Berkeley Parents Network >
Holidays and Special Events >
Does anyone have any great ideas for filling up plastic Easter
Eggs? Other than candy that is. I have thought of stickers and
coins, but am blanking on other ideas. I figured someone must
have some good ideas. Thanks for sharing!
Since my kids don't get much sugar, it's a treat when we fill their
Easter eggs with Froot Loops or some sugary cereal that they normally
don't get. It doesn't have as much sugar as candy, but it's special
We have filled eggs with socks, underwear, hair scrunchies, lip gloss
and erasers. After Easter, try to get the decorated cardboard eggs on
sale - they come in different sizes and some can even fit a small
I'm putting HotWheels cars in some for my son. Depends on your kid's
age and interests, but I'm sure there are little toy animals, doll
things, etc. that would fit. Or how about a ''gift certificate'' for a
day at the zoo, etc.?
Rainbow colored ''goldfish'' crackers. Kashi Might bites cereal.
What age are you aiming at? something don't work for toddlers...
marbles. erasers. party store small favors.
fancy thumbtacks. magnets. seeds for planting. nuts.
My kids are older, so I am putting a few Easter jokes in their plastic
eggs, as well as a few dollars, and an origami figure.
Baby carrots fit well in plastic easter eggs (my mother's idea).
My three year old thought that was totally logical, since they were
hidden by a rabbit.
Little plastic animals would be fun. You can buy sets of them at most
little raisin boxes
For the past 2
years we've filled the plastic eggs w/ stickers, Cheddar Bunnies & Honey Grahams (also
bunny shaped.) This year we added the chocolate flavor Honey Grahams (also bunnies).
We bought all of these at E.C. Natural Grocery. My kids (1.5 & 3.5 years) seemed very
happy and satisfied w/ their selection of goodies. A few other ideas I had are
tattoos and some fun-shaped sweet cereal that's different from what they usually get
to eat. Yummy!
With Easter just around the corner, I am thinking about eggs.
Does anyone out there have information about how to dye eggs
with natural dyes? I have heard of an 'onion' option - but have
no idea what it means. If you can share ways to dye eggs
naturally or can direct me to a good source of information I
would be grateful.
Try the Martha Stewart Living web page. For the last couple of
Easters they have had the recipes for all the various natural dye
You can use just about anything that ''bleeds'' to dye eggs. Trying
different foodstuffs is fun for kids. White eggs will work best,
and brown eggs will give a different effect. As far as how to do
it: onions skins-boil the eggs in water with a lot of the outside
brown onion skins until the desired color (light warm yellow/
brown). Saffron-also boil the eggs in water with the saffron (or
try turmeric). Coffee-make a very strong cup of coffe and leave
the egg in it for a while, a longer time for a darker brown. Tea
works also. Indigo can be bought at a yarn store-that will make
your eggs blue (you could also try using blackberries or
blueberries for purple or blue colors). I tried leaving eggs in
water that beets were boiled in and got a cool magenta. You might
try chlorophyl for green eggs. Or even grass clippings!
I found some dye at Ratto's in downtown Oakland to make the Greek
red easter eggs (use brown eggs for that, they come out really RED
and not magenta).
I also like to use regular food coloring. A few drops in a cup
with warm water and vinegar (to hold the color). Leave the egg in
until the desired color.
When they are dry rub them with a soft cloth and they will get a
Good luck and have fun!!
Martha Stewart II
Try these websites. I did the Martha Stewart recipes and they're
Hi - I can tell you how I do the 'onion' easter eggs. It's a
more complicated procedure than regular dying, but I just did
these last week with three little girls (5, 6, & 7) and they all
Done correctly (and with luck), this makes a lovely mottled egg
in shades of yellow, brown and rust. I like to keep them, so I
start with blown-out eggs.
