I’ve decided to share some fun and educational ways we’ve come up with to play with those irresistible plastic Easter eggs. The list below suggests activities that cover a variety of skills and that can be played with children of a variety of ages; toddlers, preschoolers, and on up. Modify the activity as you see fit, and, as always, keep a close watch on children whenever using small items that could be considered choking hazards.
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Educational Ways to Play with Plastic Easter Eggs
1. Count them – You can set up a simple counting activity with a basket of plastic Easter eggs. Or you can check out our Counting Eggs Activity we’ve been playing.
2. Mix and Match – Before presenting this game to the child, mix up the colors of several plastic eggs by putting the top of one color with the bottom of another color. Then give the mixed up eggs to the child(ren) to take apart and match with its mate. (Really little kiddos will need help putting the eggs together.) To make this fun for older kids, have them do it while racing each other or racing against the clock. Or they can race you!
3. Sort by color – This is an easy activity to set up for young kids working on their colors. They can sort a bag of multi-colored plastic eggs into bowls, bags, or baskets based on the egg’s color.
4. Scavenger Hunt -This is just like the typical Easter egg hunt, but with clues. For younger children, give verbal clues to guide them toward the hidden eggs. (This will help them practice their listening skills.) For older kids, create written clues they need to follow in order to find the eggs.)
5. Guess what’s inside – Fill several eggs each with a different item – some noisy, some quite. (cotton balls, beans, marbles, paper clips, rice, etc…) Let the kids shake the egg to get a feel for its weight and the sound it makes. Then have the child guess what’s inside. Open the egg to reveal the filling and repeat. (For younger kids, display the possible fillers on a tray to give them an idea of what might be inside.) Let older kids fill an egg to challenge you!
6. Make art – Show your child(ren) how to use one half of a plastic egg to use as a stamp. Dip it in some tempera paint and stamp away on a sheet of construction paper. Use different eggs with different colors. You can do this as free form art with no end product in mind, or you can use it to create something more like our Paper Easter Egg Garland.
7. Bocce – Show children how to gently roll an egg so that it ends up being the closest to (but not touching) a designated item (such as a bean bag, stuffed animal, or other soft item). This is great practice for fine and gross motor control.
8. Make music – Use dried beans to fill some plastic eggs and make shakers. Turn on some music and try to shake to the beat. Or just create your own beat. (You may want to tape or glue the eggs closed.)
9. Tic tac toe – Develop strategy-making skills with this classic game using two colors of plastic eggs. You can create the game board using painter’s tape or just by drawing out large boards on construction/printer paper.
10. Graph them – Using a bag of multi-colored eggs and grid paper create a graph based on the number of eggs for each color. (Color in one square for each egg using markers, crayons, or colored pencils)
11. Tell a story – use markers and other craft supplies to create a character with one or more eggs. Then make up a story for the characters to act out.
12. Race them – fill a couple of eggs with different items (cotton balls, crumpled paper, marbles, etc…), then place them on one end of a slanted cookie sheet. Predict which will make it to the bottom of the slope first. Release them at the same time and see if the prediction came true. Repeat several times with a variety of different fillings and see if the child(ren) can find a pattern and fine tune predictions. Change the slope of the tray for added excitement.
Please note: Activities 2,3, and 10 above can be set up as busy bags for kids to work on independently. If you like using busy bags to save your sanity try this one.
So how are you going to play with your plastic Easter eggs?