Easter is a really exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming. All the chocolate, coloured wrapping, guests, parties and changes in routine can make life difficult for kids who have sensory issues, but with a little bit of extra planning you can make traditions like the Easter egg hunt a whole lot more inclusive.
Here are a few handy tips to help make Easter fun for everyone:
Set expectations in the lead up to Easter
It’s important for your child to be involved in the process right from the outset, so they feel a reassuring sense of ownership and control. If you have guests or extended family coming over, make sure your child is informed about the timing and duration of visits – having a calendar in a communal room is a great way to keep track of this. A calendar allows your child to see at a glance when guests are due to arrive, so there are no unexpected surprises. If timing or strict routines are very important to your child, please make a point of letting your guests know that their efforts to be punctual would be greatly appreciated.
Involve kids in preparation the week before Easter
As the days count down to Easter, you and your child can both get involved in the planning and logistical aspects of the egg hunt.
1) Create a story about the Easter hunt
In the lead up to the event, spend time talking to your child about the purpose and the process of the Easter egg hunt. Chat about the specific way the egg hunt will take place, with an emphasis on the discussion around the rules of play.
2) Assign specific colours
To ensure smooth running of the hunt, make sure that each child has been assigned to a specific colour, and give them an easy way of remembering this. You might like to colour code collection baskets or pin coloured ribbons to each child.
3) Prepare items for the hunt
Chocolate eggs are great, but they aren’t terribly inclusive for kids who have allergies. One option is to purchase plastic eggs and fill them with non-edible treats such as money, toys, stickers, hairclips, mini bubble wands or similar.
Have fun on Easter weekend!
After all your guests have arrived and it’s time to play, explain the rules to everyone before the fun begins. Once everyone has been assigned their own unique colour they can head out in search of their treasures without the chaos and overwhelm that can come when kids are competing for the same eggs. Assigning colours can help children with autism or other sensory issues enjoy the hunt at their own pace, and participate in a way they feel comfortable.
Easter is a fun and exciting time to celebrate, but it can also be overwhelming for kids who have sensory issues. Sensory friendly Easter egg hunts are a simple way to make sure that everyone can enjoy the festivities – all it takes is a little bit of extra planning.