Coming up with Easter basket ideas for kids and still maintaining your sustainable living ideals is not so easy. Easter is often more about the wrappings and the commercial sales of shiny, colourful easter eggs, than about Easter itself. We think more about that yummy chocolate underneath those fancy, delightful patterned papers or foil, and less about where all that waste will go. I began to think how can we keep the impact on our own immediate environment down to a minimum?
Did Dr. Seuss Just Invent The Idea Of A Green Easter?
Not that it has anything really to do with Easter, but once I started thinking about a green Easter, green eggs sprang to mind and the famous book by Dr Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham. It just reminded me of Easter eggs and served to make me realise that there are other Easter basket ideas for kids, while doing it the sustainable living way.
There’s More Than One Way To Celebrate Easter
You can make up different ways to celebrate Easter, it doesn’t all have to be about chocolate eggs and rabbits and fancy trimmings. There are plenty of ideas of how to make this Easter as green as possible by using homemade techniques and a little bit of creative design. After all, Easter can be so much more than the commercial money making event it has become, it can be used to achieve a real family connection if you can make a special event of it. So here is what I came up with.
Homemade Easter Eggs To Put In Your Baskets
Here is where you can have some fun with your children if you like, or you can do these ideas on your own and keep them as an Easter surprise so that Easter Bunny has not skipped right over the house. You could create new family traditions where Easter Bunny leaves real eggs, not chocolate eggs that are store bought, why not do an Easter egg hunt with them too?
The Easter Bunny Is Real
If your children still believe in the Easter Bunny, why not suggest that you have asked Easter Bunny to bring eggs that are completely biodegradable after they have been eaten in line with the family’s efforts to be living a cleaner, greener lifestyle. In other words, we eat the egg and the shell which is effectively the colourful wrapping, can be used in the compost bin. We would would not only reduce the waste coming from our homes, we are promoting healthy eating using whole foods as well.
See? Healthy eating can be fun after all! If the family are not too keen to be rid of the chocolate bunnies, you could suggest doing this alternate years until they warm up to the idea.
Decorating Your Own Eggs.
The Natural Look
This homemade basket of eggs reminds me of the eggs we used to make as children, except ours were brightly coloured. I’m not quite sure how these eggs have been coloured, it’s possible they may have been placed in tea, or brown vinegar perhaps.
My mother made use of wax candles, such as birthday candles, although in this case perhaps beeswax may work instead. We would get up on Easter Sunday and after we saw what the Easter Bunny had brought, we would sit down to have our breakfast which usually consisted of boiled eggs. Soft boiled with little ‘soldiers’ to use to dip into the runny egg yolk. Yum!. Soldiers are merely sliced bread that has been buttered and sliced lengthwise into smaller slices. One slice of bread can make 5 or 6 soldiers.
The fun part was the process before we cooked the eggs. We would use the candles/wax to draw pictures or patterns on the eggs before cooking them, but you had to be really careful otherwise you might break the eggs. You could do any pattern you liked but because you couldn’t actually see where you had drawn because while the wax stuck to the egg shell, it was not necessarily visible, which meant that it was pot luck how your egg turned out.
It was important to make sure you went over the section you were drawing a few times to make sure the wax was well attached. Then she would place them in different pots with red or blue or green food colouring in the water and we would boil them ready for eating. Where the wax had been on the egg, it left a white outline of whatever you had drawn after the wax melted away.
The wax had effectively blocked the food colouring from staining the egg in those places, leaving the image we had drawn intact, simply through it being the part that was not coloured. Naturally our soft boiled eggs were followed by hot cross buns. Yum!
Simple Yet Colourful
There are other simple ways to produce an effective Easter-look using chicken eggs from your very own property if you have chickens, or store bought eggs if not (might I suggest finding a local supplier with free range eggs for sale). This next method is done using pre-cooked hard boiled eggs. You can see here in this image how well it produces very beautiful bright shades. The recipe and method for colouring these hard boiled eggs is as follows:
You Will Need:
1/2 cup of boiling water
1 teaspoon vinegar
10 – 20 drops of food colouring
Add water, vinegar and food colouring (only one colour per bowl) to a bowl or cup
Do this for each of the colours you are using
Submerge the hard boiled eggs into the dye and leave for 5 minutes before removing them with a slotted spoon or tongs.
Continue until through all the colours to be used and refrigerate.
Place them in a lovely basket and use them as a centerpiece, or scatter them around the garden for a fun Easter egg hunt with the children. Then you can eat them (as long as they haven’t been out in the sun too long of course). You might choose to do these as the Easter gift from the Easter Bunny if you have made them yourself and the kids don’t know you have made them.
Have Fun Designing Your Own Intricate Patterns.
This method is similar to the first idea where you will be cooking the eggs after decorating them, ready to eat as soft boiled. You can also do this and continue to boil them to make them hard boiled. Or you may draw your design after they are hard boiled and cooled.
What Do You Need?
You don’t need much for this activity either except a good quality food colouring (if you decide to colour them as well, otherwise you can leave them as is), that you should be able to buy from a cake decorating shop, a set of pencils with thick cores, such as Derwents, and some water and saucepans.
If you are planning to decorate the eggs like this after they are cooked, you might try oil pastels or even markers if the eggs are not wet. I find it is handy to use the egg carton to place the finished products in as you are waiting for them to all to be completed before starting to cook them.
How Is It Done?
Basically you do a similar thing with the eggs as the wax drawing above, but you draw any design that you want, using any colour that is dark enough to stand out underneath whichever food colouring you choose to boil your eggs in. Treat it as your very own masterpiece or canvas. Some people just use markers to draw their outlines and to fill in the patterns. Personally I find that if you are boiling them after you have drawn on them, the pencils stay on the egg shell better than what a marker would.
Decorate Using Bits And Bobs Around The House
Sometimes the simplest of decorations can look elegant, such as these lovely eggs decorated purely with ribbons. This may be leftover ribbon from other sewing efforts, or scraps bought from the store over the years, but they look lovely regardless. Thin or thicker ribbon would look just as effective, likewise bows or other decorative additions to the ribbon would be pretty.
If you don’t have ribbons made from material, there is always coloured cardboard, or scrapbooking paper ribbon, probably more ‘green’ than those made from material. These are just examples, I’m sure you can come up with plenty more ideas. Actually, it would be lovely if you have other ideas to pop them into the comments section below for the interest of other readers who may be stuck for ideas.
If you prefer, you could use the old blowing method of decorating eggs, but you wouldn’t be eating the insides of the egg. To do this, you prick a small hole in one end with a pin or even a wooden skewer, and then prick another hole at the other end the same. Place inside the hole a thin straw and blow the contents out through the other end of the hole.
This may take a while. Then rinse the inside of the egg out with water. Once dry, use acrylic paint to create your design and leave to dry. Use these as you would Christmas decorations and decorate the house for Easter. They are a still very delicate, even with the paint coating, so be very gentle when handling them. They look lovely in a bowl, or as hanging ornaments if you can be bothered blowing out that many eggs.
But Where’s The Chocolate?
Prefer Chocolate Eggs? You still can and also keep it green. These are not the only Easter basket ideas for kids, there is also everyone’s favourite Easter treat to consider and that is what to do about chocolate eggs. I have written an article dedicated to chocolate Easter eggs and how to keep a green outlook. I’m sure you will find a lot of ideas there too.
Thank you for reading this article and please if you have any suggestions or ideas to add to this, please feel free to add them in a comment at the bottom of this page. I look forward to reading all of them. Happy Easter from my family to yours.