Celebrating Easter with children
Since spring has finally arrived, the melting snow and warm sun are putting a smile on everyone's face. Soon, we will be ready to store our shovels and sleds for yet another year. Of course, the beginning of spring also means Easter is almost here!
Like all holidays and celebrations, Easter represents great fun for little ones, especially since it often involves sweet treats. If you ask your group what Easter means to them, chances are they will mention chocolate, the Easter Bunny, and Easter eggs.
Beyond its religious origins, Easter provides us with a wide selection of sweet treats, pastel colors, and decorated Easter eggs. Prepare to celebrate Easter with your group by choosing among the many activities suggested here.
0 to 12 months:
- Glue colourful Easter eggs next to your changing table. Encourage little ones to admire them during diaper changes.
- Provide several pastel-coloured plastic Easter eggs. Let little ones look at them and touch them to explore their colour and texture.
- Make chocolate pudding paint. Provide very large pieces of paper to encourage experimentation.
- Purchase different colors of Easter straw. Let babies explore it. For safety purposes, you can deposit the straw in clear plastic bottles or containers. Ziploc bags also represent an interesting option.
- Purchase Easter confetti (bunnies, eggs, baskets, etc.). Pour a small amount of confetti in several Ziploc bags and add clear hair gel. Seal the bags and let babies manipulate and admire these magical Easter bags.
- Even at this age, be sure to read Easter stories to little ones.
1 to 2 years old:
- Purchase plastic Easter eggs that can be opened. Insert a variety of objects in the eggs and encourage children to discover them. They will never tire of opening and closing the eggs.
- On Easter morning, organize an Easter egg hunt. Arrange several eggs on the floor, creating a path that leads to an Easter surprise. Encourage children to collect the eggs as they move towards the surprise.
- Trace each child's hand on yellow construction paper. Cut out the shapes. Draw two eyes on each child's thumb and glue feathers all over to create a chick.
- Fill a bin with multicoloured straw. Hide different Easter-related items (eggs, rabbits, chickens, etc.) in the straw and invite children to hunt for them. They will love to search for the items, discover them, and hide them again and again!
2 to 3 years old:
- Use your Easter theme to introduce children to colors. Deposit different colors of hens (or ducks) and eggs (corresponding colors) on a table. Encourage children to associate each hen or duck to an egg of the same color.
- Print several hen or rabbit coloring pages. Have children glue cotton balls on the rabbits and feathers on the hens.
- Make Easter baskets with children. Use cardboard boxes (clean milk cartons or shoeboxes for example). Glue pastel-coloured paper on the boxes or paint them. Add feathers and tissue paper. Glue a pipe cleaner or a rope on either side of each basket to represent a handle. Deposit colourful Easter eggs in the baskets along with rabbit or chick figurines.
- Purchase several plastic Easter eggs that can be opened. Open the eggs and separate the two halves. Mix them all together in a box. Ask children to assemble matching halves.
3 to 4 years old:
- Make your own memory game. Cut Easter egg shapes out of construction paper and encourage children to decorate two identical eggs. Place all the eggs face down on the floor and invite children to turn two eggs at a time, attempting to find matching eggs.
- Make placemats with children. Use large pieces of paper (11 in x 17 in) and let children glue a variety of Easter designs on them (eggs, chicks, bunnies, flowers, etc.). Have them decorate the placemats with pastel markers and laminate them to make them stronger.
- Cut Easter shapes out of construction paper. Use a hole-punch to make a hole at the top of each shape and insert a ribbon or piece of string to form a garland. This activity is great for developing hand-eye coordination.
4 to 5 years old:
- Hollow out real eggs and invite children to decorate them.
- Bake with your group. Select an Easter recipe that you feel children will enjoy.
- This time of the year is great for visiting pet stores; bunnies and chicks are often present.
These suggestions are just the beginning. The Easter theme offers an infinite number of possibilities. Visit dollar stores; their shelves are packed with material related to this celebration. The material required for these activities is available in most dollar stores. Keep in mind that the key to making an activity a success is having fun!
Specialized child educator
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