It’s tempting to make eating chocolate eggs your main activity over Easter, but try some fresh craft ideas to keep keep your toddler or pre-schooler busy over the next couple of weeks and you’ll soon put a smile on their face (without the sugar high).
Hard-boil some chicken eggs and then let your toddler paint them in bright colours. Alternatively, you can dye them by dipping them in food dye (although this method could end up being a LOT messier). If you blow out the egg first, by making a small hole in the narrow top of the egg and a larger one at the bottom and blowing out the yolk and white, you can thread some ribbon through it and it will be light enough to hang from an Easter tree.
Cut some branches from a tree that has buds, spring blossom or flowers on and hang egg decorations, fluffy chicks, cardboard egg cut-outs and pieces of colourful ribbon. Who says trees are only for Christmas?
Easter bonnet anyone? Either decorate a ready-made straw hat or start from scratch by making your own – you can opt for animal heads. For tips on making an Easter Bonnet, click here.
Use two pieces of coloured felt pieces in the shape of your finger that are sewn together round the edge, then add on eyes, ears, beaks and noses to create Easter farmyard animals, chicks or rabbits. Your baby will love interacting with them.
Fold a piece of A4 yellow card in half then get your toddler to decorate a card for another member of your family with ribbon and pictures of eggs and chicks. You could even put folded up card inside to create a pop-up card, or have fun with Easter slogans such as ‘Have an Egg-cellent Easter’ or ‘See the bunny side of life’.
Egg Hunt Bucket
Find an old plastic Tupperware tub – ice-cream or soup tubs are good for this. Wrap the tub in coloured paper and decorate. Punch two holes on each side and thread through some ribbon, then fill the tub with shredded paper or tissue paper so it’s like a nest.
Find a long piece of ribbon or some coloured string – your YOU’RE best off visiting the habadashery section of a large department store. Then using either pieces of old material or coloured wrapping paper, cut out triangle shapes – about 10cm along the flat side, and 20cm long. Staple or sew them to the ribbon or string.
Go with an Easter theme by painting on bunny noses and whiskers or yellow chick faces. Alternatively, pick spring images such as butterflies, flowers or eggs.
Decorated Chocolate Egg
Buy a plain Easter egg, then melt some white chocolate and let your toddler make swirly patterns on the egg. You could also make chocolate egg shapes and your toddler can add white chocolate patterns to them, too.
Baby Sock Egg Cosy
If you’ve got lots of odd baby socks, find a use for them up by making cute Easter boiled egg cosies. Cut the toe end off the sock so it’s about 7cm long. Sew or staple on ears and noses, or feathers if you want to make a baby chick cosy, and use orange pipe cleaners for legs – pushing them through the bottom of the sock and bending round so they hang at the bottom like feet.
Spring Flower Posy
It’s best to use freshly cut flowers for this. Using an old wire coat hanger, reshape it so it forms a circle with a hook, then wrap or tie the flowers round the wire until it’s completely covered. Attach ribbon for decoration and hang from your front door.
Papier Mâché Eggs
Blow up a balloon until it’s the size you want – using this method lets you make large egg shapes that can be used to store smaller chocolate eggs. Cover with glue-soaked pieces of newspaper until it’s covered and let it harden. Paint the egg shape and let your toddler decorate as he or she wants. Then carefully insert a pin until the balloon pops. Now you can cut round the middle of the egg (in a broken egg shell line) and store eggs inside.
Baby Chick Pom Poms
Cut out two cardboard circles with a smaller circle cut out of the middle. Placing the pieces of card on top of each other, wind yellow wool through the hole and round the outside until all of the card is covered and then continue to cover until the hole in the middle has shrunk so it’s about the width of a pencil. Next cut round the edge of the doughnut shape – you’ll need to slide your scissors so they cut right through the wool and you can see the cardboard underneath. Cut the cardboard so you can pull it out of the pom pom. Then attach cardboard eyes and a beak and you have your woolly chick pom pom.
Grow Your Own Cress Egg Heads
Take some old eggshells – you’ll need shells that have had the top cut off, but not cracked anywhere else. Wash out the inside, put some cotton wool in them, dampen with water and sprinkle cress seeds on top. Rest them in an old egg box and place on a windowsill. You can decorate the front of each face with eyes and smiley face and in a few days, your eggshell should have a fine head of hair.
Mini Egg Pinata
Take a blown eggshell, enlarge the hole at the end so you can fit mini M&Ms in it (or any other very small sweet) and cover the hole with tape or a sticker. Then let your toddler decorate the egg with stickers and felt-tip drawings. Your toddler will love smashing the egg to collect the sweets.
Decorated Egg Cup
Buy some plain plastic or china egg cups (plastic is better for toddlers), then paint on glue and your toddler can stick on sequins, feathers and glitter for extra decorations.