This article was first posted earlier: 30/10/2014
The first thing my grandsons do once they leap from the car is check the letterbox; although these days, there's very little to be found there other than advertising leaflets. But there's something exciting about opening the letterbox and peeking inside that never seems to dim.
Regardless of age, finding something in the letterbox personally addressed is a wonderful way to connect with your grandchildren and build memories. Yes, email is faster with little expense, but snail mail has its own appeal. And kids love it!
Continuing a tradition
My father used to send notes and cards to my children on a regular basis when they were young and they would dance around with excitement.
He'd often add little pen-drawn illustrations on the envelopes and include cryptic addressee titles along with the formal address. We'd frequently find missives addressed to 'The Moby Dick fisherman' (after my son caught his first fish) or perhaps 'Australia's best chef' (my daughter had baked a cake), and other interesting titles.
The letters created plenty of comment and discussion with our postman,. too.
Create your own snail mail fun with your kids or grandkids.
So now, as a grandma, I try to send my own whimsical notes and letters to my grandchildren.
When I visit with them, they often drag out the old letters or cards I've sent them and ask me to read the inside messages to them again. They really do treasure those simple letters I post to them.
So.... how can you create your own snail mail fun? What do you need to create exciting letters that will keep your grandkids eagerly watching for mail?
1. Send your cards or letters regularly
You don't need to rigidly post one letter every week on a set day and time. But if you only post your grandkids once in a blue moon, there won't be any thought or expectation of a delivery arriving sooner or later. It's the same as when your favourite magazine is due in your letterbox early each month. You don't know exactly the day it will come but you're looking for it, expecting it, hoping for it. And when it does eventually arrive, there is eager excitement.
2. Organise stationery for kids and encourage them to write to you, too.
You can buy stationery that your kids will love using but I've found it's not that easy to find appealing designs. And... they're often quite expensive for just a few printed sheets and envelopes.
So.. to start you off, I've included a free pack.
You can find your free stationery below. Just download the files, print and package them up as a fun letter-writing pack for your grandkids. Naturally, there are plenty of other choices and designs that you can find on AtGrandmasPlace online store. And there are other wonderful designs from Etsy. I've listed some below.
BONUS: A special mailbox for the kids
This idea from TinyMe is a great addition!. Download, print and create a special letterbox for the kids and and set it up for their next visit.
Set it up ready for them and watch their reactions.
Pop some letters in the letterbox for them to find when they arrive. And, you could prepare some stationery for them to use and then post in the letterbox for themselves. You'll also find full instructions for creating this set at TinyMe.
Alternately, post the mailbox pieces to them so that they can set it up themselves at home. Then they can write and post letters to others in their family.
What better way to encourage kids to write- and enjoy the activity! Check it out below...
More Kids' Stationery
3. Include some little extras like stickers and stamps, or decorate the envelopes
Sometimes, I try to slip some stickers inside the envelope as an extra highlight. The letters are more highly anticipated than ever by my oldest grand-daughter since she's taken up philately. You can find plenty of resources for kids for stamp collecting. You can even create and order your own stamps. How much fun would that create for your grandkids to find their own photo on the stamp?
Even if you don't want to go to those lengths you can decorate the envelopes a bit.
I try and use the most beautiful stamps when I post cards to Rachael. And stationery packs for kids usually include some wonderful envelopes.. like the Mail Munchers pack listed below. You can find them on the AtGrandma'sPlace online store.
Download the template from TinyMe. Print and send the pieces to your grandkids or set it up ready for their next visit!
Enjoy yourself with these great resources and build some memories with your grandkids.
Get your copy of these exciting stationery packs for kids
Each kit contains 3 different styles of stationery: a page for those kids who cannot write sentences yet. They can draw something special and then write their name at the bottom; there is a page designed with a small number of lines for kids who are learning to write but might be overwhelmed by a lot of lines to complete; and there is a full page of lines for writing but still some fun characters on the stationery page.
There are even some fun cards. There are some monster lined envelopes. And there are some Monster Mail Munchers that can be slipped onto the top or corner of a page of stationery or even a book as a bookmark. The kits can be downloaded or ordered as a complete kit that comes in a plastic kit with some additional fun items- stickers and pencils.
Updated and reposted from March 24, 2018
'Presentation is Everything.'
Simple ideas to create an elegant Easter table arrangement
Do you have family visiting for Easter? Whether you're planning your Easter celebrations for just your own immediate family or an extended gathering of friends and family, a beautiful table arrangement really sets the scene for a perfect Easter celebration.
Now, this can be daunting consideration. But, don't feel you need to spend hours preparing a lovely display. I've found a collection of ideas, from a simple minimal approach to an amazing table overflowing with delight.
You may have decided to go with a separate table for the kids. That's fine. I've got that covered, too. So, just click through the images and find the table creation that appeals to you and your needs. There is a link on each image to the original and the instructions.
And remember, you can add to or simplify the original concept or substitute items where necessary.
Just as an example, this Easter arrangement took minutes to prepare.
