Family Fun Easter Games

Since Valentine’s Day was on Saturday this year, I decided to prepare a few quick and fun games for my family to play before we enjoyed our usual homemade surf and turf dinner.  I’ll share the details about those games close to Valentine’s Day next year.  But for now, I’ll tell you that we had so much fun that we decided to make Valentine’s games an annual tradition. 

Why am I telling you this?  Because, apparently, our Valentine’s Games inspired my sweet Lovebug to plan some Easter games for our family to play this weekend.  Honestly, could she be any cuter?  

I wanted to be sure we had all the supplies for the games she had planned, so we talked through and tested them today.  Here are the games Lovebug came up with:

Classic Egg on a Spoon Race
Egg Race
Traditionally, this game is played by having each person place a raw egg on a spoon and racing from one point to another.  But, we are playing with a five year old, so we will be using hard boiled eggs that we decorated for Easter.  Less mess = less clean up = happy mommy.


Egg in Balloon Toss

Egg in Balloon TossMy creative child came up with this one on her own.  She wanted to put an egg in a balloon then, essentially play a game of catch.  The challenge was that the balloon would go up, like a normal balloon would, but then the egg would hit the bottom of the balloon mid-air and the balloon would come crashing down super quick.  The object of the game is to keep the egg from cracking in the balloon.  If the egg cracks, both the thrower and the catcher would be out.  Since there was only three of us playing, that meant that the person not participating in that particular turn won.  But, if you have a big group, you can have extra materials on hand so you can continue playing until there is one person left.  
Notes: We found that sometimes the balloon would pop but the egg would survive.  So, extra materials are kind of necessary for this game.  We also learned that this game can be messy.  In one turn, the balloon popped and the egg cracked at the same time… on Lovebug’s head.  I’m so glad that this game was her idea and not mine! 

Here’s how we got the egg into the balloon:Egg in Balloon Toss 2


1. Carefully pull the balloon open.

2.  Have someone with super cute hands carefully press the balloon into the opening.  Note: Cute hands are optional, but really helpful.  
3.  Gently, walk your fingers up, while moving the egg down into the balloon.
4.  Then blow the balloon up, like you normally would.

Lovebug had a few more games planned but they were either not logistically possible or they weren’t actually games.  For example, one game she came up with was to put an egg in water and see what happens.  I’m pretty sure that isn’t a game, and if it was, it would be the longest. game. ever.

Here are the games I came up with / found online and added to the mix: 

Egg Blowing RaceBlowing Egg Race

Create a race track by laying washi or other tape on a table.  Make sure that the track is at least 4 inches wide and that all the players will be able to access the track in it’s entirety (i.e. little players might have trouble getting all the way through the track if it is in the center of the table).  Place a raw egg at the beginning of the track and have each participant take turns blowing the egg to get it to the finish line.  The trick here is that yolk in the egg will move around causing the egg to meander left and right as you blow.  The object of the game is to get the egg to the end of the track without it going outside of the race lines.  You could also time this game.
Weighted Egg

Weighted Egg
In this game, we gathered 10 plastic eggs and filled each one with increasing number of jellybeans, starting with 1, then 2, then 3, and continuing until we ended with 10.  Then, we closed the eggs and mixed them up.  The object of the game was to put the eggs in order, starting with the one with one jelly bean and ending with the one with ten jelly beans, by feeling their weight and/or shaking them.

Egg Sticker Picker Upper

I found the instructions for this game here.  They have a bunch of Easter Game ideas and this one is Game 3.
Egg Sticker Picker Upper

I can’t wait for Easter!!  We are a pretty competitive family, so this should be interesting! 

Are you doing anything fun to celebrate Easter?  I’d love to hear about games you have planned so we can add to our collection!

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I was hoping to get this post up yesterday, but life happened.  Sorry!  I was able to get the post finished so I thought I’d put it up today rather than waiting until next week.  Hope you don’t mind me mixing things up a bit! 
Earlier this year, I made a simple burlap wreath to use as a backdrop for seasonal decorations in my home.  Each month, I am changing the embellishments on the burlap wreath to create entirely new wreaths to celebrate holidays, seasons, etc.  

Here is how I embellished my burlap wreath so far:
Easter is on April 20th so naturally I embellished my burlap wreath with Easter decorations this month.   I toyed with a bunch of ideas, most of which involved colorful plastic eggs, but ultimately decided that I wanted to have some bunny ears popping up over the wreath.  Once I settled on the bunny ears, I thought about how I could add some color to the wreath.  That’s where a simple paper flag banner came in.  I had all the materials for the banner on hand so I just had to pick up a stuffed animal to make my new burlap wreath.  
I absolutely love how it turned out and the best part is that I was able to pull this wreath together in under 15 minutes!  I’m all about quick projects now that I have a little one to contend with!  Quick and cute is the perfect combination!
Easter Burlap Wreath

Burlap wreath
Colorful craft paper
Glue stick
Alphabet stickers
Bunny rabbit stuffed animal

How I made it:

I started by picking six colorful craft papers.  I found bright colors that complemented each other in my scrap paper pile.

 Then, using my ruler, pencil and scissors, I cut a triangle out of one piece of paper, making sure it would be big enough to fit my alphabet stickers on.

Then I used this as my template for the other paper.  I traced two triangles on each paper.

Then, I cut my triangles out.

 Next, I attached my alphabet stickers onto the triangles.

Then, I spread a thin line of glue on the top of each of my triangles and attached them to my ribbon.   I made sure to leave about 5 inches of ribbon on either side of my letters so that I could attach the banner to my wreath.

How to make a paper flag banner

I attached my flag banner to the wire frame of my wreath.  My flag banner says “HOPPY EASTER” since I’m decorating with a bunny.  It’s just a little more fun. 🙂

I found this little bunny on sale at Michaels.  But, the ears were floppy and  I needed them to have some structure. So I added some pipe cleaner to each ear.

