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A great way to hold on to a sense of normality at this time is to try to do the things you’ve always done in the past. So even if you don’t have a garden to hide a few chocolate treats in, we have some ideas to make sure the kids don’t miss out on a traditional Easter hunt this year!
1. The scavenger hunt
Spring is the perfect time to do nature hunts because the debris of winter is still hanging around yet there is enough plant life to make the garden interesting again. No garden? No problem! Move regular household items out of their usual place, and task the kids with finding them instead!
Position yourself as ‘Hunt HQ’ with a large bowl of chocolate eggs (or other chocolate treats if you can’t get eggs), and a list of items the kids have to go and find. Set them all different missions so no two children are looking for the same thing at a time and when they return with each item, they are rewarded with another egg or chocolate goodie!
2. The clues hunt
Your gang of hunters have to go in search of a set of quiz answers that, put together, will tell them where the ‘treasure’ is buried. You can adjust the number of clues and questions needed depending on how many children are on the hunt, but if there are three or less, double the number of clues and questions otherwise the hunt will be very short!
Issue your hunters with a clue to where the first question can be found. When they find it (along with a stash – the first little chocolate treat each) one of the children will be assigned to answer the question. This way you can tailor questions according to their different ages. Once they have their one-word answer, the back of the card will have a clue to where the next question can be found.
Repeat at the next hidden place and so on. When they get to the last question, instead of a clue to where the next question is hidden, instruct them to put all their one-word answers together to form the answer to where the treasure is.
So for example, if the destination is ‘Inside mum’s blue plant pot’ then the questions will be things like ‘What colour does Chelsea football team play in?’ (blue) and ‘Who fell asleep snoring on the sofa on Christmas Day?’ (mum)...
3. The photo challenge hunt
Take pictures of treasure locations around your home and garden and then distort them on your computer (using a programme like ‘Comic Life’, for example). Print them out and leave them around as a treasure trail which will lead your children to the final basket of hidden goodies.
4. The all ages hunt
If your kids are more than a couple of years apart in age, the little ones won’t thank you for giving them a head start – even toddlers like to be in there tussling with the big kids!
Instead, buy a bag of the larger hollow chocolate eggs available in most supermarkets which are covered in different coloured foil, then issue each child with a specific colour – if they find someone else’s colour, they leave it where they found it. The older ones will probably whizz round in no time, but they can then play ‘hot or cold’ with the younger kids to help them unearth their booty.
5. The chocolate-free hunt
If the thrill of the hunt is a bigger deal than finding basket-loads of chocolate (there’s only so much even the sweetest tooth can bear), let the kids play ‘hunt the cuddly’ instead, placing fluffy teddies etc in the bushes to be rescued by your young explorers.
Not all children like chocolate. No, really! If you buy empty plastic eggs you can fill them with a handful of other sweets or even little party-bag type toys. And you can re-use them next year.
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