From face painting to candy and gifts, Easter is full of surprises and delights for children, but while the big basket full of goodies is a pretty big hint that the Easter Bunny came, there are a number of other ways you could subtly let your children know Peter Cottontail stopped by.
Very much like keeping the spirit of Santa Claus alive for Christmas, keeping your child's imagination running wild with tales (and tails) of the Easter Bunny is great for bolstering creativity and belief.
Overall, though, celebrating Easter with your kids really comes down to setting the scene and getting your children excited and engaged with the story of Easter and the Bunny who brings all the treats. Read on to discover some fun tips to leaving some "evidence" for your children to find that'll make them think the Easter Bunny really did visit your home.
Setting the Scene and Leaving Clues
One of the best ways to help your children maintain their early childhood belief in the Easter Bunny is to get them engaged in the story like you would for Santa Claus at Christmas, perhaps by watching an Easter movie or by reading an Easter book. After you've explained who the Easter Bunny is, have your kids leave out a carrot and some water for the bunny the night before the holiday, then nibble off the tip while everyone's sleeping.
You can further the illusion by also pulling apart some cotton balls and leaving a trail of "bunny fur" from where you left the Easter baskets to the front door or leave bunny footprints on the floor by sprinkling glitter or baby powder and brushing some of it away in the shape of bunny paw prints.
If your child is getting older, though, you might need to be a bit more convincing still. You could try leaving a letter from the bunny in the kids' baskets by writing a quick note on bunny or spring-themed stationary and signing it with a paw print, or you could write a message from the bunny on your driveway using sidewalk chalk.
For even older children, consider asking a friend or family member to wear a bunny costume and hop through your yard at a certain time—making sure your kids are looking out the window and your bunny has a quick escape route. For extra points, ask your friend to drop a few eggs or chocolates so that the kids have something tangible to "prove" they saw him.
Other Ways to Spice Up Easter
The following ideas won't necessarily prove the existence of the Easter Bunny, but they'll still add to the magic of Easter morning.
To start, you can turn your regular old milk jug into a bottle of "Easter Bunny juice" by adding a drop of red, green, or blue food coloring into the milk or replacing regular milk with strawberry or chocolate varieties.
After the kids go to bed, color a dozen raw eggs and then put them back in the original container. When you pull out the eggs to make breakfast in the morning, act surprised that the eggs are now colored.
If your kids are heavy sleepers, draw bunny noses and whiskers on their faces while they're sleeping using washable felt markers (regular face paint is more likely to smudge while they're sleeping). They'll get a fun surprise when they see themselves in the mirror in the morning—as long as you use a light-colored washable marker, it will wipe clean with soap and water before you head to church.
Whatever you do, please don't purchase a real bunny on a whim. Every year, families buy rabbits because they think the animals make cute Easter gifts, but after the thrill wears off, they neglect them. Celebrate Easter in a fun and responsible way instead of with some of the tricks mentioned above.