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| Easter means blooms on trees, green grass and children hunting for eggs. For grandparents, that presents the opportunity to do something special for their grandchildren, no matter their age.
Jill Bowler, of Orem, Utah, typically holds an Easter egg hunt in her backyard for a pack of grandchildren ranging in age from youngsters to teens. “You always have to be creative to capture all of the ages,” says Bowler, whose brood calls her Nana.
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Bowler and other grandparents say it's important to be creative and flexible in organizing Easter egg hunts. The traditional search in the yard for plastic eggs filled with jelly beans and chocolate is great, but it can get a makeover to add new and fun elements.
1. Get beyond traditional candy
Put puzzle pieces inside the eggs and, once all the eggs are found, assemble pieces as a family. You can add raffle tickets to eggs for special Easter gifts. You can create a scavenger hunt with a series of clues inside that lead to Easter baskets.
2. Take age into account
However you do it, Bowler said it's important to tailor the experience for the interests, ages and needs of the children.
With a wide age range among her grandchildren, Bowler has found new ways to keep the oldest children engaged. Once they outgrow the basic Easter egg hunt, she asks them to hide the eggs. “They like hiding them for the little ones and helping them split them in half once they find them,” she says.
Bowler also creates eggs tailored to specific ages. One year she tied helium balloons to the eggs intended for the toddlers. The balloons made it easy for them to find, and their eggs include toys and candy appropriate for them inside.
3. Consider dietary needs
Bowler's grandson Jack has food allergies. So in the past Bowler has incorporated special camouflage-colored eggs with specific treats and toys for him. Even in the mad dash to collect eggs, the cousins understood to leave those treasures for Jack to pick up.