It’s hard to get your families together to get to know each other at daycare. It also can be hard to plan a fun Easter celebration for your family that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg or work you to death preparing.
At Little Sprouts we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus with a big Easter blow out. Parties are a great way to get families involved in the daycare. I ask a parent to tell the Easter story, we hunt prize filled eggs, and then enjoy lunch together. I make a main dish and each family brings a dish to go with it. Doing a potluck party lets other people get involved in the cooking and makes it much easier for me.
This year we had different lunch meats and cheeses with loaves of sliced homemade bread and cheese dip and tortilla chips. Families brought avocado, black bean and corn dip, and desserts. Only three families were able to come, but we still had a great time, and the kids who attended made a huge haul on eggs!
Each year at Little Sprouts, we have an Easter Resurrection party, a Gingerbread decorating party (click here to check it out), and a Garden open house (click here to check it out) for the families. Parents and siblings are invited to join us for family fun. We also have a Mom’s night out for Moms only (click here to check it out). Parent involvement is of paramount importance. When families are invited to be a part of the child’s education, they gain so much. Seeing kids interact with their friends, seeing you interact with their children, and spending time at the facility are all great ways for parents to get more information about what goes on in their children’s daily experiences. And kids LOVE when Mom and Dad come to see their school!
Preparation for the party was a cinch this year. I made a few loaves of homemade bread and sliced them up and put them in the freezer, then I visited the deli for lunch meats and cheeses and dumped together some queso in the crockpot and made iced tea the morning of the party. Then we head out to “hide” the eggs before people come. Any time you put out homemade bread, it’s a winner.
A month or so before the party, I start stuffing Easter eggs. I fill some with candy, some with toys and some with dollars. I did about 700 eggs total because I like the kids to get a lot of eggs. I didn’t realize they would get THAT many eggs this year, but I’m still glad I did it. I usually put about 20 one dollar bills in the eggs, two 5 dollar bills and a grand prize of a 10 dollar bill in one egg. I don’t put the prizes in the gold eggs so no one knows where they are. I’m sneaky like that! The toys I did this year were little fuzzy chicks and bunnies made of pom poms. The kids always love those. I also had a couple of big eggs I put match box cars in. Everyone got a lot of good stuff. I love watching the families open the eggs and see what’s inside.
After they empty their eggs, they dump them in a big plastic tote so I can reuse them the following year. I don’t care if they take some or all of them, but most parents appreciate not taking them home and having them all over the house with all the other eggs the kids hunted at church and home. When I was the children’s Pastor at our church, I recycled the eggs there too and no one seemed to mind. I hate the thought of throwing all that plastic in the landfill and then wasting my money to buy more the next year. I just say keep them if you want them but if you don’t want them, I will take them. Then people do what they want.
Another thing we do to save waste is use real plates to eat on. I have plenty of paper plates, but why use them when it just takes a minute to wash a few plates? I don’t have a lot of silverware or glasses so we have to use some plastic, but I keep it as minimal as possible whenever I can. Our dishwasher broke the night before the party this year, and it still just took a few minutes to wash up the plates we used at the party. Just because you throw a party doesn’t mean you have to throw all of your eco-friendly habits out the window. My families thought it was odd at first to see real plates, but they are used to it now. No big deal.
When everyone arrives, the kids gather around the story teller. I usually offer resurrection eggs to the person telling the story and most of the time they use them. They are a dozen plastic eggs each filled with a little part of the Easter story such as a rock, a cup, silver coins, or whatever. The reader tells the story as the kids open the eggs to show the part of the story and it illustrates what happened during the crucifixion and resurrection. I think it’s a great hands on way of sharing the story with the kids that helps them remember what Jesus went through. Our story teller did a great job this year. Of course you don’t have to include the story, but I’m not about the bunny, I’m about my Savior, so for me, there’s no reason to have an Easter party without the story.
Then we head out to the hunt. This year our regular hunting area was very muddy, so we used our expansion garden (click here to see what the expansion garden is) to “hide” the eggs. It was a dry and is enclosed with a fence so the kid knew where to hunt. The raised beds made it kind of like an Easter maze so that was cool. With the mass of eggs per person we did have a few small complaints about aching backs and such, but who would have known it would be so strenuous to find all the eggs.
Next we head to the back yard to check out our spoils and then it’s time for lunch! It’s a super fun day for everyone and I keep the fuss to a minimum to make it fun for me as well. I want to have a laid back day full of joy instead of anyone killing themselves to make sure everything is perfect. After everyone leaves we clean up the mess and it’s all over. It’s such a fun way to help families connect and to spend time with parents. I can’t think of anything better.
How do you celebrate Easter with your special people?