What you need:
* onion skins (red onions make the deepest color; I use a
* butter (or margarine)
* tiny leaves and flowers
* water / vinegar
* Panty hose or handkerchiefs
* rocks (if the eggs are hollow)
1. Go on a leaf / flower hunting expedition. The smaller the
better. What you will get, if everything works and the planets
are in alignment, is the clear outline of the leaf/flower on the
egg, so notched/lacy edges are best. Get lots.
2. bring a kettle of water with vinegar in it to a simmer.
Maybe a cup of white vinegar to 1/2 gallon water?
3. Soften the onion skins in a little water (don't let them
soak or the color leaches)
4. Coat your egg with butter
5. place the tiny leaves/flowers on the buttered egg in
whatever quantity/pattern you desire (spaces between the leaves
will have the mottled onion-skin pattern). Use more butter, if
need be, to make sure they stick.
6. Layer onion skins around the decorated egg. Make sure all
of the egg is covered. Two layers is fine.
7. Wrap the egg carefully in a handkerchief or nestle in the
toe of cut-off pantyhose. The fabric should be tight around the
8. Find a way to weigh the egg down if it is blown out so it
will stay under water
9. Simmer for 10 minutes or so, unwrap and admire.
I recommend doing only a couple at first; you may have to adjust
the vinegar/water ratio or cook them longer.
Two sources for egg dying:
Also Crissy Field Center is doing a few Ukranian egg dying days
using beets and vegetables to dye eggs. You might call them.
Our family has made it an Easter tradition to dye Easter
eggs with onions skins. I've seen it described in books, and
there are several variations of how to do it. We have tried
them all and found this one to be the best:
First you go to a farmers market or someplace where they
sell cheap brown onions like Monterey Market or Berkeley
Bowl. No need to buy onions, just fill up a produce bag
completely full with loose onion skins, enough to fill up a
large pot about half way. The reason I recommend cheap
onions is because the fancier super markets remove all the
loose skins ahead of time before they put them out.
Throw the onion skins into the pot and fill up with water
about 3/4 full and heat to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it
simmer for 1 hour. You want the water to achieve a dark
rich reddish brown color. The longer it cooks the better the
color. Meanwhile collect a variety of plants from your garden,
or collect them ahead of time from some one elses garden.
It is best to choose plants that are not poisonous.
Especially if you plan to eat them! Some good choices that
make wonderful patterns are:
california poppy (the leaves)
daisy shaped flowers
peach leaves (good color)
bearded iris flower petals (good for coverage)
nandina (good color and shape)
These are some of the plants we typically use. You can also
experiment and try other things too.
Then you put all the plants into bowls of water to keep them
moist and fresh. Take your raw egg and start to cover it with
the plants.To keep the plants on the egg you have to wrap
the egg with thread. Keep wrapping as you go. Add a leaf or
two, then wrap it a bit, then add more leaves or a flower,
then more string. What you are doing is binding up the egg
with plants and string. You can leave as much of the egg
exposed as you want or cover it completely up. You want to
make sure that you wrap the string firmly so that it doesn't
fall apart. It takes a bit of practice, but you will get the hang of
it. Then you tie it off at the end by tucking the end of the
string under the other strings.
Then you carefully place the eggs into the gently simmering
onion skin dye bath. Cook them the length of time it takes to
hard boil an egg, about 15 minutes. It could even be a bit
longer so that the color looks good on the eggs.
Take them out with a slotted spoon and place them in a
strainer or on a towel and let them cool enough to be
handled. (Don't let them sit around all day and dry out.)
When they are cool enough to the tough, carefully unwrap
the eggs. Use a bit of cold running water to help you gently
remove some of the plant material that sticks. Don't rub too
hard cause you can remove some of the color. We are
usually so excited and can't wait to unwrap them that we
often unwrap them while they are still hot. Don't try this for
your first one!
The end results are amazing and beautiful!
If you have any questions or want to know more about any
helpful hints or other possible egg decorating techniques,
feel free to give me a call or email me. I will be leaving town
starting the 17th, so its best to contact me before that. Good
luck and have fun!
