EASTER THROUGH THE AGES – HAVE SOME TRADITIONAL FUN!
If you want to entertain your children without overdosing on chocolate this Easter, Siân Hammerton-Fraser, Visitor Experience Manager of Chiltern Open Air Museum, has some great ideas inspired by traditional Easter activities.
In the UK real eggs, in most cases, chicken eggs, played a central part in celebrating Easter before being replaced by chocolate eggs and bunnies.
The eggs were hard-boiled and dyed in various colors and patterns. The traditionally bright colours represented spring and light.
Mix together half a cup of water at room temperature, a tablespoon of vinegar and several drops of food colouring. Prepare a few different colours.
Carefully place one egg (hard boiled or blown out) in each cup of food colouring. Watch the eggs carefully and remove them when they’ve turned the desired shade. Use a spoon to remove the egg and dry it in an egg holder on a paper towel.
In the UK the tradition of rolling decorated hard-boiled eggs down grassy hills goes backs hundreds of years and is known as pace-egging.
The most famous egg-rolling event is the annual egg roll at the White House, but nothing prevents you from rolling eggs in the garden. Give each child a hard-boiled, coloured egg and a spoon and let them race to the finish line.
The alternative is pushing the egg along with your feet, without cracking it. They could also get down on their hands and knees and push it along with their noses!
This is a traditional Easter game in which eggs are laid on the ground or floor and the goal is to dance among them damaging as few as possible.
Easter Rice Crispie Cakes:
Baking and entertaining have always been a part of celebrating Easter and you can’t go wrong with these 5-minute instant Easter treats. Melt 150g of chopped milk or white chocolate in the microwave and when it’s melted, add 75g rice krispies and stir well to coat in chocolate.
Spoon the mixture into mini cupcake cases. Top with mini chocolate eggs and leave to set for an hour.
Make an Easter Garden:
An Easter garden is a model garden made to tell the story of Easter. It has three essential features – a hill with a cross, a stone or stone structure to suggest the empty tomb and lots of live greenery and flowers.
Take a shallow tray and fill it with mud or soil – use a small eggcup or small round pot – placed on its side – and cover with soil and moss to form a hill and tomb. You can put stones in front of the cave and add a cross, constructed from ice cream sticks or other sticks found in the garden.
Get creative with an Easter basket:
The custom of having a large Easter supper represents the end of Lent for Christians. In more ancient times, this large feast was brought to the church in large baskets, hence the connection to treats in an Easter baskets today.
Make your own basket by decorating a cheap basket with chicks, ribbons, plastic eggs or shapes cut out from felt. Fill with inspiring treats – such as craft items, a skipping rope, bubbles and a few chocolate eggs in between. This way you’ll avoid a sugar overload.
Terrific Tuesdays Holiday Club:
The Chiltern Open Air Museum are offering Terrific Tuesdays holiday sessions during the Easter Holidays for 5-12 year-olds on the 8th and 15th of April.
They facilitate fun activities which include an Easter Egg hunt, creating an Easter garden to take home, storytelling in the Iron Age House, lots of different crafting, and of course lots of running around in fresh air.
The museum also runs a Holiday Club for children aged 5 – 12 on the 8th and 15th April. Children booked into the club access all the activities available but are supervised by a DBS checked member of the Museum Education Team from 11am-4pm. Parents need to book their children into the club in advance of the day at a cost of £22 for the day. Visit the Museum web site www.coam.org.uk to book places through eventbrite.