Easter egg hunts and traditional egg coloring can be a challenge for kids with differing abilities. However, with a few tweaks, there are many ways to include kids with a variety of ability levels in the fun.
- Wheelchairs & walkers: Difficult to navigate grassy terrain, and often can’t easily bend down and pick up eggs.
- Blind or low vision: Can’t locate eggs in a traditional Easter egg hunt.
- Sensory challenges: Traditional Easter activities be overwhelming due to the noise and crowds.
- Gross motor & cognitive delays: Very hard to keep up with typically abled kids during an easter egg hunt.
- Fine motor challenges: Balancing an egg on a wire dipper and gently placing the egg in dye requires finesse and coordination.
- Egg allergies: Risky to dye real hard boiled eggs.
Let’s tackle these challenges with some Easter Hacks!
1: Set up an Easter egg hunt with the eggs strategically placed at a good height for your child.
One mom at Have Wheelchair Will Travel created an easter egg hunt on her wall with plastic eggs (stuffed with light weight candy or toys), blue sticky tack and paper bunny footprints. I love this idea! You could also use an outdoor space with strategically placed chairs and tables to get the eggs up to your child’s line of sight.
Note: She also provides a list of non-chocolate easter basket ideas for those with allergy concerns.
2: Put magnets inside plastic eggs and at the end of wooden poles. Use the magnetic poles to pick up the magnetic eggs.
Sara at Jonathan’s Bookshelf attends a magnetic egg hunt each year with her son. It is part of a larger event which caters to children with a variety of needs (they also hold a beeping hunt-see below, and a silent hunt for those with sensory concerns). I think these egg hunt ideas are genius! At the end of the hunt, they trade in their eggs for candy and toys.
3: Hold a beeping Easter egg hunt (find eggs by sound).
David Hyche wrote a guest blog on Family Connect with instructions for how to run your own beeping Easter egg hunt. He includes instructions for creating your own beeping eggs, but if you don’t feel particularly handy, you can also buy them online using Wonder Baby’s Beeping Egg Buying Guide (watch out: they are expensive). When David runs his beeping egg hunts, kids with partial sight or full vision wear blindfolds to even the playing field.
4: Easter Egg “hunt” in a sensory bin
Lauren wrote a post on Teach Mama on how to create a sensory easter bin that doubles as a counting game. This idea looks fun to me, but I think you could also adapt it to your own wants and needs. Instead of making a counting game, you could simply bury the eggs in the rice and make it a digging egg hunt. If you’re not into food coloring, you could leave the rice natural color. You could also do this on a larger scale inside a sand box (would’t that be cool?). You could even vary the types of hidden treasures – plastic eggs filled with prizes, candy eggs as shown, small easter themed figurines… so many possibilities!
5: Color coded Easter egg hunt
Karen at Sew Many Ways hosts a color coded easter egg hunt each year to even the playing field among the different aged children involved in her hunt. The same concept could be used to design an egg hunt for kids with varying abilities. If you don’t have enough different colored eggs for the number of kids attending your hunt, you could wrap a colored band of tape around the eggs, or could use stickers to differentiate groups of eggs.
6: Decorate eggs with non-traditional materials like washi tape, stickers, paint pens, or markers
The blog Lovely Indeed illustrates how to decorate eggs with washi tape:
Merriment Design posted this idea for using paint pens to decorate eggs:
The ARTful Parent suggested using Sharpie markers and stickers. After decorating with markers/stickers, she dyes them traditionally for a more complex look. I’d consider this second step of dyeing the egg optional – they look pretty neat as is in the picture below, and I’m all about simple projects with my two small kiddos.
I think the overall point is – you can decorate eggs with anything. Think about your chid’s abilities – if none of the above ideas work, you could dip them in glue followed by beads/rice… or if you don’t like glue, frosting and sprinkles could make for a delicious adventure. Most important… have fun.
7. They now make plastic “decorating eggs” for kids with egg allergies!
Cupcake Love found these plastic dyeable eggs at Walmart for less than $2.00 last year. The results look pretty descent – you simply use all vinegar instead of vinegar and water combined for the dye. The Kids with Food Allergies blog also has a lot of ideas for decorating ceramic eggs, wooden eggs, and styrofoam eggs.
8. Make and decorate Rice Krispie treat “eggs”
I don’t know about you, but my husband is NOT a fan of hard boiled eggs. However, he is a fan of Rice Krispie treats! These look super fun to make, and depending on the child, they could get involved in a variety of ways: shaping the eggs (especially if you don’t mind “creative” egg shapes), dipping the eggs in chocolate or a thin frosting glaze, and dipping the eggs in sprinkles (or another favorite candy like mini M&Ms or Nerds). What drew me to this project is that there are multiple steps, which allows the activity to be customized to each child’s ability level.
What I love about these ideas is that in all cases you could have kids with different abilities enjoying themselves right beside typically abled kids.
Go forth and enjoy your Easter! I sure plan to.
Let me know about your experience if you try any of these activities! I’d also like to hear any and all suggestions you have for additional Easter “hacks.”