Written by: Valerie Hazelrig
Ask any child what Easter means to them, and chances are their eyes will light up, they will lick their lips, and then say ‘LOTS of chocolate eggs.’
For most kids, the real meaning of Easter has been buried beneath a mound of foil-coated, high calorie Easter eggs, pretty much guaranteed to rot teeth and cause obesity and hyperactivity – and let’s not forget the cost, either.
Easter eggs were originally painted bright red and were given to celebrate the rebirth of Christ. The tradition dates back to the early Christians of Mesopotamia, and were painted red to symbolise the blood of Christ.
So, maybe that’s all a bit heavy to explain to your four-year-old, who’s stamping her foot because she wants a chocolate fix, but there are plenty of fun games you can play with real eggs, aside from the increasingly popular Easter egg hunt:
The Wolf and the Eggs
One child is chosen as the Wolf, and the others become Easter eggs. Before the game commences, the eggs need to choose what colour they will be. It helps for the older children to choose colours with the longest names, leaving the easier and shorter ones for the children. The eggs must then face the Wolf, who starts to guess colours. If the Wolf guesses an eggs colour, that child must step forward one step, spell out the colour, and then run a prearranged route before running straight back to the other players, who as a group, are called the basket. If the egg manages to make it back to the basket, she must choose a new colour, and the play continues. If the Wolf manages to catch and tag the egg before she runs back to the basket, then that player must become the Wolf.
Split the group into two teams, and choose a referee – possibly an adult. Every team member is numbered. Then the teams line up opposite one another, and a hard-boiled egg is placed in the middle. The referee then calls out a number, and the two players with that same number race together to the middle of the field. They must attempt to pick up the egg and get back to the line without being tagged by the other player. If a player succeeds in doing this, her team will get a point. The first team to win 10 points takes the crown. Strategy is important in this deceptively simple game – a player can only be tagged once they have picked up the egg – is it best to wait for the other person to pick it up, or go straight for the egg?
Egg and Spoon Race
You remember this one from school, right? Divide players into two teams. The kids must race from point A to point B carrying a hard-boiled egg, and it’s surprisingly tricky. If they drop the egg, the player must go back to where she started from.
For something much more sedate and creative, try egg decorating. You don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive decorating kits from hobby shops though – chances are, you’ll have most of the equipment and ingredients required. Boil the eggs for 10 minutes, and let them cool down by running under cold water. Draw your chosen design with white crayon, and then get dipping in your chosen field dye. Create stripey designs by wrapping the egg in an elastic band or tape.
This one’s a bit messy, but possibly the most fun. Take a box of six eggs, and hard-boil all of them except one. Players then must break them onto their forehead – who will get the unlucky raw egg? Because this is such a messy game, a decent consolation prize could be in order – how about a delicious chocolate egg? Well, it is Easter after all…