When some Police forces and local councils declared chocolate Easter eggs were a ‘non-essential’ item last week, many parents experienced a moment of minor panic. While chocolate may not be an essential grocery item, to those little people who look forward to the Easter bunny’s visit as much as Father Christmas’s, a no-show from the bunny was going to be tricky to explain.
Fortunately, the official warnings were deemed heavy-handed and restrictions on the number of Easter eggs shoppers can buy have been lifted. Still, pickings are slim and not everyone’s been able to get the usual things – foil wrapped little eggs for garden hunts, non-choke hazard shaped treats for tinier children or children’s favourites. Easter egg hunts at places like National Trust properties aren’t an option this year and families who don’t have gardens or are avoiding going into communal areas face limited options. Those who are self-isolating, who’ve have been ill or have been working from home with the kids won’t have had the chance to go out hunting for chocolate, and with supermarket deliveries more of a substitutions pot luck than anything else, lots of us are looking at what we have and wondering, “How am I going to pull THIS off?”
1. Treasure trails
Running around grabbing fistfuls of chocolate eggs is about as good as it gets when you’re little, but if you’re low on supplies, a treasure hunt is a good way to recreate the thrill with less chocolate. The bunny leaves clues for the children to follow in classic cryptic style (‘Under the place where you go to sleep, a clue is waiting, go and peep!’), maintaining the excitement and minimising the sugar intake. This is a great one for doing inside and has saved many a rainy Easter Sunday in the past.
2. Get creative
If you didn’t get hold of the chocs you wanted, think of other treats they might like. Egg-shaped pancakes (if you’ve managed to buy real eggs!), Easter nests made with any old melted chocolate and cornflakes or rice crispies and fruit or non-edible things; repurposed pots of bubbles, temporary tattoos and other gubbins from the bottom of party bags. Is leftover Halloween candy acceptable? With a note from the Easter bunny, why not?
3. Vote Jacinda
New Zealand PM Jacinda Arden won the devotion of parents around the globe when she declared that while the tooth fairy and Easter bunny had had been designated as key workers, the bunny might not be able to get everywhere this year. She suggested that kids help the bunny out by creating egg hunts in their neighbourhoods, painting and drawing Easter eggs for other children to look out for on their daily walk. Show your little one Jacinda’s surprisingly tear-jerking (for grown-ups) announcement here, it may help explain why Easter 2020’s not quite the same, and inspire children to put their Easter artwork in the window.
4. Get crafty
Easter craft is a great way to empty out a brimming recycling bin and keep kids busy. Cut out cardboard egg, chick and bunny shapes to paint and colour and Sellotape on some string. Make it a mission to collect strong twigs while you’re out on a walk, paint them and shove them in a vase or plant pot full of stones or flower arranging oasis and hey presto, you’ve got yourself an Easter tree!
5. Movie night
Drumming up Easter magic in unusual circumstances isn’t easy, especially when we’ve got worries of our own, but at least we have Hollywood to fall back on. Rise of the Guardians (PG) tells the tale of the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa teaming up to battle dark forces and has a great cast including Chris Pine, Jude Law, Isla Fisher and Alec Baldwin, with Hugh Jackman as the bunny. Hop (U), the story of the heir apparent to the Easter Bunny who just wants to be a drummer, is always worth a watch and features the voice of Russell Brand as rebellious E.B. The kids may even be distracted for long enough for you to sneak off to the kitchen and eat some chocolate in peace…