It looked pretty cool- there was one that recommended using
geranium petals which are poisonous so I wouldn't do that one.
I'm just starting to get into making holidays fun and memorable
for my daughter and realizing that I have no idea what to do! for
example, what does one do with an easter basket? is it like
christmas and she gets it when she wakes up? I grew up in an very
religious home and we never did the whole easter bunny thing so
really, I don't know what to do. are there easter egg hunts
appropriate for two year olds? the archive mentions an eggster
hunt, would that be fun?
I will first tell you what I think is the most typical way
of ''doing the eggs and bunny thing.'' You hard boil (or blow
out) the eggs and dye/decorate them sometime between Thursday
and Saturday. Saturday night, after she's in bed, you hide the
eggs (some people hide those hollow plastic ones, filled with
candy or small toys, rather than the real ones) around the house
and/or yard. The basket may be left in some obvious place or
hidden, like the eggs. Sunday morning, the kids hunt for the
eggs (ostensibly hidden by the Easter Bunny) and paw through
their baskets (ostensibly left for them by the Easter Bunny).
With siblings or neighbors, you can make the egg hunt a race or
contest, and/or you can do ''egg rolling'', which is basically a
game to see who can keep their egg from cracking the longest.
Now, that said, I suggest you give some thought to what,
exactly, you want your daughter to learn to celebrate. If you
are not interested in raising your daughter with quite the same
religious practices you grew up with, that's fine, but are you
raising her as Christian? If so, how do you plan to explain the
connection with colored eggs to her? If not, how are you going
to tell her about springtime fertility rituals in a child-
appropriate way? (A quick Google search on ''Easter symbols'' and
similar phrases may be illuminating.) None of this may be
terribly relevant for a few more years, but I do encourage you
to try to attach *some* kind of deeper meaning to the ''fun and
memorable'' holiday activities -- for your daughter's benefit and
Trying to decide whether her 2yo is old enough to hunt for eggs!
We have done a little backyard Easter Egg hunt (in our little
tiny backyard) for our kids since the first was one year old. We
give them an empty basket and hide some candy and little bunny
toys, but also try to buy things they need anyway like spring
socks/ barrettes. We all go out in our PJs to hunt- which makes
for cute photos too. When they were ''Dora the Explorer'' fans 2
years ago, I made a very simple map that even the 2 year old
could follow with help (if you've seen the show you'll know what
I mean). We're not regular churchgoers and don't have family in
the area for Easter dinner, so it's nice to have a tradition to
celebrate spring (and introduce the ''concepts'' of Easter as a
religious event) and its inexpensive and they're more excited
about the hunt itself than the stuff. It can be done in even the
smallest apartment. The other thing I loved as a kid was going
to see baby bunnies and chicks at the local ''petting farms''.
Here are our Easter customs: Saturday night we hard boil eggs
and dye them. Very easy to do even for two year old. Sunday
morning the children get their baskets and go hunting. I grew up
in a family of four. In our family the easter bunny left four
little eggs in each ''nest'' and children were trained from early
on to take only one, so it's not competitive--everyone gets
their share. But the best part of Easter is after Easter dinner--
or picnic--we have egg fights. Each person holds their decorated
egg and stabs at another person's egg. You have two ends per egg
and the winner is the one with the last unbroken end. It's a
lot of fun and everyone loves it.
Easter is a fun time to celebrate Spring and/or religion. You
can do it any way you want to with your family. I enjoy sewing
dresses for my girls, making Easter bread, and holding an egg
hunt in our little backyard after church. Here are some tips:
1- Check out FamilyFun at familyfun.go.com for Easter ideas.
2- Decorate eggs and hide them, but don't leave the eggs outside
if racoons prowl at night in your neighborhood. Racoons love
3- Foil-wrapped chocolate eggs melt very quickly outside and
squish when little ones grab them. I played the Easter Bunny
many years ago at a mass egg hunt and my costume became quite
decorated with melted chocolate from adoring hands. So put the
chocolate in the shade or keep them inside.
