Things I Wished the Easter Bunny Had Included in a Memo!
For the past many years, our church has hosted an Annual Easter Egg Hunt for our ministry. One rather mammoth hunt is prepared for all the children of our church members, and there are offshoots of this hunt in different areas—bus routes, etc. I have the privilege of working with Bro. Thompson, our administrative pastor and bus director, and Bro. Moyer, our Sunday school director, in planning and perpetuating this yearly “eggs-travaganza.”
Below are some tips that have helped us in recent years, and we hope they will be a help to you as you plan your own Easter egg hunts for your church:
Order supplies in advance. One year, our vendor had run out of plastic Easter eggs; but because the products were being shipped, I did not know this until the eggs arrived… just a few days before Easter Sunday. Now, granted, it’s not such a big deal; but it is when the rest of the world is cleaning out every WalMart and Target and Dollar Tree in desperate search of them!
Disperse eggs and supplies through the different ministries. One year, I got it into my head that all the plastic eggs could be stuffed and real eggs boiled through my office. That idea has since been kicked to the curb. If I pause long enough, I can still remember the smell of boiling eggs and see said pot of boiling eggs crash onto the kitchen floor. As the scorching water seeped into my shoes, I could tell from the yellowy tinge of the water that the eggs hadn’t boiled all the way.
Now, we disperse the various eggs and supplies to the different groups (buses, Spanish Ministry, etc.) at least a few days before Easter Sunday or the Saturday right before, and those groups assemble their items themselves. I still am responsible for the main hunt for the church family; but the wonderful teenagers, college students, and ladies of our church stop by the week before to help fill eggs.
Purchase bags for the children. Not all children remember to bring baskets or bags to collect their eggs. We order bags—not too big, so as to not disappoint those who may not have a keen eye and quick hand for hunting—and distribute them right before the hunt.
Divide the children, if possible. Pit a second grader against a three-year old—who will emerge victorious, especially when a piece of candy is at stake? This year, we had an area for first grade and below and another area for second through sixth grade. The age division has varied throughout the years, but this arrangement seems to work well.
Set aside some eggs. A few years ago, my niece did not find ANY eggs. Out of the 3,000+ eggs in the field, she came back with none. Nothing! The other children, like a cunning, indomitable swarm of locusts, had swept the field in one graceful arch; and regrettably for my niece, her little legs could not keep up. This year, my little nephews endured the same misfortune. But alas, what is that over there? A huge pile of eggs not previously there before! Could it be?
Be flexible with the weather. For our main church hunt, we usually set out the eggs an hour or two before the actual event. The reason is that, in our area, one cannot be certain whether it will rain or not; so we have found it best to wait until the last possible minute. Also, if the eggs contain chocolate, they are less likely to melt in the sun.
On a related note, consider the candies you order for these hunts. Think about how long the eggs will be sitting in the sun and what kinds would be safe for younger children. Also, consider whether the candies will fit inside the eggs. I have learned the very hard and humbling way that some do not, regardless of how much tape you use and how misshapen the piece of candy becomes.
Tape the plastic eggs shut. It’s a little extra effort; but when those eggs threaten to pop open in the field or as you hide them, you’ll be glad for that little piece of tape or sticker keeping them closed.
Use a loudspeaker. Some folks call them bullhorns. These are especially helpful as Bro. Thompson goes over the guidelines with the parents and kids just prior to the hunt.