Friday, March 30, 2012

Dear Mommy Egg Hunt


Dear Mommy Egg Hunt,

My kiddos are definitely looking forward to you, a yearly tradition that I created a few years ago.  You are a spiced-up egg hunt, or a cross between a treasure and egg hunt that is fun, fun, fun!

Since I did not experience egg hunts while I was growing up, it occurred to me my kids will never know the Easter Bunny the way they know Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.  Two years ago, I set up an egg hunt in our house for the kiddos, and they knew that Mommy put it together.  Sorry kiddos; it seems that you will probably always think that the Easter Bunny is a creature that is supposed to be associated with egg hunts.  Which brings me to wonder how soon it will be before they make the connection that since Mommy is the Easter Bunny, then who really is Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy?

Years ago, we participated in park district egg hunts.  The organizers usually used a large grassy area, dumped out a huge bag of plastic eggs, blew the whistle, and created a mad dash frenzy of kids and grownups alike.  We soon saw that these egg hunts became a race for parents -- to see which adult can run more kids over so they can snatch the eggs right before the little ones.  It was such an infuriating sight to see that we soon decided not to go feed that madness anymore.  I would create our own egg hunt in the comfort of our own home.

As soon as Dear Daughter learned how to read, I took over the Easter Bunny's job and held our own egg hunts right at home.  This treasure egg hunt was inspired by my late grandfather, who used to play a treasure hunt game with me when I was a little girl.  He would give me a note with his scribble that said to go find something somewhere.  And when I went there, there would be another note there telling me to go somewhere else.  This chain of notes would continue until I finally find the object I was supposed to find.  It was always turned out to be a nice treat for me.  After we played this game a few times, he then taught me how to set up the chain of notes.  You have to go backwards and plant the notes in each place accordingly.  Once I got the hang of it, I made notes for him to find treasures.  It was such a lovely childhood experience that I kept the memory with me all these years.

So for the egg hunt, the kiddos would wake up to a letter from Mommy and a basket each to collect their eggs.  The letter contained instructions for their Mommy Egg Hunt.  Since DD can read, she was instructed to read aloud the letter and subsequent notes and take Dear Son around the house to find their eggs.  She would take her little brother by his hand (as he was still very little then) and go find the first set of eggs (one for each of them), which sat upon another note, which led to the second set and another note, and so on.  Dear Husband and I followed them with our camera and camcorders, fully reaping the excitement the kiddos were showing during this hunt.  Of course, I had them run all around the house, going upstairs to downstairs, in easy places and not-so-easy hideouts.  The best part was I had made each note into a riddle, and they had to figure out where to go!  Last year, the notes were as follows:

Where you both bathed together when you were kiddos,
But now you don't fit because you're humong-os!  (Their bathroom bathtub) 

Where we put things that can be reused,
Instead of in the garbage or down the trash chute.  (Recycling bin) 

Where I find stinky, icky, smelly socks,
And dirty, muddy, yucky smocks.  (Laundry basket) 

Where we make yummy cookies and cupcakes, 
But must be careful of the heat it makes.  (The oven) 

Where one sleeps when camping under the starry skies,
Except ours is in the activity room all the days and nights.  (Play tent) 

Where DS falls asleep every night,
Before he flees to Mommy's room when there's no light.  (DS' bed) 

When our dirty laundry becomes clean,
And our clothes sparkle with a nice sheen!  (The washer) 

Where there are beans and beans and beans galore,
Before DD and DS spills them all on the floor!  (The play kitchen) 

Where Tyler steps on since he's too short,
It's pink, it stinks, and it snorts.  (Pig step stool) 

Where the Egg Hunt always ends with a surprise,
Where you will find your little gift of delight!  (Under the coffee table)

The very last riddle led to the final surprise, which is usually something special, such as a Pokeball.  Then the kiddos sat down and opened their eggs together (they were not allowed to open them until the very end).  Watching our kiddos do so, DH and I found them complete opposites; DD opened all her eggs and had all the plastic eggs and their contents in one big pile, while DS meticulously sorted all the plastic eggs in one pile and lined up all his prizes and candies in a straight line.  Yes, remember the mention of DS' OCD and AR tendencies?  Case in point.  It was such an eye opener for us parents to see the little differences in them!

It is almost that time of year again.  I've got just over a week to come up with my riddle clues, my stuffed eggs, and plant the eggs and notes after the kiddos go to bed the night before.  I'll have to be more creative with the hiding places this year, since they've had a few years of practice already!

So, Annual Egg Hunt, my kiddos cannot wait to see what you have in store for them this year.  I hope to make it as fun as, if not more, than the previous years. Maybe you will even evolve once DS can read, but I still have a few more years to figure that out.  Happy Hunting!

Sincerely,
Me

6 comments:

  1. This looks like a lot of fun. It may work for us now that my older two can read. Then they just have to drag along their almost 3 year old brother. :-)

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    1. It *is* quite fun! DH claims that I almost have more fun setting the whole thing up than the kiddos finding their eggs! =) For your boys, as long as the older two make sure to take along the younger 3-y-o, they can all have fun egg hunting together.

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  2. My husband's Mom used to hide her kids' easter basket's and have them search through the house for them. I'd like to do that with our kids, but Scott is still all for pumping the 'oh look at these fake characters, they are so real' garbage down their throats, so I think it's going to be another year. Because I can only write so many things a year in character without my kids being IN ON THE JOKE. I like your way wayyy better.

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    1. Thanks for making me feel better about botching up the Easter Bunny's identity! Now I need to get busy... although I have a feeling this will become a last minute setup next weekend.

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  3. Too cute. It's funny - we have only done one or two egg hunts - one at the zoo in St Louis where parents weren't allowed and one at the park district when they were maybe 2. Neither had the parent pushing you described, but we were discussing that phenomenon at our family Easter dinner yesterday. My parents do the egg hunt now - which was moved last minute to my house sadly - and we have the same difference in egg opening. I love how little things like this really show personalities!

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    1. That is so nice that your parents do the egg hunt for the wee ones! Hmmm. I wonder if I can guess which of your wee ones likes all his ducks lined up in a row?! =)

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