Hatch a plan for a Peeps-gathering, egg-hunting, bunny-hopping good time this Easter

It’s spring! It’s almost Easter! Need more reasons to smile? “Why shouldn’t you tell an Easter egg a joke? It might crack up.” “Where does the Easter Bunny eat breakfast? IHOP.” “Why was the Easter Bunny so upset? He was having a bad hare day!” (Visit Primary Games for more yuk-yuks.) Now that you’re smiling–or groaning–it’s time for think-outside-the-box (or basket) holiday celebrations.

Putting a new spin on traditional treats is one way. For example, Peeps are no longer just sugar-coated, animal-shaped marshmallows. Last year Money magazine published “10 Amazing Facts About Easter Spending,” noting that “At some point, Peeps art became a thing—Peeps dioramas especially—and there are no fewer than 15 Peeps art shows and contests around the country.” The Washington Post for years held an annual Peeps Dioarama Contest and many other organizations around the country have picked up on it. For example, Loutit Library in Grand Haven, MI, sponsors a diorama contest they call a “fun Spring Break project.” The entries will be on display during National Library Week (April 9-15), falling this year the week before Easter, and winners in this Peeple’s Choice Award will be announced the day after Easter.

The same Money article also noted that according to a National Retail Federation survey, 87% of parents have Easter baskets for their kids. However, the word “basket” can be limiting. Woman’s Day recently published “30 Creative Easter Basket Ideas Your Kids Will Love,” with creative ideas and alternatives that include using a baseball cap as the basket to crafting paired Mickey and Minnie baskets to a baby Easter basket filled with goodies such as stacking cups, bath toys, and plastic eggs that promote fine motor skills.

To help capture the joy and reverence of Easter, consider three great workbook sets from the Inspired Learning series. They include two 4-book sets or one with all 8; all are biblically themed and perfect for individually including in baskets or wrapping up separately.

Making decorations for Easter adds to the fun, helps build kids’ skills and imagination, and makes for great memories. The Cute DIY Projects blog gathered and compiled “50+ Cute and Creative Easter Crafts for Kids in 2017” from a number of sources. The word “cute” definitely applies—easy, too! Check out Bunny Rabbit Hand Print Craft for Kids from Crafty Morning or their adorable Easy Pom Pom Chicks made from little yellow pom poms. Or try a lamb made from a paper plate, some cotton balls, and a few other basic materials, with directions from She Knows. Cute DIY also suggests that “if you want to take your child’s creativity to the next level" try Salt Dough Eggs from Design Mom. They are as pretty as Christmas ornaments.

Springtime is bursting with new life, and hardly anything is a sweeter sight than a child with a baby animal. “I Grow, Too!” is a playful level 1 Start to Read! book that shows that children inch toward adulthood and so do baby animals. It’s available as an iOS eBook or Kindle eBook. Or download a charming MP3 song of the same name inspired by the book. Kids—and moms, dads, and siblings—will love to sing along. “Hatchlings become turtles. Piglets become pigs. A gosling’s called a goose when it gets real big.” Watch vocabulary expand, and imagination soar. With its lullaby sweetness, “I Grow, Too!” will fast become a bedtime favorite.

Gather your favorite peeps around and make Easter a multisensory springtime celebration.