Manners matter — even during the thrill of the (egg) hunt

Easter Egg Hunt at Government House in Annapolis, Md., by Jay Baker

Welcome back, readers! The traditional egg hunt is always a fun event for myself and my children. However it is easy to get so caught up in the excitement that things become competitive.

This year, whether you are hosting or attending an egg hunt, follow these simple tips to help your child learn the importance of being considerate to others and sharing.

Hosting the egg hunt

Easter Egg Hunt at Government House in Annapolis, Md., by Jay Baker

If you decide to host an egg hunt, here are a few ways to help ensure all children find a fair amount of eggs:

Always speak to the children before an egg hunt begins to remind them about being fair to one another and set other boundaries specific to your event.

For a smaller group of children, you may assign colors to them. For example the younger children could find yellow and older children find orange or green. Make sure the colors assigned are gender neutral to avoid conflict.

In larger groups, have older children seek eggs in a separate area from younger children. I use small orange safety cones to block off sections for smaller egg hunters. To make it more challenging, the older children may find eggs anywhere outside of the cones.

After hosting a few egg hunts myself, I have found that assigning a number limit for your eager hunters works best, say five eggs per child to ensure each child/parent knows how many the child may find. Also remember to provide an after-egg hunt activity for children to keep the fun going such as a small craft, sidewalk chalk, bubbles or a photo opportunity for parents to capture pictures of their little egg hunters.

If you are using pre-filled plastic eggs remember to make sure items do not present a choking hazard to your youngest guests.

Also, if you have a lot of friends that have family out of town, consider pairing a larger event with your egg hunt, like brunch.

Attending an egg hunt

Easter Egg Hunt at Government House in Annapolis, Md., by Jay Baker

After receiving an invitation, to an egg hunt, make sure to respond with your RSVP promptly.

Offer to help the host/hostess by providing some pre-filled eggs. They would probably be grateful for your offer!

Remind your child of egg hunt manners each day prior to attending the hunt to prepare them.

A few suggestions:

  1. Remind children to keep their hands to themselves
  2. Tell them if someone is reaching for an egg it already belongs to them, so your child needs to find another egg
  3. Encourage them to be helpful and considerate of the younger egg hunters
  4. Review sharing — which is not just for egg hunts, but all year round

Have a teen or tween that thinks he/she are too old to join the fun? Enlist them to help stuff the eggs, hide the eggs or help younger children find the eggs.

Tips for parents

Recently I came across a story where an annual egg hunt had to be cancelled due to overly aggressive parents. Moms, dads, grandparents and guardians, please listen up: This is supposed to be fun!

Please do not hinder your child with unnecessary help, such as pointing eggs out to them. Let their confidence grow. I promise they will be just fine and have the added bonus of feeling proud of the eggs that they found on their own.

Give them freedom. Unless your child can not confidently walk, you should allow them space. Don’t be a helicopter parent: Let your child explore — they will benefit greatly from it!

Lastly, please dress your child appropriately and resist the urge to put them in their “Sunday Best.” Allow them to wear clothing that you will not mind if he/she gets grass stained while hunting down those eggs. Doing this will keep things fun for your child — and stress free for you.

Enjoy and “hoppy” hunting.

Related posts

Get a list of local egg hunts
Find places to meet the Easter Bunny
Check out a listing of Easter brunches and other activities

Heidi Thomas

Heidi Thomas is a certified etiquette trainer from Sparkle and Shine Modeling and Etiquette program at GYDance. For more information on Thomas and the program, visit Greater York Dance's website, gydance.org.

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