How to Make Your Easter Egg Hunt Inclusive
Easter is one of my favorite holidays! I love spring time, the weather, the flowers, everything is new and fresh! Growing up Easter eggs hunts were the highlight of spring. Whether it was at church, family, or the local community coming together egg hunts were a favorite of mine growing up
Now I look at these events as opportunities for everyone to come together and have fun and by everyone I mean EVERYONE. Running around grabbing hidden eggs filled with candy may not be possible for every child but every child deserves the joy of Easter festivities. I’ve come up with some ideas I’ve used with my therapy kiddos in the past that may help with planning your upcoming inclusive Easter egg hunt.
not all kids eat candy
Some of our kiddos may not eat candy for multiple reasons. They may be strictly tube fed or they may have some texture issues or allergies. Instead of having all the eggs filled with candy you could put small prizes in them too! You can typically find small “prizes” at the local dollar store or party supply store.
easter candy alternatives
Pencil toppers (good fidgets for school)
Snack crackers (goldfish)
Mini Play dough
Now that we’ve got our prizes let’s look into some different methods of “finding” eggs.
inclusive easter egg hunt - visually impaired
Depending on the level of severity I have two options for this.
- Beeping Easter eggs- Beeping Easter eggs help blind and visually impaired kids join in on the fun instead of going by visual cues, kids can locate these eggs by following the loud, beep they emit. Beeping Easter eggs can also be used on Easter morning to provide an audible alert as kids with low vision experience the excitement of locating their Easter baskets.
- Light up eggs– Using these in a dark room would give great visual input for kids with low vision. These would be GREAT to use with a child who has CVI (cortical visual impairment) as light is one of the main things they can pick up on.
inclusive easter egg hunt - Mobility deficits
Some of our kiddos cannot walk on their own and may be in a wheelchair, for them the typical Easter egg hunt will be someone pushing their chair around while collecting the eggs for them and while this is fine we can make it better!
Attach a balloon to the easter eggs on the ground, now while you push their chair around they can use their arms to get the string attached to the egg. This is fantastic for kids who have minimal movement in their upper extremities or limited grasp as well and I have used this with the kids I serve in the severe and profound classrooms. As long as you get their wheelchair close enough to the string a slight sweep is enough for them to get it, then you can assist as needed to get the egg into their basket.
inclusive easter egg hunt - sensory needs
For some of our kids it’s not physical. They may become overwhelmed by kids running past them to grab the eggs, they may hate the texture of grass, or they may be overstimulated by the noise of too many people. For these kids I would suggest having some eggs hid in various textured areas, in the grass and on the sidewalk, or even a sandbox if available. Have some eggs hid near the main area but separate from the crowd or you could let them get a little bit of a head start so they won’t feel overwhelmed if other kids start grabbing eggs around them. Sensory overload could trigger a meltdown but it’s easily avoidable by recognizing a child’s needs and making the situation adapted to them while still letting them participate with everyone.
Every child enjoys finding surprises hidden around them. These ideas will help make sure that every kid gets to have that sense of accomplishment, having an Easter basket full of prize eggs they can enjoy.
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