Planning for more than just an Easter egg hunt in preschool

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on April 5, 2012

in Easter, Holiday Ideas, Planning the Easter Egg hunt

We had our Easter egg hunt and party a little early because Spring Break happened to fall this week and we wouldn’t be in school. It was such a beautiful day which helped make our day go perfectly…

As you can see, thanks to many donations of Easter eggs from our parents as well as the plastic eggs I happened to provide,  the children came out quite well in their Easter egg hunt but the hunt itself was only part of our day.  We had an entire day of  fun egg- related activities planned and the grand finale to our day was the Easter egg hunt…

Because the children were going to spend the day anticipating the big hunt, I had to make sure that the activities we did beforehand were hands-on and fun – especially since I knew the children would come to preschool with big expectations and high levels of excitement…

We stayed with our normal routine for the most part throughout the day but I eliminated almost anything from our day that would require the children to have to give me their best concentration. After all, who wants to concentrate on anything all that seriously when there are bright, colorful, candy – filled Easter eggs just waiting outside for the taking…

I specifically chose to read the book, “There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Chick!” by Lucille Colandro because it is fun and sparks lots of conversation along the way. The children enjoyed the book and some of them asked me to read it again but we moved on with our day so the children wouldn’t get restless…

After our morning circle, the children were sent off on their way to explore the different Easter or Spring related centers we had made available throughout the classroom. I suppose I could have tried to plan a day with specific games like “pin the cotton ball tail on the bunny” or “bunny rabbit relay races” which can be fun for sure.  But I have found that structured games like this require preschoolers to stand around and do a lot of waiting for their turn. In my own experience, when you are going to have a day where enthusiasm will be high – it is best to keep things as open ended as possible. So we kept the day very free-play focused so the children could direct their energy into what they would enjoy instead of waiting for me to tell them what to do next all day…

We had plastic eggs in the water tubs…

Animal, bug, cupcake, and robot shaped plastic eggs set out with the play dough…

Bright and colorful shredded paper (DIY Easter grass) set out with crayons, glue and paper…

The children used the materials to create Easter grass collages or spring flowers…

I thought this flower turned out quite lovely and demonstrated a great deal of concentration and self-regulation in spite of being so excited about the up and coming Easter Egg Hunt…

And we also had out our pipe cleaner Easter Egg table which I have already shared with you in a previous post…

After a morning of Easter related centers, we cleaned up and had snack. For snack, the children ate Easter shaped cookies with some Easter egg dip…

And then it was time to head outdoors to collect Easter eggs. That very handsome guy out there is my husband – he hid all the eggs for us then came out to help us find the eggs the children had overlooked…

And then the children came back inside and opened everything up. The children loved this part of our day. They sat down together and shared with each other all their amazing finds.  They were allowed to even eat their candy! Yikes!  You might be thinking that this is not a good idea, but I will tell you the children stayed on that carpet for a very long time enjoying their Easter egg finds together…

We were now at the end of our day (remember we are a half day preschool program) so the children picked out what they wanted to take home and piled it into their back packs but we had one more thing to do which was going to require a little concentration…

We still had to share our math bags! I had forgot to tell the parents that we might skip math today so we went ahead and ran through our math bags during our last few minutes of the day…

Good thing we went through the math bags because several of the kids had brought some amazing math tokens like chocolate Easter eggs and clovers! The children always love math but they were just a little silly through the process…

So that was our big day! It was an amazing day to spend with my preschoolers and it was our very last day before Spring Break. If you are planning an Easter egg hunt or party for your classroom, I hope it goes extremely well and everyone has a terrific time!

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