Guest post from Leanne of Sloth and Stork
Easter always puts a spring in my crafty step, as a nanny of over 5 years working with toddlers and pre-schoolers I love this time of year for finding ways to keep the kids busy, learning and having fun.
From making chocolate nest treats, learning about a chickens life cycle, Easter scavenger hunting and building dens for the Easter bunny (to take a break from delivering eggs, obviously)….as nannies, we work hard for our bunny!
With lockdown keeping families all cooped up, trying to occupy little minds, while working from home (and secretly binge-watching Working Moms) planning activities to keep them from staring at a screen all day has been made almost impossible.
And while it’s fine for me to sip coffee at my desk, serenely gazing out of the window, writing about crafts and activities to keep kids busy…I know that you’re at home with small people running around, tugging at your sleeve, asking to be fed (again) or shouting that their brother has just stuck Olaf in the toilet.
As you tuck them into bed, quietly breathing a sigh of relief, you should be settling in to a night of adult time, safe in the knowledge that the next day is filled with things to keep them busy, creative and learning.
Which is why I’ve collated my years of experience with toddlers and pre-schoolers and my time off to come up with this list of the top 10 fun Easter activities for toddlers and pre-schoolers – to give you a very well deserved break! Think of me as your virtual nanny.
1. Make Easter bunting
A great way to kick off an Easter themed activity week is to decorate their playroom or bedroom with their own handmade Easter bunting.
2. Easter egg nest treats
Now I know what you’re thinking, baking (especially with more than one toddler) can be chaos! Visions of ‘flour snow’ becoming a thing and a three hour clean-up effort afterwards are a real threat, but I guarantee that Easter egg nests really are a very quick and easy thing to make together.
Remember to allow for a few ‘tastes’ in between and to be ok for them to get a little messy, it’s half the fun!
This is the recipe I always use, super easy and delicious!
*For a healthier alternative, cover the cornflakes in Sweet Freedom’s Choc Shot. It’s a chocolate syrup that’s all natural, plant based and a vegan alternative with no palm oil, plus it tastes amazing! I’m guilty of adding it to coffee, cereal and almost everything at home.
3. Garden Easter scavenger hunt
After all that chocolate they’ll need a way to release the excess energy. Hide some Easter themed toys (Tevi Toys makes some gorgeous things) around the garden (or in the house on a rainy day), and play hot and cold. Then switch it up and let them hide the toys and help you find them.
4. Decorate an Easter egg picture
This is another great way to encourage confidence in their creations by displaying them in the house as the official Easter decorations. I’ve made an activity pack with 10 printable resources, one of them being an Easter egg to decorate, you can find it here for £1!
5. Easter egg potato stamping
You don’t have to be an expert Whittler to do this one, I promise. Cut a medium sized potato in half, leaving an oval Eater egg shape.
I’d suggest poster paint for this, remember to offer lots of colours, or mix colours for a bit of experimentation and let the kids stamp away! Once the paint has dried, they can stick, colour or draw on their eggs to decorate.
Alternatively, if you’re very ambitious, cut the shapes straight into the potato and colour each section differently like they have here on The Best Ideas for Kids.
6. Toilet roll tube chick
This is something every household seems to have in abundance at the moment, so supplies shouldn’t be hard to come by!
Have the kids paint the toilet roll tube yellow, while they’re painting cut out an orange triangle for the beak and a wavy two toed shape for the feet (or have the kids colour white paper orange). Use googly eyes or cut these out from paper too and stick it all together.
For the wings you could use yellow feathers, or cut out a wing shape from orange (or orange hand-coloured) paper and stick those on too. Add a little white feather tuft for embellishment if you have feathers.
Make a few of these and they’re great centre pieces for an Easter themed lunch on Sunday!
Have a look at the ones Powerful Mothering made here for some inspiration.
7. Play Sleeping Bunnies
The beloved game that has them quiet and then having the time of their lives jumping up and down over and over again!
If you have Alexa or Google, asking them to play ‘Sleeping Bunnies’ should be all you need, alternatively you can find the song online here.
Following the song lyrics, have the children lie down and ‘sleep’, then when it’s time for the little bunnies to hop, the kids jump up and hop, hop, hop until the song settles down again into ‘see the sleeping bunnies’, when they ‘go back to sleep’ until it’s time to hop again.
8. Make Easter banana biscuits
A healthy, quick and easy thing to make with little ones standing on a chair next to you trying to taste everything all at once. This is another easy recipe from BBC Food, you don’t have to use soy flour, regular plain flour works fine. You could also add a few oats or honey for a different flavour.
Decorate with Sweet Freedoms chocolate sauce, some speckled eggs, coloured icing or honey and cinnamon for a healthier alternative.
9. Make an Easter card for family
Granny and Grandpa love nothing more than getting something in the post from the darling grandchildren, especially now, if they haven’t been able to see them during isolation. So why not use the opportunity to teach the kids about kindness and make an Easter themed card for someone in the family that they could post it to.
Paint or ink thumbprints are an easy way for toddlers to create chicks, Easter eggs or an Easter basket on their card, like these from Fun Family Crafts. Alternatively merge two activities together and have them do activity no. 4 decorate an Easter egg and make that the cover of your card.
10. Easter busy box and sensory play
All toddlers love pouring, sorting and playing with water or grains in a tub. It’s a great way to develop sensory experiences and will keep them busy for a long time.
For a few Easter busy box ideas, add coloured rice (if you have time to dye rice) or coloured craft paper straw to the base of the box. Then add any relevant toys, an egg carton, pom poms, flowers, books or craft accessories that could tie into an Easter theme (chicks, rabbits, eggs, toy food etc.).
As a slightly messier alternative, add different coloured food colouring to water in small containers and put them in a bigger tub (to keep liquids contained). Then give the kids jugs, clean syringes, pipettes or funnels and other small cups for them to pour and mix together.
Alternatively, fill the tub with dried pasta, couscous or plain rice and any Easter themed small world toys plus spoons and small containers to mix and add the dried ingredients to.
Check out the one Danya Banya made for some inspiration here.
These 10 Easter activities should help to keep them busy, learning and creative all week leading up to Easter. For more fun ideas, check out this activity pack of 10 printable resources to add to your Easter week! And before you start to panic, thinking what then!? What happens after Easter, when these activities are done and they’re running in circles on a sugar rush from all of the Easter fun.
Fret not, if you’re looking for a much longer break ie. the whole year off from planning, organising, googling and Pinterest board saving, I’ve created Creative Block, an ebook of weekly themed plans for every month of the year, plus 50 meal plans, 35 messy play activities, 20 game ideas for outside and indoors and 10 printable resources. Use the coupon code CREATIVEBLOCK for 15% off.
Which was your favourite Easter activity?
Happy Easter and stay safe!
Leanne (your virtual nanny),
Sloth and Stork (your virtual busy box)