The Easter egg hunt originally featured delicately painted chicken eggs. Today, most egg hunting parties are a bit more practical, using plastic eggs stuffed with prizes instead. If this is your first party, consider ordering your eggs in bulk from a place the Oriental Trading Company. You can hold on to your eggs for the next year by asking parents to return them once their kids have emptied them of their prizes. Either way plan on hiding at least a half dozen eggs per child.
Decorate the house and yard where you're holding the party with lots of pastel-colored helium balloons, streamers, and paper cutouts of eggs, rabbits, and carrots.
Fill several dozen multicolored plastic eggs with candy, small toys, and money (think quarters and fifty-cent pieces). Write "Congratulations" on a bright sheet of paper; fold it up and put it in one of the eggs. For older children, you can use a lottery system, stuffing the eggs with slips of numbered paper. After the hunt, draw out numbers from a hat to award larger prizes like a new board game or an ITunes gift card.
Plan to hide your eggs the night before Easter Sunday. Consider making a map for yourself so you don't lose any of your eggs that aren't found the next day. Make some easier to find for the little kids, and some much more difficult for the older children.
You might want to divvy up your lawn up into age-appropriate zones. For little ones two and under, carpet a smaller area with dozens of eggs. The fun in practicing their fine motor skills is more than enough challenge for this toddling group.
Preschoolers aged three to five are beginning to understand and enjoy hide-n-seek, so this is a good age to start covering up some eggs. Of course, don't hide them anywhere precarious that requires high climbing. Stick to putting them in flowerbeds, under piles of leaves and inside drain pipes. School-age children love a challenge, so get creative and use a ladder when hiding their eggs!
On the morning of the hung, set up a table inside with colored - but blank - paper bags, colored markers and stickers. When the children arrive, have them decorate and personalize a bag for the Easter egg hunt. The hunt begins after everyone has decorated his or her bag.
When all the eggs are found, draw numbers from a hat for your lottery prizes and pass them out to the kids. At the very end, ask who found the special egg with "Congratulations" in it. Award the recipient a prize like a giant chocolate egg, bunny or some other fun prize.
Plan to serve some light finger foods like veggie trays with baby carrots of course, meat and cheese platters, and crust-less egg salad sandwiches. Set out your platters from the start of your party, so that adults can enjoy the spread while their kids are hunting. Celebrate the end of the hunt with a sweet tray of Easter sugar cookies or a bunny-shaped cake with a furry frosting of coconut. Good choices for refreshments are pink fizzy punches, juices and bottled waters.
The Big Finish:
Finish off the fun with a good old fashioned egg toss. Here's how:
-Have everyone pair-off and face each other at a starting line.
-Each pair is given one egg. Use raw eggs for maximum excitement.
-An official blows a whistles (or shouts some appropriate term), and each person takes a large step backwards.
-The person in each pair with the egg tosses it to the person without.
-When all couples have completed their toss, the official signals for a second round and the process repeats (large step backward, toss, pause, etc, etc).
-If a couple does not successfully complete its toss, and the egg has not broken, they return to the starting line. If it breaks, they're out.
-The couple that's left in the end (presumably far away from the starting line) wins.
-Give the winners a fun prize like a gift certificate to an ice cream shop or local candy store.
Sources: eHow.com, Ancestry.com, Holidays.net