Holidays are milestones, even the ones that haven’t historically been “the big ones,” but when you have kids (especially in the long stretch between Christmas and summer) you need these touchpoints – things to look forward to, most importantly fictional characters to threaten them for year-round good behavior (I’M JOKING I WOULD NEVER TREAT THE BUNNY LIKE SANTA – as she hides her homemade easter elf on the shelf). Well, this year is different but the kids haven’t forgotten about Easter. NO. THEY. HAVEN’T. So what do we do? We are incredibly grateful to have each other so no complaints, and I think the kids would be fine with a basket full of garbage, cartoons, and pancakes for dinner. So if you aren’t up for doing anything, I get it.
If we didn’t have kids I’d likely zoom brunch with friends, pop champagne too early and marathon something really engrossing. But like the rest of you parents out there, right now we are trying to figure out how to make this a fun day for the kids and us (although let’s face it, our 4 and 6-year-olds are living their BEST LIVES right now – parents 100% of the time and no “real” school – see yesterday’s post for how we are homeschooling). I don’t think I would have really thought about this or made any sort of plan if I hadn’t assigned myself to write this post but I figured if I was looking for ideas, maybe a lot of you were too. So here are some ideas on how to celebrate, what to eat, watch, and decorate (easy, I promise) for Easter in this very unsettling year of 2020. No reason to try to not make it a little special, right?
How We Are Decorating – Easy Easter Hacks With What We Already Have
Let’s start with the important stuff – Easter Decor:) Let me just say that if it doesn’t bring you joy and only stress, please forego decorating and skip to “what to eat and drink” section. I obviously love it and forcing my children and husband to try DIYs in the name of “memory making” that are far above their skill level and subsequently turn out truly ugly, is one of the joys of my life. Doing projects with kids is in my blood, but Pinterest worthy they are not (update – some turned out cute). So we are going to attempt some stuff in the name of making memories – but only with what we already have (and hopefully, you do too).
Tin Cans Bunny Vases – Keep your cans, guys, and these could be glass pickle jars, too. These were crazy easy and are going to make our breakfast table feel special. We used felt for the pink parts (and happened to have googly eyes) but you could just use different colored paper for everything. I had to do most of the glue-gunning and cutting of the smaller felt circles, but the kids were able to do this pretty easily and they were SO PROUD. If we had used paper you just need a glue stick.
Easter Branch – I never thought I’d type this – but … I think I’ll do an easter tree, BRANCH, I mean. It’s a centerpiece, it’s not that weird. We have so many dead branches near our house and I have a can of white spray paint in the garage so it seems pretty darn easy. Then I could easily hang our blown eggs (if we do them) or paper eggs, painted acorns or even pompoms. It seems like a very cheap, easy but high impact centerpiece that would be fun for the kids to help with.
Plate Flowers – If you are like me and secretly have old stashes of paper plates lying around, you can make pretty plate flowers (looks complicated but its just folding, cutting, curling with a pencil and watercolor paint).
What Is The Bunny Bringing Our Kids?
It’s usually a basket full of garbage candy, a toy, and a book – we usually forget ’til the day before and then had to run to Target. This year Brian looked at me and told me he ordered them each a lego that is going to take hours to put together (without our help) and I absolutely approved of this plan. He got Elliot this one (she is extremely predictable and picky and has been begging for it) and Charlie this one. Our kids are crazy into Stuffies and play for HOURS with them as characters. So he bought them each one of these secret surprise egg things that are apparently very popular. They actually need new pajamas (guys, they always need new pajamas, WHY?) so I figured maybe we’d make it a new tradition to do easter pajamas because that’s a thing. They love anything glow in the dark so I got her these and him these. I hope they don’t keep them up…
Scavenger Hunts/Egg Hunts
Obviously there will be an egg hunt, with our ugly DIY fillable paper mache eggs, but if you want to have more fun (not sure it’s needed, seriously) try a scavenger hunt. It’s different, I promise. If you’ve been watching my life for a while you’ll know that we believe in scavenger hunts – it’s one of “our things”. We have annual New Year’s Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and even my birthday and Mother’s Day. Our friends would buy tickets if we sold them – they are that good. So if you are in the mood for two hunts, I highly recommend a scavenger hunt (even if it’s in your apartment). Ahem. It feels like I’m letting you in on a family secret, but here goes. We do a few different types so here are your options:
- Draw a map with arrows going from iconic locations (even in the house) and they have to follow arrows to X marks the spot, there will be a little prize or challenge at the X. Also if you have children, you know that they love to shout X MARKS THE SPOT. This is great if they can’t read yet and they just follow the arrows to the prize (it can literally be one m&m but if you can find individually wrapped gold coins that really gets them going).
- You can skip the map and make it riddle/clue based – Have it start at one place and if you can make it a little rhyming poem that gives them a clue about where to go next (i.e. “This is the bed where Aunt June always sleeps, but be quiet she’s napping so don’t make a peep.”‘ (see you don’t have a Lit degree, I promise). Once there, they find the next riddle/clue to the next spot. (You can also have a map just to help them get around if they aren’t familiar with the space + kids love maps so much).
- Do #1 or #2 but add a challenge that they have to do before they can get the prize (or get the next clue, you can do either). So for instance “give your mom 20 kisses” or if you want them to get move their bodies a bit then make it more physical like 20 jumping jacks or even spell a word – anything. This makes it longer in a good way (it goes shockingly fast).
