Fun Ways to Celebrate Easter

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By Jennifer Halter

April is here and along with warmer temperatures and other springtime adventures you may be
having with your family, we are also celebrating Easter! Whether you are more traditional or if it’s all
about the fluffy bunny, here are a few ways to have some fun this month!

Marshmallow Peeps Playdough

Whether you are a fan of this favorite holiday goodie or if you’d rather pass, here’s a fun way to use marshmallow Peeps in a way you may not expect … as playdough!

You will need:

  • 5 peeps for each color of dough you would like to make
  • 3 Tbsp of cornstarch (have extra on hand in case mixture is a bit too sticky)
  • 1-2 tsp of coconut oil
  • Food coloring (optional)

Step 1
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and microwave on high for approximately 30 seconds. Be sure to watch
while heating. Once the peeps expand, they are ready for step 2!

Step 2
Remove the bowl from the microwave and gently stir the mixture. Mixture will be hot, so be sure to watch
little hands! They may get excited and want to grab before it’s safe.

Step 3
This step is optional. Add additional food coloring if you would like a brighter and more vibrant color for your dough.

Step 4
Once the mixture is cooled enough to be safely handled, remove from the bowl and knead it until it
becomes a dough-like consistency. If the dough is too sticky, add additional cornstarch as needed.

Your dough is now ready to use. You can add more fun to your play time by using holiday-shaped cookie
cutters or allowing children to create their own dough masterpieces using items such as gems, beads or
googly eyes.

Natural Egg Dye

Want to try a new way to color your eggs other than store-bought dye kits? Try using natural ingredients
such as fruits, veggies and spices! Keep in mind that using these methods to color your eggs will take a
bit more time and the colors may not be as bold and uniform. For best results, you may need to allow your
eggs to soak in the dye for up to 24 hours.

To make purple dye:
Add 1 pint of smashed blueberries to 2 cups of water. Bring to a rolling boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and
simmer for 10 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before adding your eggs.

To make pink dye:
Add 1 chopped beet to 2 cups of water. Bring to a rolling boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer
for 10 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Remove any beet pieces that may not
have cooked down during boiling. Add the eggs.

To make blue dye:
Add half a head of a large red cabbage to 2 cups of water. Bring to a rolling boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat
and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Remove any cabbage pieces before adding the eggs.

To make gold dye:
Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of turmeric to 2 cups of water. Bring to a rolling boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature and add the eggs. The turmeric can also create a speckled effect on the eggs and can be added to any of the colors for a fun look!

To make yellow dye:
Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of turmeric and 2 large carrots that have been grated to 2 cups of water. Bring to a
rolling boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool to room
temperature and add the eggs.

You can also blend two or more of these natural dyes to create different looks.

Non-Candy Basket Fillers

Chocolate bunnies and jellybeans are great, but if you want to bypass the sugar overload this Easter, here are some ideas for non-candy treats you can include in your child’s basket!

  • For toddlers – bath toys, chunky crayons, playdough, bubbles, board books, snack crackers or their favorite cereal, puzzles, washable paint
  • For school-age children – stickers, coloring books, sand toys, balls, jump rope, seeds and tiny pots for
    spring planting, pens/pencils, sidewalk chalk
  • For tweens/teens – flip flops, lip balm, sunglasses, markers, journals, hair accessories, body wash, socks, bath bombs, playing cards

Have a wonderful holiday, no matter how you choose to celebrate!

Jennifer Halter is publisher of Macaroni Kid Woodbridge and Macaroni Kid Gainesville/Manassas.

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