PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) — What’s cuter than a 2-year-old at an Easter egg hunt dumping three eggs as he picks up one? Or a fifth-grader stretching to reach the last elusive egg? That’s as good as it gets.
Or is it?
For decades, our family has hosted a neighborhood egg hunt as a friendship outreach for friends and neighbors. It worked at our acreage home in Texas, our condo lobby in Indiana and our subdivision in Florida.
It’s quick, simple and it works! Will you begin a new Easter tradition this year to touch your neighborhood in Jesus’ name?
Step 1) Invite them
Hand-deliver an invitation to your neighbors even those with no children. Some may have grandchildren or relatives in town, or they may enjoy just coming to watch the excitement or serve punch. Invite the entire family, providing date, time and address. Ask them to bring a dozen eggs for hiding, and print a simple schedule. 10 a.m. – Dads hide eggs while kids play; 10:15 a.m. – Egg hunt; 10:30 a.m. – Prizes and snacks. Don’t delay the invitations.
Step 2) Plan
Purchase a whistle, bubbles and oodles of individually wrapped eggs. Spray-paint and number some gold prize eggs and gather great prizes, such as stuffed rabbits. Get an Easter Hunt sign for the front yard. Prepare nametags and simple Easter-themed refreshments. Mark boundaries and create a long starting line for the hunt. Add extra treats if you like, such as a bubble machine or popcorn machine.
Step 3) Party time
As families arrive, immediately direct dads and teens to the back yard to hide eggs. Moms and kids stay in another area for relaxed bubble blowing and sidewalk chalk drawing.
When eggs are hidden, bring kids to the starting line. Give simple instructions and invite everyone to stay for snacks afterward. At the whistle, preschoolers take off. A second whistle starts the older kids. An egg hunt rarely takes 15 minutes.
After most eggs are found, gather for prizes. Conclude with an invitation: “We’re so happy we are neighbors. Please call on us anytime we can help you. Easter is a very special holiday for our family because, as Christians, we celebrate our living Savior. If any of you don’t have a church, we’ll save you a seat tomorrow at Calvary Baptist. Now enjoy some snacks and hang around to meet neighbors.” Pray silently for each person as you mingle. As each guest leaves, give a verbal and printed church invitation.
Our kids took charge of the egg hunt during their teen years. Some years, they planned a child-friendly two-minute presentation of the real Easter story, with puppets or drama or object lesson. Many neighbors heard the Gospel for the first time. God can use a simple egg hunt to open doors to share Him.
Even better, why not challenge every member of your Bible class, mom’s group or women’s ministry to plan a purposeful egg hunt for their neighborhood? Imagine what God could do!
Our adult daughter called from across the country the other day to say that her neighborhood egg hunt is scheduled. The tradition continues. Now that’s as good as it gets. Happy Easter!