Family: Make New Easter Traditions

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One of the best parts of being a kid is hunting for Easter eggs. It is better if they’re chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs filled with jelly beans, but real, hard-boiled eggs are just as fun to find.

Easter can be a time to make new family traditions beyond the traditional, and colorful, dyed eggs.

Dye Easter Eggs

If you like egg salad sandwiches, deviled eggs, chef’s or Cobb salads, dying hard-boiled eggs and hiding them for your children to find is always a great place to start making family memories, and have hardboiled eggs on hand to eat, as well.

The premade dye kits now offer a variety of options, with stickers, transfers, new colors and finishes and other special egg designs.

You can also make your own Easter egg dye by combining 1/2-cup boiling water, 1 teaspoon vinegar and 10 to 20 drops of food color (found in the spice section, or baking section at the grocery store) in a cup to achieve desired colors. Repeat for each color. Dip the eggs in dye for about 5 minutes.

Interested in organic Easter egg dyes? Try this.

Combine 1-quart water and 2 tablespoons white vinegar in a medium pot. Bring it to a boil, add your dye ingredients lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Once the dye is cool, strain it before adding the eggs.

For yellow eggs add 3 tablespoons turmeric (wear rubber glove, turmeric stains your skin) to the boiling water.

For pink eggs, add 4 cups of chopped beets. (Eggs turn pink after drying).

For blue eggs, add 3 cups of chopped red or purple cabbage. For robin’s egg blue, let the eggs soak for 30 minutes. If you want a deeper hue, soak your eggs overnight in the fridge.

For orange, add 4 cups of yellow onion skins. For a brighter orange, soak overnight in the fridge.

For silver eggs, forget the vinegar; just combine 4 cups of water and 4 cups frozen blueberries in a bowl. Let the mixture come to room temperature and strain. Soak eggs in the dye overnight in the fridge.

Plant Magical Beans

Here’s fun way to engage your children in the magic of the Easter Bunny.

Replace each “planted” jellybean with a colorful lollipop or a variety of Easter-themed treats.

A few items you can plant (each tied with a colorful ribbon and on a stick or skewer): Marshmallow Peeps, colorful lollipops, chocolate bunnies, Easter Egg shaped cookies, pastel-colored marshmallows and marshmallow-filled chocolate eggs.

Find the Big Chocolate Bunny

An Easter Bunny hunt is always a great way to keep kids entertained, as well as teaching children how to follow clues with deductive reasoning.

Hide a large chocolate bunny somewhere in the house or yard.

Assemble your list of clues that will lead your children on the hunt for the bunny by finding a series of clues.

Example: Clue 1: Find your first clue where bathing is done. (Bathroom) Clue 2: Where 1 plus 1 is 2 and 5 plus 5 is 10. (math book) Clue 3: What do you take to school every day? (backpack) Clue 4: Find a container to boil water (pots and pans cupboard) Clue 5: Where you keep your toys (Toy chest).

Easter Tree

A beautifully decorated “Easter Tree” is easy to assemble with a broken tree branch (with several smaller branches to hang eggs) set in plaster of Paris in a small tin pail, or in a medium to large vase filled with sand or small pebbles.

It is best to spray paint your branch white before placing in the plaster or vase.

“Blow” a dozen fresh eggs by poking holes at the top and bottom of the eggs with pins. Use a small nail to enlarge the holes enough to blow out the egg. Make the bottom hole a little bigger than the top hole. Put your mouth over the top of the egg and blow until all the egg runs out of the bottom and into a bowl.

Dye the eggs in a rainbow of colors and then decorate (carefully) with pieces of lace, sequins, glitter and rhinestones. Glue a piece of colorful ribbon at the top and hang the eggs on the “tree.”

This is a fun family craft for all ages.

Easter basket treats

Not everything in an Easter basket needs to be candy. Put non-candy presents into baskets along with the traditional sweets. Items like stickers, chalk, craft supplies, small toys and books will delight the kids and keep the “sugar high” to a minimum.

Make a bunny cake

I’m about as artistic as a rock, so making a cute bunny cake always seemed beyond my cake-decorating abilities, until I discovered this clever “bunny cake hack.”

Bake two 9-inch round cakes, any flavor, according to package directions.

Cool.

Cover a large sheet of cardboard with foil.

Place one round cake in the center of the “tray.”

Cut curved ovals from the sides of the remaining cake. What will be left should look like a bow tie.

Place the bow tie piece below the round cake (the face) and the two curved pieces above the “face” as ears. Cover with white frosting and white coconut flakes.

If you are very ambitious, use some pink frosting to decorate the inside of the bunny ears.

Use green or blue gumdrops for eyes, a pink gumdrop for a nose and string black licorice for whiskers. Draw a mouth with a tube of black décor icing.

Decorate the bow tie with more gumdrops or pink frosting.

Easter egg hunts

It isn’t Easter morning if there aren’t children scampering around the backyard looking for hidden Easter eggs.

Even more fun is a community Easter Egg hunt like the one offered by the city of Santa Clarita each year.

Plan to attend Eggstravaganza, Saturday, April 20, at 10 a.m. in Central Park, 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus. The popular free egg hunt is open to children 10 and under. Info: www.santa-clarita.com/city-hall/departments/recreation-community-services-and-open-space/events

Easter Adventure Trains

The Fillmore & Western Railway will offer two special trains on Easter weekend.

Train 1: Scenic Train to Santa Paula Easter Celebration Saturday, April 20. Adults $26; Senior $24; Youth (4-12) $16; Child (2-3) – $12 and infants are free. Departs at noon from Fillmore. Travel to the historic city of Santa Paula. Spend full hours visiting the downtown, museums and Easter-related events. Then return to Fillmore at 4 p.m.

Train 2: Easter Lunch Train. Depart the Filmore station at noon on Sunday, April 21. Adults $50; Youth (4-12) $29; Child (2-3) $25 and infants under 2, free. Enjoy a three-hour scenic ride through the Heritage Valley with the fragrance of orange and lemon blossoms to enjoy. Bring the family for lunch as you travel through some of the most beautiful countryside in the area. The Easter Bunny will be visiting with treats for all.

Reservations required: https://www.fwry.com.

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