Thursday, April 5, 2012

Following the Rules - Filling Easter Eggs

So with Easter coming up this weekend, many parents are having to prepare eggs for their children's classes, churches, and play groups.
Here's what my kids are using for baskets - the Duct Tape Easter Basket
Everyone has different rules for theirs, but some of the ones I've come across are:

  • NO chocolate - wait WHAT??  Apparently it melts...and you know, that whole caffeine sugar rush every care giver wants to see...
  • NO candy - okay, I get that you guys don't want hyper children.  I don't either.  That's why I send them to you.  But really, without candy, why don't we just do hard boiled eggs?  Kids would be just as confused as to the contents of the egg.  Really, what is an egg without candy in it?
  • NO gender specific fillers - what does that even mean?  Can't girls like army men and dinosaurs?  Can't boys like Polly Pocket?  What am I putting in the eggs that's been gender specific in the past?  Barrettes?  I'm so lost.
  • NO anything of value.  Really, it's a hit or miss one - our State licensing board requires no toys of any "value" to be in the rooms.  I assume that means collectibles?  I don't know if that applies to Easter egg fillers, but I assume that means no gold coins, stocks, and.... McDonalds bucks?  Is that a thing of value? If you're a kid, they are, I guess.  Do they still make those?
    • I found these... but it's not like the little booklet I remember.

Do you guys know any other restrictions?  I get the no chocolate/no candy stuff...but I'm lost past that.  So what's left to fill the eggs?

You can do what I did, and go through our "treasure chest" that we use for rewards, and see what fits.  This turned out to be a goldmine.  Well, it is, if you know most of the kids are easy to please...and you really can't stand the thought of dragging your children out shopping again this week (since the last time you did they just licked the counter the whole time you stood there)...
  • Easter erasers -
    • My kids are under 4 years old, but I had year old Easter erasers in there...they don't really write with pencils?  What was I thinking?  
  • Plastic dinosaurs - 
    • Well, really.  I don't think of it as gender specific.  Everyone loves dinosaurs.  I think we'd even still love them if we had to worry about them eating us. 
    • Turns out only the fat and short tail guys fit in eggs.  Ankylosaurus (armored dinosaurs...I know...having boys gets my research on) and triceratops both fit, brontosaurus and the like didn't.  Hit or miss fillers here.
  • Army men -
    • Didn't fit. Plus, I'm pretty sure people holding guns are probably not acceptable at school.
  • Small animals - 
    • same rules. No tails are better.  I found a plastic pelican that fit. Why did I have a plastic pelican???
    • I had tons of plastic beetles and such...but I didn't want to scare some of the faint of heart - mostly teachers. :)
  • Tacky gold buttons (well, that's what I had. Maybe you collect non-tacky buttons?)
    • for the collectors in the school.  Same works with colored rocks.
  • Bouncy balls
    • As long as the kids aren't too young for this too be a choking hazard, this is a great idea.
  • Temporary Tattoos. 
    •  Great option unless it's humid the day of the hunt...might ruin them.
If you don't happen to have a treasure trove of random small objects at your house, or want something with a little more class (hey, I'm classy!)  here's some other ideas.
  • Seed balls
    • Best if you have a way to label them and kids who won't eat them.  Step 5: roll into balls
  • Lego Minifigures - gets expensive though, if you need too many of them.
  • Bunny Suit Guy
  • Those awesome chenille chicks you can get at any craft store.  I STILL love them.
  • 4 Packages of 6-1-1/4" Chenille Easter Chicks - 24 Total Chicks
  • Things from the quarter machines
      • Tiny ninjas, fake gemstone rings, tiny Domos...the possibilities are endless.  Bring a bag of quarters and settle in for a while.
  • Some people put money in theirs - we've used loose change before.  I'm pretty sure sending money to school in eggs is a bad idea though.  Shoot, maybe they'd teach the kids poker if we sent chips?
I think I've come up with some pretty good thoughts here...and besides, it's only sort of about what's in the egg.  The hunt is really the best part.  Although if you had some springy snakes, ala the "Nut Jar" prank that would fit in Easter eggs, I'd pay good money to see how that went.
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