See? It’s a thing. But it’s a great thing that costs nothing except a bag of Hershey kisses or whatever garbage candy you want to buy (I once did it with toys we had in the house). No matter how many times we’ve done it you can always shake it up, and it’s ALWAYS the best time they’ve EVER HAD.
You can do this in an apartment. You will be shocked by the amount of time it takes to set up (like 20-30 minutes). But for how fast it goes, I promise you there are solid memories made with a lot of squeals. Get your camera ready.
How To Celebrate ‘Him’?
Good question. There is a reason for this holiday beyond bunnies and baskets, we’ve heard. We were very much looking forward to going to church, donning cute dresses, feeling warm and fuzzy. I’m not about to talk about religion again (please read this post if you want to know where I am spiritually) but what do you do when you don’t really know the story of Jesus and aren’t super religious? So here are the ideas we have (but would love your suggestions):
- Stream a service – I’m assuming that you lose a lot of that warm and fuzzy feeling by not being there in person (which is why I haven’t done it before). However, I know that Pastor Kyle from the church we recently started going to makes it very relevant to 2020, and will likely shift the message due to the world’s current situation. So my friend and I are going to stream it at the same time (and hang out via our portal) before lunch. We’ll see how that goes. I’m really just looking for some more perspective and an impactful story about a guy who clearly created an important movement and did nice things.
- Read the story with your kids – If anyone knows a particularly good way to do this, let us know in the comments. I know I’m not equipped to read the bible to my children, but I know that the story can be riveting and certainly relevant, so please give suggestions. I like the kid’s bible more because I understand it, but if there was an interpretation or even a story that has a good message, I’m in.
- Watch an, uh, Bible Easter movie? – I’m totally open to watching one especially if kids ask any questions and I’m like… uh…. What is the non-biblical message of Easter? Forgiveness? Redemption? (as she googles “why did Jesus come back from dead and is that what Easter is?”).
Ways To Give Back/Serve And Think Of Others
Regardless of your religious affiliation, it seems like a nice day to dedicate some time to recognize our privilege and take some time to help give or find resources for someone else in need. Do something “Christ-like” or just DO SOMETHING NICE. The usual ways give are harder to do right now because I would LOVE to be helping someone in need make their home feel more comfortable. But without any face to face ability but here are some ideas…
- Make something for healthcare front liners – We have a hospital very close to our house and so far no known cases in the area and we’ve been SUPER strict and know that we are healthy, so I think it’s fine to make cookies and drop off thank you cards, right? If anyone knows the protocol, please let us know. Part of this is to give, the other part is to make sure our kids know that during hard times for others, we think about them not just the Easter Bunny.
- Help other families in need in your area – I’ve wanted this app for so long, it seemed crazy that it didn’t exist and someone finally created it via Facebook. I recently found the Facebook group “Intellihelp Love Delivered” that matches the “Asker” with the “Giver” with mostly for neighbors so you can sign up to personally help another family in your area. Most of them have amazon lists that you can simply help purchase for them, some need errands ran, etc.
- Make masks – I just ordered this sewing machine (it’s kinda spendy but based on so many great reviews I was willing) but it’s been decades since I properly sewed. I need to order fabric and materials, but yes we’ll try to make some masks likely before the day.
But What Are We Eating And Drinking??
Thank goodness you asked. I don’t really know. Usually, I do my world-renowned “store-bought honey baked ham, Hawaiian rolls, mustard, and pickle bar” (looking for ideas? steal that crowdpleaser – just no crowds, please). But this year A. I learned to cook and B. Wouldn’t mind making something from scratch if I can safely find the ingredients. I accidentally showed the kids bunny pancakes and they FREAKED THE EFF OUT, so I think we know what we’ll have for breakfast.
For dinner, we ordered a turkey to pick up and roast that day – which I haven’t done before but I’m excited to make the house smell like turkey all day and have days of leftovers. Also, excited to find a “Spring Turkey” Recipes and these are looking really good (this one and this one). But I’m definitely going to make Half Baked Harvests’ Hasselback potatoes.
For dessert…. we’ll probably just eat ice cream unless we cook something in advance. We just bought our first mixer (arriving soon) so maybe we’ll bake something from scratch for the first time. Anything easy and delicious for a baking amateur?
What Are The Kids (and Us) Watching?
Obviously we want to parent but we also want to, say, not parent and just sit and stare at a screen. So we are excited to watch Peter Rabbit (live-action, looks so cute) as a family and if we need to take a break earlier in the day we’ll put on Hop for the kids (we might watch it ourselves or we might just watch something upstairs on our laptop – with only one TV we literally haven’t watched a grownup show or movie in 3 weeks).
Connecting With Family/Friends
We plan on Facetiming with as many family members as possible, since everyone will be home. Maybe we’ll even do a Zoom brunch. I don’t know about your kids but ours aren’t the best facetime conversationalists and mostly want to send poop emojis (that we stop) but we’ll certainly try.
It will be a different Easter and one honestly where we are just thinking about how grateful we are that we are safe, healthy and together. It’s all that matters, and with the state of things being the way they are. Please know that we are thinking and praying for all those who are unwell or worse. It’s the first holiday of many that are going to be different.
What are you guys up to? Have you planned anything? Any other ideas that you can share with us? Again, it’s not a huge holiday for a lot of people so no pressure to do anything, but when you have four little eyes on you with a “what are we doing on easter?” look, it’s nice to try to make it special. xx