Well folks, it sure looks like this is the “new” normal, at least for now. The day to day situation you’re in this minute is not likely to change for the foreseeable future, which I suppose is a better answer than no answer at all. Some states are making of use of even stricter rules to keep folks at home for the majority of the time, so the fact that you still can enjoy your daily freedom (should you choose to) is a blessing in itself.
Speaking of blessings, you’re probably sitting, standing, or running in place while trying to figure out how to keep your kids and family happy this weekend, what with no city or privately planned egg hunts going on this, and for all the right reasons.
So what do you do with a family of anywhere from three to fifteen people living under one roof that are in extreme need of some refreshing fun? The answer will vary depending on your age group, available supplies, and amount of energy, but we’ll do our best to help you out of a jam, because that’s what friends do.
You’ve probably noticed that baking essentials like flour and eggs are no longer available or at least in rare supply at your local supermarket. This means that unless you get lucky, have egg laying chickens on your property (or know someone who does), or bought ahead, eggs and egg related dishes are not happening this weekend. Without flour you can survive just about anything, but it means any bread, biscuits, scones, or virtually any other standard baked good is out the window this time around. There are mixes available for just about any of those, and some really creative almond or coconut flour recipes to be found online, but the regular flour folks are out of luck. And yes, egg and gluten free folks, we can hear you laughing over your meal replacement protein smoothie from here. Hope you enjoy it, jerks. And yeah, we heard how much kale and macha you put in it, we don’t want to try it.
Moving on. So what can you make for your Easter feast? We’ll get to that.
First of all, don’t forget to celebrate. You spent how many years wishing you didn’t have to attend a large family gathering or put in face time at someone else’s? Guess what, the obligations, like the eggs and flour, are out the window. You get to do whatever you want, within reason anyway.
Since you can’t go anywhere, and you probably don’t have eggs, what can you do for fun? We’ll there are probably plenty of plastic eggs out there if you want to do an egg hunt, and if they’re not out there, you can get creative and put stuff in wrapping paper or if you happened to keep the egg cartons your eggs once thrived in, you could cut and tape those into individual egg holders for hiding. One last option, wrap stuff in foil, and try to make them into egg shapes. And no, it’s not wasteful if you re-use the foil later on, which you should be doing anyway.
So you have stuff to hide and find, but unless you live on a large property (not me), you have limited space and therefore limited hiding spots. Well, take your hunt to the whole homestead, not just the exterior. Bonus points to parents that don’t clean their kids’ rooms or ask them to, will only make the finding that much more difficult.
So the eggs (or egg-like things) are all in new homes, what now? Have you considered a really creative relay? Break the family into two teams (one parent on each team as the captain/motivator/keep-hope-aliver (and if there is only one parent in the house, either do the thing as one team or have your oldest kid be captain for a day)) and take part in easy games you can do with limited supplies. Run with a small object or edible item on a spoon, three-legged race (all you need is ribbon or string), and if you’re feeling super traditional, use any number of safe household items like a straw or wooden spoon in place of a baton and do a footrace lap around the exterior of the house for the finish. Make sure to assign points to every event and determine a winner, and with everything going on, have a prize. People need and deserve prizes right now. If the race to the finish doesn’t help, then play rock paper scissors to settle things.
Now that everyone is worn out, time for some quiet time or a nap before dinner. Encourage everyone to have fun together, but don’t make it a big deal. If someone doesn’t want to participate in every part of the day, don’t force them. But make sure they are around for at least two meals and alive in between.
For dinner, plan something easy to enjoy and not a huge commitment to make. It wouldn’t kill you to order pizza if you feel like phoning it in (literally), and you can always make a full chicken dinner without pulling out all the stops. It’s not a great or healthy idea most nights, but tonight if you want to make a boxed rice or pasta side dish and transfer bagged salad to a bowl and heat some store bought rolls in the oven – of course after you are nearly finished baking some frozen chicken pieces (ever baked chicken in italian dressing? Because you absolutely definitely should) you’ll still be putting a crowd pleasing meal on the table for a relatively cheap price tag at the end of a fun but still relaxing day.
And when it’s time to sit down and relax after the dishes have been done and the leftovers are in the fridge, make sure to take some “you” time and watch a rerun of your favorite comedy show, and enjoy a Reese’s or Cadbury egg. Just one though, two is crazy. You know what, this whole year has been crazy. Have two eggs for dessert since you probably couldn’t have any real eggs the rest of the day.
Whatever you and your family do this weekend, just make sure it’s fun. There is a lot going on right now that we can’t control. But we can control what we do this weekend in our own homes, so let’s make it a weekend to remember, even if the rest of this experience has been one to forget.
Thanks for reading, and stay safe everyone. No matter how many times you may hear it, we are all in this together, even if we’re going through every day apart.
Casey Mabbott is a husband and parent first, and also an experienced and dedicated writer and researcher. Born and raised in the Portland area, when Casey is not spending time with his family gallivanting around Portland and the surrounding areas, he genuinely enjoys helping people (especially families) find the “hidden gems” in the Pacific Northwest. In today’s world of lightning fast information at our fingertips, it’s truly a wonder to stumble across a place, an experience, or an activity you’ve never heard of.