4- Or just put a few little items in a basket and leave it out
as a surprise for your little one in the morning.
Have a great time!
A perfect Easter/Spring activity for toddlers and bigger kids is
the annual Spring Fair, held by Albany Preschool with the city
of Albany. On Saturday, April 19 at Memorial Park in Albany,
the ''Easter'' Bunny will arrive at 10 am on a firetruck and
signal the start of an age-segregated egg hunt. There are a
wide variety of very fun games and crafts for kids to do, plus
coffee and pastries for parents. The egg hunt is free, and
tickets for games are 50 cents. It all benefits Albany
Preschool's scholarship fund and it is a very sweet kid event.
Our toddler had a great time last year and we all are looking
forward to this year's Spring Fair.
As with Christmas gifts, kids typically get their Easter baskets
first thing Easter morning. Some families have a tradition of the
Easter Bunny hiding the basket (usually somewhere in the living
room)-- the child then gets to hunt for their treats. Last year
when my son was 21 months old, we hid the basket behind the
couch, and to help him ''discover'' it, we created a path
consisting of all his stuffed rabbits and other Easter-y animals
for him to follow. It worked, and he seemed to have fun.
There are several egg hunts in the East Bay, most of them the day
before Easter (Saturday the 19th this year). The one I'm most
familiar with is at Memorial Park in Albany, on Portland behind
the high school. The hunt is divided by age into several separate
areas--there's an ''under three'' spot where the little ones can
search for candy without fear of being trampled by grade
schoolers. It starts promptly at 10 (don't be late) with the
arrival of the Easter Bunny by fire engine. The Albany
Preschool Co-op runs a fair, with food, games, and puppet shows
at the park, too.
I know there is a hunt the same morning at the Arlington Park in
El Cerrito, but I don't have the details on that one.
Have a Happy Easter!
I love Easter. This is one of my favorite holidays. My parents
were not religous so I didn't grow up with the Christian
meaning of the day or any other mainstream spiritual
practice. However, I grew up with artists for parents who had
a special connection and reverence for nature. My mother
particularily loved gardening. So Easter for me was all about
making things and celebrating the changes of the seasons
through nature. When I think back to my childhood and think
about Easter, I think about the magical morning in the
garden when all the floweres are blooming, insects are all
around, and the air is filled with singing birds. I think about
the excitement and wonder that filled me as I walked
through an enchanted garden looking for brightly colored
eggs and tiney baskets or nests. It was truley a magical
time and I feel that it really brought me close to what Spring
means from a simple childhood perspective. The newness
of tiney green grasses all budding up in the moist soil with
dropletts of dew. The beautiful colors of the morning light.
The smells of flowers. The constant birdsong. These were
all a part of my experience of Spring that seem to stay with
me forever. My mother had an endless talant for making
little figures and eggs and decorating baskets that made
the season feel like a real celebration. As I got older I grew
to love decorating Easter eggs. Often everyone in the family
would join us in a day of egg decorating. It became a real
family event and tradition. Now that I have a toddler, I want to
continue the tradition I grew up with.
Research the meaning of the holiday and the symbolism
behind the egg and the rabbit. And maybe take a look at
other cultures and how they celebrate Spring. You will see a
lot about rebirth, renewal, fertillity, newness and growth.
Find what is significant to you about that. Perhaps it is a
combination of Christain and pagan, or one or the other, or
neither. Make it special to you and your child. Create a
tradition that will be fun for your family and has meaning.
Get books on all the different holiday crafts, or on different
ways to decorate eggs. Teach your child about gardening.
Plant flowers. Sprout seeds. Be creative and have fun.
There is no right or wrong way. It is about finding your own
connection to what it all means.
this page was last updated: Apr 11, 2009
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website during
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network