3 SIMPLE STEPS TO CREATE AN EASTER TABLE DECORATION
STEP 1. Buy an Easter wreath. Yes, you can make your own but I didn't have time and you can find them everywhere.
STEP 2. Place the wreath in the centre of the table.
STEP 3. Add a floral arrangement to the centre of the wreath- e.g. lantern, candles, or an apothecary jar filled with eggs. (You can buy a floral arrangement or make your own.)
And that's it! Done. Simple.
Check out the other beautiful and creative ideas below.
There are many other ideas from truly creative people, and I gathered some to show you, that will inspire you and provide some simple, yet beautiful solutions. From fun-filled kids' table arrangements to elegant designs to outdoor dining ideas, you'll find something in the following collection that, I'm sure, will help you create your own Easter table arrangement.
This amazing list of Easter Table Decorations can also be viewed on Listly.
Or... check out the collection of Easter Table Decor YouTube clips below.
And... as an added bonus, why not plan to include Easter themed table serviettes.
You'll find links to the instruction below.
Yes, there's more..
If you're looking for other Easter ideas and inspiration, then check out myEaster Pinterest board. Are you planning an Easter Egg Hunt? Here are some tips. And if you'd like an Easter that allowed you time to focus on what really matters, download my free book below, Stress-Free Easter.
Why not sign up below for VIP access to my library of FREE resources, where you'll find plenty more books, downloads and family resources?
( This article has been updated from that previously published March 6, 2018)
Yep… affiliate links are included which means that, at no additional cost to you, if you buy through me I get some coffee money …though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
We all enjoy the fun activities that are a part of the Easter holiday weekend- the hot cross buns, the family gathering, the Easter brunch- but we still want to encourage our children to focus on the real message of Easter. We want to create memorable family Easter experiences, ones that will bring new meaning and understanding of the Easter story and the importance of Jesus’ sacrifice for everyone.
Having said that… we all know that the question on every child’s lips will be, “When are we having the Easter Egg Hunt?”
So, are you prepared? It's actually not as easy as you think, especially if you have a big, jostling collection of excited kids or a group of different aged children, particularly toddlers. You certainly want to keep everyone happy and avoid the tears of disappointment or the cries of, "It's not fair!"
So.. along with preparing cute baskets to gather the eggs, here are some tips that will make your Easter Egg Hunt rock.
TIP #1 ... Choose the style of Easter Egg Hunt to suit your pint-sized participants and your resources.
Little ones often struggle to find their Easter Eggs even with help from others. If you're looking for an easy Easter Egg Hunt idea for small children, how about attaching a balloon to each egg? They'll love collecting these eggs..especially if they get to keep the balloon, as well. And, there will no difficulty finding the eggs.
If your kids are a bit older, they will rush madly to find every egg within a couple of minutes flat, probably knocking their friends over in the process. And then the egg hunt is over. But you can organise the hunt as a scavenger hunt with printed clues that will have kids searching and exploring. As another option, try this Easter egg hunt with scripture verses. Check out this well-prepared printable Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt.
Energetic Scavenger Hunt:
Want to get the kids moving or make it a bit harder for slightly older kids? How about an active scavenger hunt. The eggs are decorated to look like sports equipment and inside are instructions like- crab-walk around the couch, 10 star jumps etc They can earn points for finding and completing the task to claim the Easter egg prizes later.
Tweens and teens have probably out-grown the simple fun of an Easter Egg Hunt... unless you make it high-tech. Create a smartphone event with clues presented with QR codes. Use eggs that are less brightly coloured, too, to make them harder to find for these veteran Easter egg hunters.
For something a little different, consider holding your Easter egg hunt at night with glow eggs. You could include an outdoor movie night to accompany the hunt. You can obtain a kit with everything you need: full Egglo Kit for your own egg hunt adventure with eggs, stuffers, storybook, DVD, Scripture Scrolls, and more.
You can also make your own glowing Easter Eggs and other glowing decorations.
Children's Ministry Program:
If you're presenting an Easter Egg Hunt as a part of your Children's Ministry Easter program, then you might be interested in the Easter Egg Hunt lesson, to help kids find Jesus. How about a Bible Easter Scavenger Hunt?
Easter egg Hunt Box:
And… if your family and grandkids live miles away (like some of mine), why not send them an Easter egg hunt box? I made this for my own grandkids and it was a heap of fun!
TIP #2. ... Start your preparations early
I know it seems as if an Easter Egg Hunt is a simple matter of buying some eggs, hiding them, and letting the kids search for them. But there's a lot more to it if you want to avoid tears and disappointment from those who couldn't find any or couldn't compete with the older kids.
A bit of planning and preparation can turn this simple Easter activity into a wonderful and memorable family event- a real moment that matters.
So... are you going to hide plastic eggs or go with the chocolate and candy egg option. (Don't forget to check for food intolerances such as dairy or gluten.) As a general rule of thumb, you'd probably need to work on 8-10 eggs per child.
