easter is an interesting holiday to me; being a person that is in no way religious i find the holiday itself a bit strange. i knew from the beginning that our home would not be a place where the easter bunny stopped by to visit, but as a child who loved her tootsie roll banks i knew we wanted to celebrate the day of chocolate bunnies and resurrection. okay, more chocolate bunnies and less fairytale.
i came up with the idea to send the kids on an in home treasure hunt while watching the easter egg hunting weather turn sour a few days leading up to the holiday. i had a basic idea of what i wanted ge to experience, but the idea unfolded after the presents were bought and the husband and i sat down with a pad of paper and newly bought markers. the husband suggested that we cover the home in misleading clues mixed in with the obvious. i suggested that we end the hunt in riddles to make the big presents a bit more thought provoking. ge brought the fun home when he figured out what we were doing and became so excited that we no longer cared that it was early morning.
we did minimal candy and more practicality in gift form. games, cars, bottles, pacies, necessities, and the occasional emmie were purchased and hidden throughout our home. ge was given his easter basket with a star taped to the bottom and we tried to explain to him that he needed to find a star in the house that matched the one in his bucket. little man looked around and immediately started naming off the presents he could see, but couldn't quite grasp what we were asking of him. by the third clue he was in, and was off an running as soon as he found his next goal; be it letter, shape, or number.
after the first few clues in he was led to a new basket, a pink basket, and his treasure hunt became his and chunk's treasure hunt, and he so enjoyed being the collector of all gifts. ge would find the clue, open the present, and tell chunk what he found. he was very good at placing the presents in the correct basket and was never jealous that chunk was part of this new game. i don't know if we have seen him so excited for a new adventure and that smart little brain of his was so happy to be so active and so intense in search.
he loved that the letters of the alphabet went in order and would often pause to sing us the alphabet song. clues and eggs were left behind as he went in search of the next piece of paper that would lead him to the next treasure, and so on. we wondered how quickly he would catch on, if he would become bored, but he loved the rate that his basket filled with new treasures and the excitement of the educational aspect of this new easter tradition. he was always so happy to accomplish the next task, to figure out the clues and run throughout the house to pounce upon his hunting grasp. to say that we were proud of him throughout the hunt is an understatement.
the riddles were a point of concern for his dad. was a three year old ready to grasp the concept of begging a question through rhymes? turns out, he was. he blurted out the answers to the riddles seconds after they were asked and those were his favorite moments of the entire hunt. chunk's book, a new bubble gun for ge, and uno moo were perfect gifts to round out a perfect morning.
this is a new tradition in our home for easter. as the kids grow older the elements of the hunt can become more difficult. i look forward to ge always taking the lead in letting the little ones know how to get a treasure hunt done. by the time he was done searching for his treasures we had spent an hour of our easter morning in pure bliss and morning coffee and breakfast tasted even sweeter than thought possible.
we finished off our easter day by taking a 3 hour tour of our area by way of the schuylkill trail. we made it to valley forge national park, where george washington housed the revolutionary troops, and the weather gave us a beautiful background for a wonderful family walk. there wasn't a moment in our entire day that wasn't full of laughter and smiles and i will always look back on our first tradition easter with fond memories. especially because warles joined us.
entire photo goodness can be found here.