OK – sorry – I know that was corny but I couldn’t resist. My children love Easter. For them it holds religious significance, is a time that represents spring, new beginnings, dinner at Grandma’s, time with family, and the biggest and wildest Easter egg hunt in the Midwest. We love Easter crafts and activities (even the boys…), and today I’m sharing 5 favorites we have done over the years.
Teach children about these historic pieces of art, and then help them create their own masterpieces you can use to decorate your Easter dinner table. In the 1880s Peter Carl Faberge began creating what would develop into a collection of 69 eggs, now known as Faberge Eggs. The first, a decorated platinum shell with a treasure inside, with was created as a surprise for the wife of the Russian Tsar, Alexander III. This became a traditional Easter gift among the royal family, and only about 15 eggs were made for outside collectors.
- Plastic, wooden, or paper-craft Easter eggs
- Metallic spray paint (suitable for the egg surface – they make special kinds for plastics)
- Paint (either metallic or other suitable paint will be used to cover the egg surface
- Scrapbooking supplies (any odd assortment for decorating the egg)
- Plastic or other fake jewelry (this can be a great time to clean out your jewelry box)
- Any treasure your child wants to hide inside – not all Faberge Eggs held treasures – but this could even be a note they write to someone in the family
- Glue, scissors, and an empty egg carton (to help hold the egg while your child decorates it)
- If your child is going to include a treasure in the egg, make sure it is placed inside before you paint.
- You can add a ribbon to the inside of the egg and have it drape outside of the plastic egg.
- Spray paint the surface of the egg and let dry. This step can be done the day before the full activity, maybe after looking at pictures of Faberge Eggs. (Use your parenting knowledge of your children to know with which steps your kids need help.)
- Let your child decorate the outside of the egg with the supplies. Tacky glue works well. If you are working with toddlers you don’t even have to spray paint the egg first – just roll a plastic egg in glue and give your toddler a cake pan filled with glitter and sequins.
- Let the egg dry. Your child can also create a stand for the egg by cutting apart an egg carton and decorating that as well.
This activity requires a little more patience and dexterity, but with gentle assistance your kids can learn to do this. And then they can do what my daughter did with hers months after Easter – she pranked our exchange student by replacing a real egg in the carton with her blown egg (she hadn’t decorated it – just filled it with confetti). She jokingly threatened to smash an egg on his arm, which he didn’t believe. The look on his face was priceless when she followed through – and then he realized it was a phony. He took it all in amazing stride as another crazy snippet of our lives.
- Take a fresh, uncooked egg and carefully shake it to break up the yolk.
- Carefully take a pin or small nail and gently pierce one end of the egg. Turn the egg to the opposite end and make a 2nd piercing. You can wiggle the pin slightly to make one hole slightly larger.
- Hold the egg over a bowl and blow into the smaller hole until the egg is empty (the contents should empty through the opposite hole).
- Gently run a trickle of water through the holes in the egg to rinse the inside wall of the egg clean.
- Let the egg dry thoroughly and then use thin glue or craft sealant to seal the holes. This will help preserve the creation.
- Decorate the eggs with paint, jewels, dyes, or any other craft supplies. They will be incredibly light and delicate. These make great gifts for kids to give their family and friends at Easter.
Mr. Egg Head
This fun and unique craft is a great conversation piece and gift for kids to give.
- Take a large or jumbo sized plastic egg and separate it into two separate halves. The larger/wider half works best for this craft.
- Have your child decorate the plastic half with a face, the top hairline being the open half of the egg. You can add wiggly eyes, a pom-pom nose, or any other facial feature. Permanent markers work well for drawing on plastic eggs.
- Make a ring-shaped stand for the egg. Take a strip of paper ½ inch tall and several inches wide and make a stand for the egg-half by creating a circle with the strip of paper that just fits the egg. Staple or tape the strip of paper once you have measured your egg for the right size.
- Fill the egg half with potting soil.
- Sprinkle grass seed or catnip seed (great gift for cat owners) over the soil.
- Sprinkle with water.
- Set Mr. Egg Head in a sunny location. (don’t forget to water as needed)
- Kids can have fun giving their Mr. Egg Head a haircut when the grass gets long enough!
Read classic stories and poems about eggs with your kids.
- Humpty Dumpty
- The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg
- Green Eggs and Ham
Have your child create his own story about an egg and give him plastic or wooden eggs to use as props. These can be oral stories or used as a writing experiment. Your child can take plastic eggs and glue them to wooden craft sticks to create puppets.
Stained Glass Eggs
Spring (hopefully) means windows filled with sunlight, so capture some of that with an easy stained glass craft. Your child might need help with the crayon shavings and ironing, but they will love the finished product.
- Cut two egg shapes of the same size from waxed paper.
- Shave old crayons by using a pencil sharpener, a cheese grater, or a food processor (it will be tough on some blades).
- Place one of the egg shapes on paper towel that is already resting on the ironing board (it saves on delicate transferring).
- Take the crayon shavings and cover one of the waxed paper eggs. Kids can experiment with patterns, colors, and designs.
- Take the 2nd waxed paper egg and cover the first, sandwiching the crayon shavings between the two.
- Place a paper towel or old linen cloth over the egg shape and iron on dry. Avoid sliding the iron as it can cause the design to move. Pressing for just 5 seconds might be enough – check your egg and use your knowledge of your iron.
- The wax shavings should melt enough to create a stained glass effect.
- When the craft has cooled, punch a small hole in the top, thread a ribbon through the hole, and hang the stained glass egg near a window.
Creating and building traditions with our kids help them develop identity and is a great way to share family history. This spring, as every Easter for the past 15 years, my family will gather to have the blowout of all Easter egg hunts. Some eggs will never be found until my father unintentionally mows them over sometime in August. The cousins will also come for the weekend to color eggs, bake Easter desserts, and have a sleepover that will lead to a stampede of children Easter morning (another long-standing-since-babyhood-tradition). But my kids will also create and give gifts, like the Faberge eggs, to their family and friends at our Easter dinner. Everyone looks forward to see what new creations the kids will come up with for their Easter gifts. Do you have any unique Easter traditions with your children?
[Originally posted a portion of this at BetterParenting.com, but wanted to share again in full because that season is upon us once again!]