Last week I overheard my oldest daughter, Emberly asking my youngest daughter Jayleigh, what she thought the Easter Bunny would bring her. “A chocolate bunny!” my youngest excitedly exclaimed as I groaned in disappointment. Was I expecting her to say “Kale and Spinach Salad”? Not exactly but this is the child who asked Santa for bottled water and snacks for Christmas.
So, with a disposition against hiding candy in the girl’s eggs (ahem, I mean allowing the bunny to hide candy in their plastic eggs), I set out for a fun “egg filler” alternative to the traditional store bought junk. I wanted something that would get them just as excited (remember children feed off your emotion, so if you’re excited, most likely they will be too) and selfishly something that would look great in my pictures that you know I’m going to capture on my IPhone and share on Facebook.
Here’s the winning plan I came up with:
First off, we hard boiled 24 eggs for the girls to decorate because frankly, it’s a tradition and we consume hard boiled eggs like they are going out of style. (Fingers crossed the girls find them before the dog does this year #truestory.)
Next I picked out and secretly purchased an Easter jigsaw puzzle. Do this first because you’ll need to know how many empty plastic eggs to buy based on the quantity of puzzle pieces. Because my oldest is 12 I can get a more complicate puzzle and to keep it simple, I planned to put several puzzle pieces in each egg. Just make sure the pieces fit in the eggs. Some of the puzzles for younger children are larger sized and you may need to purchase the jumbo-sized eggs to make it work. Once I got the puzzle home I assembled it on a piece of cardboard and using a second piece of cardboard flipped it over and wrote a clue on the back directing the girls to where I hid their Easter gifts. (For example I wrote in a permanent marker: “Congrats on completing the last piece of the puzzle, hunt for your surprise where the queen out powers the king.” I chose to hide their gifts where we store the chess set.)
Add an extra 10, 20 or 30 eggs to your shopping list and fill those with strips of paper defining an activity or exercise. I used the following exercises and will instruct my girls to do as many exercises for each egg as they are years old. (For example, my 12-year-old must do 12 sit ups while my 4-year-old should do 4 sit ups.) Because my yard will likely be somewhat dewy, I’m planning on taking my yoga mat (a beach towel would also work) out to a central location to give the girls a place to run back to once they find an exercise egg so they aren’t rolling around in wet grass Easter morning (which would not be cute in my pictures…) You have the option to duplicate, triple or even quadruple the amount of “Eggsercise Eggs” (see what I did there) because frankly with Easter egg hunting it’s about quantity not quality.
Here are my Eggsercises: (Remember to instruct them that x = their age or if you only have one child hunting, write their age in for them. Also to help maximize their form, have them brace their core the entire time they are doing each exercise. Take the time to show them how to do this by having them imagine how they would tighten up their belly just before you come in to tickle them.)
- Do x Air Squats: Stand with feet shoulder width apart and slowly bend your knees as if you’re going to sit on an invisible box, keeping your knees from passing your toes.
- Do x Push Ups: Lay down on your stomach and place your hands flat by your shoulders, raise up by straightening your arms and balancing on the tips of your toes coming down by bending your elbows and getting your chest low to the ground.
- Do x Planks: Assume the same form as a push up but when you raise up by straightening your elbow, hold it for as many seconds as you are years old.
- Do x Crunches or Sit Ups: If your little one can do a complete sit up, more power to them but also give the option to modify to a crunch by simply curling your chest to your knees.
- Do x Jumping Jacks: Start standing with feet together and arms by your side, jump out bringing your stance wider at the feet that shoulder width and bringing your arms straight out in a straight swift movement to above your head, bring it back down ad repeat.
- Do x Burpees: From a squatted position, place your hands on the ground and kick your legs back behind you bearing weight on your toes, do a push up, then bring your legs back underneath you and jump straight up, repeat.
- Do x Lunges: From a standing position, feet hip width apart, hands on your hips, take a step forward with one foot pressing your weight into the forward heel and bend your back knee towards the ground (no touching) return forward foot to center and do the opposite side.
- Do x Bicycles: Lay on your back, position your legs at a 9- degree angle above you, knees bent and ride that bike for as many revolutions as you are old.
- Do x Spins: Spin in a circle as many times as you are years old (not recommended for adults.)
- Do x Windmills: Channeling your inner Jane Fonda, stand with your feet in a wide stance apart, arms straight and raised to shoulder height (think mid jumping jack) bend at the waist touching opposite arm to opposite toe, come up and alternate.
I have attached a printable pdf if you would like an easy button for creating the paper strips to place inside the eggs. Click here to open: Print Friendly Eggsercises.
Also, I can’t conclude my post without a super THANK YOU and shout out to my girl Nina Nyiri, master personal trainer, nutritional guru and basic total wonder woman for proofing (or approving) the exercise forms listed above. Because no Easter is complete without chocolate (no matter how much you try and live a sugar free lifestyle) here is a link to one of my very favorite Nina recipes for NO GUILT Chocolate Almond Butter Cups.
This recipe is so simple my eldest can make them on her own (and she did just last week!)
Happy Easter, the future is in your hands!