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An Easter Eggs-travaganza for Family and Friends

(FeatureSource) - Easter is a joyous celebration of life that usually includes church services, family dinners, and Easter egg hunts. A visit from the Easter Bunny, with his basket of goodies, is also a favorite part of the holiday for the kids. Eggs are included as a universal symbol of new beginning, a part of the Christian festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This year Easter is Sunday, April 11, the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. It's an exciting time for kids, so put on the bunny ears and cotton tail, and get out the baskets for an Easter Egg-stravaganza with these ideas from party expert Penny Warner, author of "The Best Party Book" (Meadowbrook Press).

Welcome the Easter Bunny

Make the Easter Bunny feel welcome when he comes by dressing up your home or party room with festive bunny-themed decorations.

..Buy pastel balloons in pink, blue, green, and yellow, along with crepe paper streamers, and paper products. Then fill the area with the colors of an Easter spring. For added fun, decorate the balloons with Easter egg designs so they look like giant eggs!

..Make placemats from construction paper cut into large egg shapes, then personalize them and decorate with felt pens, lace, ribbon, glitter, and other craft items.

..Set a large Easter basket in the middle of the table as a centerpiece, and fill it with multi-colored eggs, candy confetti, and a stuffed bunny or chick just breaking out of a big plastic egg.

..Hang paper eggs from the ceiling and hide little pompom chicks around the room for the kids to find by accident.

Decorate the Easter Eggs

Here's a way to include the whole family in traditional egg decorating activities. Hard boil eggs and let them cool. Have the family gather around the dining table. Give everyone an egg and set out permanent felt pens in a variety of colors. Have them draw hair on the top of the egg. Then pass the egg to the right. Have the next person draw on eyebrows. Continue passing the eggs and have each person draw another part of the face - eyes, cheeks, nose, mouth, ears, moles, eyelashes, chin, and freckles. Show off all the funny faces when they're finished.

Make a Surprise Egg

Here's a delightful surprise the kids love to share with unsuspecting relatives. Hollow out several eggs by gently poking a small hole in one end with a sharp pin or turkey skewer. Scramble the egg inside with the skewer, then let the egg drip out into a small bowl. Rinse the egg clean and allow it to dry in the egg carton. Cut up bits of paper or buy colorful confetti. Fill hollow eggs half full with confetti. Cover egg hole with a sticker to keep the confetti inside. Decorate the egg with felt pens and stickers. Then wait for a special relative to arrive. As soon as he gets out of the car, crack the egg over his head and watch the confetti sprinkle all over! Be sure to do this outside so you don't make a mess in the house.

Melt some Candle Eggs

These beautiful candle eggs will add the right touch to your Easter dinner table. Just make sure no one tries to crack them for breakfast! Hollow out several eggs (see instruction above). Melt some old candles or paraffin wax and wax coloring in a double boiler over low heat. Place a funnel over the opening of the egg. Carefully pour the wax into the hollow eggshell in the carton. When the eggshell is full, insert the wired wick into the egg, centering it with apiece of tape for support. Allow the wax to cool and harden, then break off the shell and buff the candle with a soft rag. Heat the bottom end of the candle to soften, then press on flat surface to make it stand up, or use a candleholder.

Create an Egg Bunny

It's impossible to hatch your hard-boiled Easter eggs into chicks, but you can transform them into darling bunnies. Lay a hard-boiled egg on its side. Glue on pompoms for feet and a tail, slightly under the egg to keep the egg from rolling. Glue on wiggly plastic eyes at the pointy front end. Draw on a nose with the red marker and add whiskers with the black marker. Cut out ears from the pink felt and two small rectangular teeth from the white felt. Glue the ears on top of egg and the teeth under the nose and whiskers.

Mold Panorama Sugar Eggs

A beautiful Easter scene is hidden inside this delicate panorama egg. The process takes time and careful work, but it's worth it when you see the finished masterpiece. Pour four cups of sugar into a large bowl. In a small bowl, stir together several drops of favorite food coloring and one egg white. Add the colored egg white to the sugar and knead until color is blended thoroughly. Spray a 4-6-inch plastic egg mold with vegetable spray and press sugar into it. Pack it in tightly and allow it to harden for exactly two hours. Leaving a shell at least 1/2 -inch thick, gently scrape sugar out of the egg mold. Carve out a small opening at both ends of the egg so you'll have a peephole when the two halves are put together. Dry overnight. Prepare royal icing by combining three egg whites, powered sugar, and cream of tartar. Beat for seven minutes. Blend in food coloring. Squirt a small amount of icing in the center of the shell and add miniature items, such as candies, flowers, bunnies, chicks, and cut-up Easter card figures. Squirt icing around the edge and seal the two halves together. Let dry. Add icing around the sealed edges and on top with a fancy decorator tip. Top with tiny flowers. Peek inside and see the display of miniature items.

Cook Up Some Marshmallow Eggs

Kids of all ages love gooey, sticky marshmallows. These marshmallow eggs are sure to be a hit with the whole family. Grease plastic egg molds with margarine or vegetable spray. Melt a bag of marshmallows in a lightly greased saucepan over low heat. Pour the melted marshmallows into the plastic egg molds. Allow them to set about two hours. When the marshmallow eggs are firm, ease them out of the molds and onto a cookie sheet sprinkled with cornstarch. Dust the marshmallows with more cornstarch and let dry uncovered for several hours. Melt a 12-ounce bag of chocolate chips with 1/4 cup margarine in a double boiler or microwave. Shake excess cornstarch from eggs and set on waxed paper. Spread with chocolate glaze. Chill until firm, about one hour. Decorate with tubes of frosting.

Have Egg Races

Spoon Egg: Line up the players in two teams. Give the first players a spoon with a hard-boiled egg in it. They must race to the other end of the yard without losing the egg or they have to start over. The first team to complete the race wins a prize.

Nose Egg: Place eggs in a row on the lawn. Players get on their hands and knees behind the eggs, and push the eggs with their noses across the yard to the finish line. The player whose egg crosses first wins a prize!

Hide and Seek the Easter Eggs

It's time for the activity the kids have been waiting for - the Easter Egg Hunt! Dress up as the Easter Bunny, then hide some eggs, give the kids baskets, and let the kids find as many eggs as they can. You might label the eggs with their names so they can only find their own. This helps avoid bad feelings. And take turns letting the kids hide the eggs, too. For added fun, have a nighttime hunt with flashlights!

Make an Easter Bonnet

Buy plain straw hats for all the relatives. Gather craft materials such as ribbons, feathers, jewels, glitter, puffy paints, artificial flowers, glue and scissors. Let the guests create their own Easter Bonnets from the materials, then have an Easter Parade in your hats.

See Also:

There's More to Celebrating Easter than Easter-Egg Hunts
You can have fun on Easter while still remaining true to the spirit of the holiday. Discover from author Patti Sachs how to make your holiday gathering festive and fun.

How to Make Your Own Easter Treats
Don't rely on store-bought Easter items. This year, make personal baskets and goodies for your children. This article gives suggestions on how.

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