Plastic eggs have become a popular option, largely because they can be used in so many creative and fun ways:
* Fill the eggs with stickers, small gifts or numbers that correspond to other prizes to be collected later. Check out some of these non-candy ideas.
* You probably have one or more of your kids who are competitive, even though it’s just an Easter egg hunt. So, tears are sure to follow for whoever doesn’t find many eggs. You can avoid this scenario if you designate different areas for different ages.Then send the children to particular coloured zones determined by their age. Use matching coloured balloons to identify the location of the zones.
* If you only have few kids, give them each a different coloured basket or pail and tell them to find only the eggs of that same colour.
* Alternately, you can tell the kids to collect only one egg of each colour.
* Organise the kids into teams and send the teams out into different areas. Each plastic egg they find as a team contains a puzzle piece. When every piece has been found, they must work together to reassemble the puzzle and gain extra points. Award the team and individual prizes accordingly (though I'd probably give everyone much the same prize to avoid disappointment.)
You can find the Easter Story puzzle if you'd like to use it for this activity..
*You might also like to tell the kids that there is one, or a couple, of golden eggs to be found. If or when you find and open them, you'll find either a large piece of gold paper, a gold sticker or gold glitter inside. The golden eggs can be redeemed for extra points or a bigger prize.
TIP #3 ... Easter decorations look amazing, add to the excitement, but also help your event run smoothly.
The focus of An Easter Egg Hunt is, of course, finding eggs. And I know the children are bouncing up and down in eagerness to start looking for their Easter eggs. But the excitement really starts well before the hunt. And how much better if the hunt begins with brightly coloured balloons and wonderful signage that shows the children just where to start looking for their Easter egg success.
It sets the scene, prepares the children and helps to keep them going in the right areas.
Actually, you'll find a growing number of Easter egg Hunt kits in the stores and, if you can find just what you want, that does make it easier. But there are plenty of wonderful resources online that are FREE; just download, print, cut out and attach to a small wooden dowel. Add your signs at intervals to direct the children, fuel any flagging enthusiasm and keep them on track. Check out some of the options:
Simple printable signage ... looks great and encourages those looking for eggs.
Labels, signs and other helpful printables that look good and help keep the fun moving. Download and print signs and directions to add to the excitement.
Set out the perfect trail for your Easter Egg Hunters to follow... and it looks great, too.
And there's more..... more amazing signage , and it's free.
Oh... there's also some cute bunny footprints to download, print and set out for the little ones to follow. These are particularly helpful, and cute, for those who can't read.
Your Easter Egg Hunt will certainly run more smoothly with some signs, directions or clues to direct the kids and encourage them to look in the right direction.
TIP #4 ... What's an Easter Egg Hunt without baskets?
If you're planning an Easter Egg Hunt, your kids will need to have baskets for gathering their eggs. And.. there are lots of options.
Refresh an old basket
Perhaps you already have an old basket; you can refresh it with an Easter lining.
Make your own
Add some additional excitement with a 'Make your own Easter Basket' activity before the kids go searching.
How about a bucket?
They don't need to use a basket- an Easter tin bucket works just as well.
An amazing collection of Easter Egg basket ideas for kids of any age.
Buy them online
And... if you're running out of time to make your Easter baskets, you can find some online, like these beautiful hession baskets with lace and ribbon, for the kids: yep, there's something special about gathering beautiful Easter eggs in a basket.
Tip #5 ... Include some Easter games and special gifts
Prepare small packs of other Easter gifts to hand out to each child when they return, triumphant or discouraged, from the hunt. It will serve to remind the children that the Easter egg hunt is not the most important thing at Easter. Some suggestions might be the Easter message told with jellybeans, or gift ideas that are not necessarily designed for the sweet tooth.
So.. here are some simple but fun Easter games and activities to present following the Easter egg Hunt:
* Egg & Spoon race- an old favourite. Add a modern twist with a water egg on a spoon race.
* Bunny, Bunny, Hop- this is the same as Duck, Duck. Goose.
* Egg Bowling- yes, it's much harder to bowl with an egg. Give it a try.
* Use some printable games like anEaster Tic-Tac-Toe.
* Easter egg ker-plunk is a lot of fun, too.
*Easter trivia games to print and play.
And just a bit more...
*It's a great idea to include a photo booth with some Easter props.
* Easter crafts... now, there are so many of these to choose from that I create a special Pinterest board you might like to check out and follow.
if you wanted to finish with something that would place the focus back on others, then a Caring Basket would be a great closing activity for the kids. They can be involved in assembling and/or giving Easter baskets to those in need: the elderly, the sick or a needy family.
Now, are you feeling inspired or overwhelmed? I really hope it's the former because Easter is a wonderful celebration to share with your family and friends, especially if you can also share the Good News of the first Easter story.
Disclosure: At Grandma's Place is committed to high standards of integrity and quality. I do not promote any brand I do not believe meets these standards, and I only promote brands I would purchase myself. If I don't love it, and don't think you'll love it, it won't appear on my blog.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.