I don’t like Easter Egg Hunts. In fact, if it was up to me, we wouldn’t even do one.
And right now you’re probably thinking, Why in the world don’t you like egg hunts???? The kids love them!
For starters, they have absolutely nothing to do with what Easter is even about, but that’s another story for another blog on another day…
What I really can’t stand is how we spend every minute of every day trying to teach our kiddos to treat each other with kindness, to share, to let others go first, to take turns.
On egg hunt day, all that goes out the window. We lay brightly colored eggs filled with all kids of yummy treats all around our playground, and then it’s every man for himself!
In that instant, we are telling them that it’s not only OK to be greedy and selfish, but it’s actually encouraged in this venue.
Even if we even things out at the end of the egg hunt so that everyone has the same number of eggs, even if we use a system of numbers to ensure each kiddo only gets her fair share, even if we do everything in our power to create a “fair” egg hunt, we are still fostering greed and selfishness.
I mean, think about it. Have you ever seen a group of kids calmly walk to go find their 12 eggs when you say it’s time to start??? NO! They run, they scream, they go as fast as they can to get the eggs first. They want the biggest ones or the prettiest ones or (heaven help you if someone sends this kind..) the golden ones!
As soon as we say, “Ready, set, GO!” we might as well be saying, “Forget everything else I’ve taught you this year, and go get those eggs!”
I just don’t like it. Like I said, I wouldn’t even do it if it was up to me.
But it’s not.
So, if I’m going to have to do an egg hunt, I figure I might as well use it as a teaching opportunity, right? So, here’s what I did…
We had and Easter egg hunt AND SHARE! We still set a limit on how many eggs each kiddo could get, but here’s the kicker: They weren’t allowed to find eggs for themselves. They each had a buddy, and the eggs they found were for their buddies, not for themselves.
So, we talked about asking your buddy which size or color or type they liked the best. We talked about staying together so that your buddy would be close by when you found an egg for him. We talked about NOT putting eggs in your own basket. We even practiced earlier in the day during our math time with a “Shape Hunt & Share.”
Most of my kiddos did a great job with it! I could hear them saying things like, “Isaac! I found one for you!” or “Jasmine, do you like this one?” It was SO much better than the “normal” way of doing it! I loved watching them think of their buddies over themselves! They were giving and sharing instead of taking and being selfish!
Now, don’t get me wrong… We are 4 years old. And there were a few kiddos who just couldn’t grasp the concept. So, we just had to give those kiddos a little extra guidance while they were hunting. (And maybe move some eggs from their baskets into their buddies’ baskets!)
But, overall, it was great success! Sure, I’ll make some adjustments to it next time around, but for now I’m extremely happy with how it went!
Happy Easter and Happy Teaching!!