I just cut a tiny hole at the base of the ear.

Then I folded my pipe cleaner in half…

and fed it through the small hole, starting with the bent side.  I pushed it through and spread each side of the pipe cleaner along each side of the ear.

Then, I attached my bunny to the back of my wire frame using some ribbon.

The pipe cleaner makes it so the ears can be molded to stand up.  So, I arranged the ears and the feet so that they were visible.  I like that it looks like my little bunny is climbing up my wreath.

And I was done!  My new embellishments cost my less than $5 and make such an impact! I love it!
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We hosted an Easter Egg Hunt last weekend and I made these cute bunny ears and tissue paper tails as party favors for the kids.  They also served as the perfect props for our Easter Bunny Races!  Once the kids were decked out in the bunny ears and tails, they lined up at the starting line and hopped to the finish.  For older kids, you might consider letting them make their own ears and tails then having them do an Easter  Egg/Spoon Relay Race.   The kids seemed to love their ears and tails and the races were a great way for them to burn off all the sugar they had consumed from the egg hunt treats and dessert!  Win – win!!
The ears and tails are super quick and easy to make.  In fact, I was able to knock out 6 of each in about 30-45 minutes.   Plus, they make a big impact with a small budget!  So fun and festive!
Bunny Ears and Tissue Paper Tails

Tissue Paper “Cotton” Tails
Materials for one tail:
1 sheet of 20″ x 24″ white tissue paper
about 4 feet of yarn or ribbon

1.  Lay the sheet of tissue paper flat.
2-3.  Fold the long side of the tissue paper into thirds.
4-5.  Then, fold the short side of the tissue paper into thirds as well.
6.  Unfold the tissue paper and cut along the creases, creating 9 small rectangular pieces.
7.  Stack the 9 small pieces of tissue paper on top of one another.
8.  Then fold the stack of tissue paper into roughly one inch lengths, accordion style.
9.  Lay your length of yarn or ribbon under the center of the folded tissue paper.
10.  Tie the yarn/ribbon into a tight knot, leaving extra yarn/ribbon to wrap around the waists and tie a bow.
11.  Spread the ends of the accordion out.
12. Gently separate the pieces of tissue paper, creating a ball shape.

Your “cotton” tail is done!

Bunny Ears
I used this tutorial to make the ears.  But, instead of using poster board, I used two sheets of card stock taped together to make the crown.

Tie the “cotton” tails around your bunny’s waist and secure the ears with a couple bobby pins.  Your bunny is ready for Easter Bunny Races or snacking on carrots from your garden!!

On your marks, get set, HOP!

Make sure your bunny is well hydrated after the Easter bunny races!

So fun!

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Today is Persian New Year!  The Persian New Year is based on the lunar calendar, making the first day of Spring the first day of the new year.  There are several celebrations in the Persian New Year festivities that remind me of a mixture of Christmas, New Years and Easter at the same time.
Things begin with a thorough cleaning of your home – similar to a spring cleaning.  Persian culture is based on a lot of symbolism and this symbolizes throwing out old things in order to make room for new things.  The first event is called ‘Shahbe Chahar Shanbe Suri’ and is held on the last Wednesday before the New Year.  On this day, we typically wear the color red and literally jump over small bonfires while singing a traditional song.  This act symbolizes the changing of the seasons and rebirth. 
The next celebration is held on the New Year, usually on March 20th. We set up a table called a ‘haft-sin’ 13 days before the New Year and decorate it with seven symbolic items that start with the letter ‘S’ in Farsi as well as a few additional items.  Just like with any other New Years celebration, we celebrate when the clock strikes a certain time by sharing kisses, hugs and wishing one another a wonderful year ahead.  Over the next couple weeks, it is customary to visit family and friends to wish them well in the New Year.  Another custom is that children are given gifts of crisp new money.

Here is a list of the items that are typically placed on the ‘Haft-Sin’, what they are called in Farsi and what they symbolize:

Holy book, Koran representing wisdom
Painted eggs representing fertility
Vinegar (serkeh) representing age and patience
Garlic (seer) representing medicine
Apples (seeb) representing health and beauty
Sumac berries (somaq) representing the color of sunrise
Wheat sprout pudding (samanu) representing affluence
Wild rue which is a sacred herb to ward off evil
Dried fruit of lotus tree (senjed) representing love
Wheat grass sprouts (sabzeh) representing rebirth
Hyacinth flowers (sonbol) representing spring
Candles representing enlightenment and happiness
Mirror representing images and reflections of Creation
Persian pastries to offer guest who come visit you
Fish representing life*
* We had a traumatic experience with a beta fish so we no longer include fish in our ‘haft sin’.
The final part of the celebration is called ‘Sizdah Behdar’ and it happens 13 days after the New Year.  On this day, we gather with family and friends at local parks for a picnic and traditionally the wheat grass grown for the ‘haft-sin’ table is thrown into running water (like a lake or river).  This symbolizes the removal of bad luck from your home. 
Can you see how this celebration is reminiscent of Christmas, New Years and Easter combined? Decorating the ‘haft-sin’ is similar to decorating a Christmas Tree and the gifts of new money are similar to gifts given at Christmas, New Years is obviously very much like New Years on any other calendar and we are out at the parks having picnics much like families might do on Easter. The only element that I couldn’t relate was the bonfire jumping… Yeah, I’m stumped.

I am drawn to simple decorations and clean lines so the ‘haft-sin’ tables that I create are more modern than most.

Traditional ‘haft sin’ tables are lavishly decorated with rich colors, elaborate decorations and ornate details.   Here are some examples to give you an idea:
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Happy Persian New Year!

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