting, but not so hard that your child will become frustrated.
- Use paper from a 3 1/2 X 3 1/2 inch note tablet for writing the clues. That will eliminate the need for cutting paper into pieces that will fit into the eggs and will also keep you from writing clues that are too lengthy. Small children need larger print and less complex clues. Older children can read smaller print and can figure out more complex clues. Both will fit nicely on that size paper.
- If you are creating this hunt for something other than Easter, like a birthday, you can use envelopes instead of plastic eggs to hold the clues. The final clue leads to the big birthday present! If you give more than one present, you can lead your child to them one at a time, saving the biggest for last.