Easter is on its way! With it comes all the unhealthy candy, endless plastic packaging and those useless stuffers and toys that inevitably end up in the trash. If you cringe a little too when you walk through the large box retailers scanning for anything healthy, waste-free, cost-effective and not completely useless check out some of our ideas on how to green up Easter for the kids!
First, if you have already invested in hundreds of plastic eggs like me, don't toss them, pack them up and keep using them year after year. If you're all done with them consider donating them to a local egg hunt event near you or a church.
At our home we make Easter about the hunt, but because we often overdo it we have multiple layers to our Easter day celebration. I find myself continually rediscovering that less is more with my kids. They do not digest nor do they appreciate all the extra we throw into things. Remember when we were young, we colored our hard boiled eggs, the Easter Bunny came and our pour mothers counted diligently the number of eggs to be hidden for fear of that rotten egg! That simple dozen is still a fond memory and still a great simple solution to all the Easter festivities.
On top of our egg hunt we do an eggstravaganza scavenger hunt with little eggs filled with clues leading our little ones to their baskets. The paper clue inside the egg leading them to their next location is our kids all time favorite Easter activity.
For filling those plastic eggs because alas mustn't we all do it at some point, here are my best tips to keep it cost-effective, waste-free and junk free.
1. Change - Whether they can count it or just like putting it in their piggy bank they seem to like it just as much as anything stuffed in them!
2. Bulk Food - Hit the bulk food sections for treats (check out our Green Kitchen Basics page for bulk food bags). Lots of varieties of candies, gummies, nuts and dried fruit hidden in this section make for all sorts of awesome bunny snacks.
3. The Puzzler - Buy one age appropriate puzzle, put it together flip it over and write a clue on the back to the hiding place of the Easter basket or the scavenger hunt start location. Put a piece or few in the eggs and have your kids solve the mystery after the hunt. Or simply have them do the puzzle after the hunt, they may need to work together to trade pieces to get their puzzle put together.
4. Seed Packets - Easter is an awesome time to get your garden started and planting carrots for the Easter Bunny or flowers for the birds and the bees is always something kids can get excited about. Check out seeds for kids and gardens under the "Garden & Patio," tab in the "Sustainable Home," section!
However you choose for your kids to find their baskets I always try to stay true to the idea that the eggs are about the fun of the hunt and the baskets are the prize! So fuss less about those eggs and check out our eco-friendly toy section to add stimulating, healthy and safe toys and crafts to your kids basket. See also our natural non-toxic egg dying kits from Eco-Eggs!
Last but not least remember to buy recycled crinkle paper for stuffing and to stay away from those plastic baskets. My tip, find a wood basket where the handles come down so they are easy to store. Check out Etsy or Amazon for custom name wood baskets that can be used year after year!