How many of you pin pictures on Pinterest of an idea or inspiration that you want to do or remember, only for it to get lost in the abyss of pins that you’ll “get to later?” I’m definitely guilty of this! Speaking of pins though, I’ve noticed a lot of traffic this month to a particular picture I pinned last Easter. I can only assume that other parents are excited to try a similar Easter egg hunt as mine! Until today that picture has not led to a website…yes, probably a Pinterest no no. But before you scold me, we didn’t have a blog until now! This was back when our baby lifeasus.com was just a twinkle in our eyes. The interest in that pin is the reason I’ve decided to prepare for my Easter egg hunt early this year. And now can all follow along!
Here’s a little background that has led to my egg hunt tradition. My dad prepared an annual Easter egg hunt complete with riddles (that got harder and harder each year) leading me from one plastic egg/clue to another all around the house (and outside) until I finally found my Easter basket. This continued all through high school and even through college as I’d return for Easter weekend. He loves to tell the story that one year for my sister, he hid a clue inside an old tin bread box stored out in the garage. She was only 6 and when the riddle stumped her she burst out into tears. That’s just a peak into how difficult (and awesome) these riddles were. It turns out that my parents saved some of these riddles over the years and I will definitely get my hands on them to share with you soon.
Last year I decided to start up this tradition for our three year old, KC. At probably 1 am on Easter morning, I was up quickly sketching out pictures of each hiding place onto strips of paper, sticking them into plastic eggs and strategically placing them throughout our little apartment so that she’d have to cross from one end clear to the other for each clue. She rocked at those clues and is ready to up the anty this year! It’s also important that you know my mom is a retired teacher and reading specialist. She is my go-to when I’m looking for an educational approach to my projects. In fact, she’s the brains behind my last minute 2013 egg hunt. So naturally, I called her up last night to pick her brain for an age appropriate egg hunt for an older and much bigger 4 year old this year. Please join me over the next few weeks as I prepare for my big 2014 Easter egg hunt, whether you have a similar age child or just want to start a fun family tradition your kids will cherish forever!
Four years old is a very appropriate age to start learning common sight words. For my purposes of creating a fun and educational Easter egg hunt, I will be using 3 sight words –
go, to, the
Each clue will read, “Go to the” and then the first letter of the next egg’s location will be written followed by a line. For example, if the next plastic egg is hidden in the bathtub, it will read, “Go to the b_________.” Then it’s their turn to point and read the phrase, “Go to the”, sound out the letter and then guess where it may be. A picture of the answer will be drawn out on the back, but covered up so that they are not tempted to peek. Have fun following your child around (have your camera ready!) to the places they think the egg might be, but also be careful not to hide eggs in other locations that start with “b” if you don’t want them to find them prematurely. I will prepare my clues in advance and share prior to Easter to provide you with some inspiration.
Now, in order to prevent any meltdowns from frustration that your child doesn’t know these words spelled out on his or her clues, we are going to help by teaching them the words in advance.
Today we will introduce the word “go”! My daughter woke up today with the word “Go” and “go” (we will learn these sight words with both capital and lower case letters) spelled out in dry erase marker on her bathroom mirror. Go write it on your mirror now…it’s not too late! She was over the moon about something written on her mirror and had so much fun tracing her finger around the letters, sounding them out, and figuring out the word. I model this first by tracing the letters myself and sliding my finger under the word to read it. This way she will know the correct way to form each letter and where to start. Then she made her way to the kitchen for breakfast and found it written again on a piece of paper stuck to the fridge with magnets. She was so excited she was to see the word again and exclaimed, “It’s go, Mommy! Go, go go!” As she started out on a hunt around the house looking for more “go” words, I quickly placed her cheerios on the kitchen counter to spell “go” and called her back in. She thought that was pretty cool too. Boy is she having fun, and so will I as I think of more places to hide the word “go” throughout the day. She doesn’t know yet, but it’s spelled out on the dry erase board of her artist’s easel and it’s in the car taped up in front of her carseat. Each time she finds the word, I have her trace each letter with her finger and sound out the word G-o. By the end of today I can bet you that she’ll know this word and will remember it tomorrow. Be sure to check back here tomorrow as we will introduce the word “to”! Let us know what creative places you chose to write the word “Go” today! – lifeasallison