Easter was always one of my favorite holidays growing up. Good weather and fun activities left me with great memories. Now, as a father, I look back on those childhood memories to think of ways to impart valuable lessons to my son. This year I’ve come up with four educational Easter ideas that you might try with your children.
Mapping the eggs
Mapping your eggs’ location is a great way to make the old Easter egg hunt a little more exciting. Rather than just looking for eggs wherever they may be scattered, instead give your child a map that tells them where to look. This engages the child on a new level and contributes to their feeling of achievement. Make sure that the area you select has recognizable characteristics the child can easily identify on the map. You can take the learning up a notch by adding a north-seeking arrow on the map and providing a compass for older children.
There’s no need to purchase a map. The “earth” view from Google Maps will do fine. Just print off the map and mark it. You may want to laminate it and use alcohol markers or grease pencils to mark the eggs’ locations if you are looking to do multiple iterations.
If your child is old enough, talk them through how to select the fastest route and time them.
- Map Reading
- Terrain Association
- Route Planning
Bonus: If you want to get some training in for yourself, use a terrain sketch instead of a map. A terrain sketch is basically a hand-drawn map. Properly made terrain sketches require a good amount of attention to detail. And using a terrain sketch will create a component of teamwork as the child’s success will heavily depend on the quality of your sketch.
The Blindfold and Guide
This is a great Easter activity for either teams of children or child-parent teams. Simply blindfold the child (or one child per team if they’re in teams) and let the others serve as their eyes. While this will likely be quite challenging for the children at first, it should be quite entertaining for the parents too.
This activity is the simplest in terms of resources and shouldn’t require anything more than the eggs and something to blindfold the children.
- Effective Communication
- Team Cohesion
The Situational Awareness Test
This is one of those counter-intuitive Easter ideas. For this activity you will want to make the Easter eggs easy to find while distracting the children from the real objective. Give the child a pen and paper, and have them record anything unusual. Then put out-of-place items near the eggs. Try things like a rubber snake or a pepper shaker. Just place these items a few inches to a few feet from the egg and see how many out of place items the children find.
- Situational Awareness
- Attention To Detail
Keep In Memory – aka KIM Games
This task is best done in an area where there are many recognizable objects. A large children’s park would be perfect. Take photos of the specific objects and print them off. If there are multiple similar objects, place a piece of paper with a number on it when you take the photo. There may be 8 park benches for example, so take 8 photos with number labels on each bench.
When you hide your eggs, set aside the photos for the items nearest where you hid your eggs. Then set a space where you can layout your photos. Have the children view all of the photos. Give them an appropriate amount of time for their age group, two minutes should be sufficient for most. Collect the photos and have the children do some other activity for two minutes. It can be something like jumping jacks, singing songs, or anything that might cause them to forget the images.
Finally, release the little monkeys and see how many of the images they can remember.
- Memory Recall
This is the only one of my educational Easter ideas that is best reserved for older children. Start off by finding an environment that is relatively untouched by humans. A wooded environment is best, but any environment where you leave tracks will be fine. Have the child stay at your entrance point, then leave eggs throughout an otherwise untouched path. Come out someplace away from where you came in.
Follow behind your child on this one. Even if they’re old enough to know a thing or two about tracking, you may just want to put them on the right track if they start drifting too far off. If they’re just starting out with their tracking skill set, help them understand the marks made by humans and find the eggs.
- Natural Relationships
Are you interested in trying one of our Easter ideas, and if so, which one?