You only have to look around the supermarket to see that Easter isn’t too far away. Easter eggs, hot cross buns, Easter baskets and craft supplies for the school easter hat parade are already on the show. Sure, some of it has been there since Boxing Day, but it’s a reminder that the countdown to Easter is most definitely on!
So, it’s not too early to start planning for the traditional Easter egg hunt, a favourite of pretty much every child. The fun of searching for chocolate and racing to fill your basket is one of the joys of childhood, only rivalled by the satisfaction of demolishing the chocolate in one sitting afterwards!
While the traditional Easter egg hunt is fun for most kids, it’s not always an enjoyable experience for every child. For younger kids, the easter egg hunt can be a disappointing time as they miss out on getting their fair share of eggs as older and faster kids scoop up the loot.
For children with disabilities or additional needs, an Easter egg hunt may not be accessible at all, leaving them feeling isolated, upset and left out. They may not be able to join in with the search due to mobility issues. They may struggle amid a crowd of kids due to sensory sensitivities or find that their poor vision disadvantages them from taking part.
It’s important to plan an Easter egg hunt that takes into account the abilities of all, so every child can get their fair share and join in with the fun. Luckily, it’s really not that difficult to plan a truly inclusive Easter egg hunt to benefit everyone.
There are several strategies you can put in place to make it a fun event for everyone, to ensure there are no tears, no complaints, no upset and no injuries. Here are 5 strategies to get you started.
Focus on accessibility
Consider the Easter egg hunt from the perspective of the child and their needs. What will help them participate independently and have fun? You could hold the hunt in a clearly defined and level area to make it accessible for those with mobility issues. You could also use high contrast colours, textures and sound to help kids with low vision or have a staggered start to reduce overwhelm for those with sensory sensitivity or autism.
Mark out the search area
Use ribbons, signs, bunting and cones to clearly mark out the search zone. Make it clear to all participants where they need to search so they have the best chance of success. By all means, make it a challenge to find the eggs but think about the needs of younger kids and those with special needs when selecting hard to reach hiding places.
Provide alternatives to chocolate
For kids with food allergies or intolerances, providing alternatives to chocolate is an ideal way to include them in the fun. This is also a great idea for families wanting to enjoy an Easter egg hunt while limiting the chocolate intake for their little ones. Hide little wrapped gifts instead or use chocolate alternatives to give kids the fun of the hunt, without the chocolate.
Give each child a designated colour
Assign a colour to each child to ensure they only take eggs in that colour. This is a simple solution to level the playing field, particularly if you are staggering the start of the hunt to reduce overwhelm. It will stop the physical issues in the rush to search and make it a more pleasant experience for younger kids and those with special needs too.
Hold an easter scavenger hunt
Getting the kids to hunt for clues, instead of eggs, is another accessible alternative to the traditional Easter egg hunt. Clues can be read out so everyone can understand them and have a turn at decoding them. This can also make it more interesting for older kids (who may be bored with a simple egg hunt) as you can tailor the difficulty to perfectly match the needs of your kids.
It really isn’t hard to make a few small changes to make the traditional Easter egg hunt accessible for all!
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