Whether or not you celebrate the festival of Easter there are plenty of reasons to make the next few weeks special. There’s the coming of Spring now the Equinox has passed, there’s the lengthening of the days which means more time outdoors, there’s the chance to plant seeds and see what has self-seeded in the garden over the winter months. Many of us have the urge for a Spring clean, sorting through our wardrobes and storing away winter woollies, and decluttering after a season spent mainly indoors.
It’s a lovely excuse to take it slow and spend proper time with the people you love. If you are looking for some fun, simple family crafts to do over Easter here are five no-stress activities that we love and have become part of our Easter holiday routine. As well as specific crafts you could also set a beautiful Easter table for a friends or family get-together, with a linen tablecloth in a fresh pastel tone, plain beeswax candles, a twig nest filled with tiny eggs, daffodils dotted around in jam jars, and blossom branches laid down the centre. Willow branches look lovely as a big centrepiece or on a mantelpiece, and will last for ages.
Make an Easter tree
Find or forage for a nice, largish branch that has fallen off a tree. You want one with lots of little twigs and smaller offshoots, something with a bit of a sculptural shape. You can also buy lovely branches from florists if you’d rather. Hang tiny wooden eggs from the branches to make an Easter tree, and place somewhere prominent as a seasonal decoration.
Cress people in eggshells
These are so much fun! You do need to plan ahead a bit so the cress has time to grow, but they are a doddle to make. Take some empty egg shells, cut so that you retain as much length on the egg as possible. Stick on two googly eyes and get creative with moustaches, bow ties, eyebrows etc. Dampen a piece of cotton wool and put it inside the shell, then sprinkle over some cress seeds. In a few days you’ll begin to see some splendid green hair emerging from the shell. Keep the cotton wool moist. Here’s how they look once their locks are fully grown (pic courtesy of katescreativespace.com, a fabulous resource for all things arty and crafty).
Family egg hunt
This is a great activity to do with young kids as well as older teenagers, who will be able to reconnect with their playful side despite any initial coolness. Hard boil enough eggs for each member of your family or household. Each choose another person to draw, and then either draw with Sharpies or paint that person’s face onto one of the eggs. The aim is for the eggs to be distinctive and recognisable, but often they are pretty basic. This just adds to the fun. Then allocate one person to be the hider. They take the eggs and hide them somewhere outdoors – a park, the garden, a field. Everyone then has to hunt for the egg version of themselves. We always end with a big egg rolling race once they’ve all been found.
Bake hot cross buns
Yes, you can buy these, usually as soon as the Christmas stuff has left the shelves. But homemade hot cross buns are the bizz. Perfect for a slow afternoon if the weather isn’t great and you feel like hunkering down with some comfort food and a house filled with the aromas of warm, fruity bread. Yum. This recipe is straightforward and delicious.The buns are super shiny thanks to a honey glaze. Serve hot from the oven with some butter, and decent linen napkins to wipe sticky fingers.
Blow some eggs and decorate
There’s no great skill to blowing eggs, but you do need a light touch, so this might be best for older children and adults. Younger kids can paint hard boiled eggs that have been cooked with onion skins or a splash of vinegar to give them a beautiful colour. You can be as artistic as you like, going for marbling effects and tasteful watercolours, or go for gaudy and fun. To blow the egg make a hole in each end with a pin. Increase the size of the holes a bit by either poking a few more times with the pin or a toothpick. Holding the egg over a bowl, blow hard into the hole at the pointy end of the egg. The inside of the egg should start to come out of the other hole. Keep going until it’s completely empty, then rinse the egg and leave to dry before painting. Use the inside bits for some scrambled eggs or an omelette.