Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Party and Egg Hunt

I put together a fun Easter Party and Egg Hunt for 35 kids earlier today and survived.

Actually it wasn't bad at all.  Yes, there were 35 kids at my home about ages 2-12, however 10 parents stayed to help out so I didn't have to do that much.

Most of the party was prepared for a day or two in advance so I just had to set things up that morning.

Once the guests started to arrived, I gave my little speech about the various activities and let them have fun.

All in all it was pretty stress free.  So how did I pull it off?
1.  Use my strengths and delegate my weaknesses
In my case, I love to plan the activities.  I am not good when it comes to making food.  So when I invited people (through Facebook and email), I let them know that I would be providing the games, prizes and egg hunt, but would not be providing any food/candy.  If they wanted to help out they could bring a treat or individually wrapped candy.

2.  Plan every detail
I'm a planner.  I love to make lists.  It started with a list of games to play.  From their I wrote down the supplies needed for the games and which room the games would be set up in.  I also planned to recruit any parents that stayed to help oversee one of the games.

3.  Prepare in advance
Knowing everything I needed made it easy to prepare in advance.  Most of the stuff I had such as the crayons and paper plates.  Some stuff I needed to buy like more glue sticks.  And some stuff I had to make such as printing out the Roll-A-Rabbit rules and Egg Decorating Coloring sheets.


4.  Allow plenty of time to set up
Since I knew where each game would take place, I knew what to set up in each room.  I started to put things out and move furniture the night before.  I finished this up the morning of the party, starting right after breakfast.  The party was set for 1pm, so I had about 5 hours to get ready.  All three kids were home but mostly played or watched T.V., you know, staying out of my way so I could get things done.
 

5.  Be flexible because it won't turn out according to plan
I had planned on having 4 individual activities and then a few group games.  This didn't work out because some of the kids finished early and we went ahead and started the group games.  I still made sure to do one group game with the entire group before heading out to the egg hunt.  This allowed all the kids to be in one place so I could announce the winners of the contests and to tell them the rules of the egg hunt.

If you are interested in more details and pictures, continue reading.

Like I said, I started with a plan.  I thought up a few games to do besides the egg hunt and made sure to communicate that plan when people arrived.  I even had it listed on the office door so they could see what there was to do and which room to go to.  I also had a list of things the parents could help with so I wouldn't have to oversee it all.

As far as what games we did, here's the run down:

There were 4 games they could do anytime, any order:
1.  Pin the Nose on the Bunny
2.  Guess the number of Skittles in the jar
3.  Roll-A-Rabbit
4.  Egg Coloring Contest

Then there were some group games:
5.  Spoon/Cotton Ball relay
6.  Story Time
7.  Hot Carrot

Then the announcement of the winners and handing out prizes, rules of the egg hunt and finally the egg hunt itself which also included prizes, snacks and the egg return.

Here's more detail about each game/activity:

1.  Pin the Nose on the Bunny
I got some poster board and drew a bunny on it.  It was going to be pin the tail on the bunny, but gluing cotton balls sounded like it could get messy, so I used some little sticky tabs instead and decided to call it Pin the Nose on the Bunny.

2.  Guess the number of Skittles in the jar
This was easy to set up, although a bit time consuming in counting out 368 Skittles to put in the jar.  That's just how many I had on hand after using Skittles and the same jar to make my husband's Valentine's Day gift.  (You can read more about that HERE.)
There were instructions, paper and pens at this station so the kids could put their name and guess on a piece of paper and into the green bucket.
During one of the group activities a parent went through the guesses to determine the winner.  A prize was awarded right before the egg hunt.

3.  Roll-A-Rabbit
 I modified this Roll-A-Leprechaun game to make it into a Roll-A-Rabbit game.  This was also a craft.  The kids glued ears onto a paper plate and drew on the eyes, nose and mouth according to what number they rolled on the die.
Here are the instructions:

Roll – A – Rabbit

Rules for older kids:  Take turns rolling the die.  Depending on what number you roll, add that feature to your rabbit.  First person to have a completed rabbit wins.

Rules for younger kids:  One person rolls the die.  All kids add that feature to their rabbits.

Roll a 1:  Draw a nose on your rabbit 
Roll a 2:  Glue ears onto your rabbit 
Roll a 3:  Roll again 
Roll a 4:  Draw a mouth on your rabbit 
Roll a 5:  Leave alone 
Roll a 6:  Draw eyes on your rabbit

4.  Egg Coloring Contest
The egg coloring contest drew the biggest crowds since the kids took a long time coloring just right.  I just printed off some blank eggs for the older kids and some decorated eggs for the younger kids to color.
Their finished eggs were taped up to the window in the playroom to be judged.  I didn't get a picture of all the eggs hanging up but it filled the entire window. 
One of the older siblings was the judge and there were prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, most original, and best use of color.

The above 4 games were ones the kids could do in any order at any time.  Then I thought we'd all gather as a group and do some other games in the living room before heading outside to the egg hunt.
It was a good idea in theory, but didn't quite work out.  Some kids were done early so we went ahead and started the large group games.


5.  Spoon/Cotton Ball relay
We had the kids line up in two rows and they all had a spoon in their mouth.  The one side had a cotton ball on the end of their spoon and had to walk to their partner and pass the cotton ball.  They could use their hands.  This was easier than I thought it would be.  Probably because they didn't have to walk that far and we did it inside where wind wasn't an issue.

6.  Story Time
 We were still waiting for some kids to finish coloring their eggs, so we went on with the next group activity.  Sweetie Pie wanted to read an Easter story.  She chose "The Country Bunny and the little gold shoes".
7.  Hot Carrot
I finally had to put a time limit on the egg coloring, like I said the kids were really taking their time.  So after everyone was done with all the activities I had them all sit down to play "Hot Carrot", which was an Easter version of "Hot Potato".  All the kids liked it, even the older ones.  We had some spring time music playing and passed around a play carrot from my daughter's kitchen set.
While this was going one of the parents was going through all the guesses for the number of Skittles in the jar, and another helper was judging the colored eggs.  After a couple of rounds of "Hot Carrot", I announced the winner of the Skittles contest and the egg coloring contest, passed out their prizes and then we all got ready to go outside for the egg hunt.
I told the kids the rules:
1.  They are going out according to age with the youngest going out first.
2.  There are 2 golden eggs and whoever gets those gets a special prize.
3.  There isn't anything inside the eggs, they will trade the eggs in for prizes (and so I can have all my eggs back to use again).
Once the kids had their coats and shoes on, baskets in hand, they were lined up in the playroom and ready to go.  While they were finding eggs, I took out the food that some of the parents brought, so they could eat outside (no way I was having 35 kids eat in my house!) 
After the kids found the eggs, claimed their prizes and ate the snacks, it was time to go home.
I had planned for the whole thing to last an hour, and it actually lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes.  
They had so much fun and I had fun too.  In fact, I'm think I'm going to make this an annual tradition.


HAPPY EASTER!

Thanks for stopping by,
Christa