Planning Your Family Easter in Seclusion
Easter is a fun holiday to celebrate with kids. But Easter is going to be different this year. There is no way around it. If your family is self-isolating due to the COVID-19 virus some of your usual Easter traditions will likely have to change. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still create a magical Easter for your kids. And celebrate the holiday as a family. Here are a few ways you can make your Easter self-isolating as a family special.
First, let’s talk about Easter baskets and activities you can do at home. Then we’ll talk about how you can still share the Easter holiday with family and friends. Even from a distance.
Related Post: Easter Crafts for Kids
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Make Easter Special for Kids When You Can’t Go Out
Easter will be different this year than it has been in the past but it can still be every bit as special. To make that happen, it’s a good idea to start planning now.
If Easter baskets are part of your family Easter, figure out what you need for this year’s baskets. If you’ve already purchased or own baskets and filler you’re in good shape. Otherwise, you may need to order baskets and filler online or make your own (see next section for ideas!). Next, figure out what treats, toys or books you want to include.
Many retail stores are currently closed or have empty shelves. So, your best option might be to order a few things from online retailers. Amazon has a few Easter basket options here. But if it’s too late to order or you’re concerned about spending money, all you need to do is get creative.
DIY Easter Baskets for Kids When You’re Trapped at Home
If you’re looking for ways to keep your kids busy at home while schools are closed, consider having your kids make their own Easter basket. Here is a post with DIY Easter baskets made from everything from paper plates to candy boxes.
But you don’t even need to go that far. If you have a leftover gift bag from a birthday party or Christmas or even a reusable grocery bag, tell your kids this is what you’re using for an Easter basket this year. They’ll be fine with it. It’s the fun of the holiday that matters.
Or ask your kids for ideas! They might have some really creative ideas for making their own Easter baskets or repurposing something to use as a basket.
What to Put in Kids’ Easter Baskets When You Can’t Get to the Store
Now that you have an Easter basket, what are you going to put in it when you can’t get to the store? Well, of course, there is Amazon for Easter candy, books and toys. If you can get a few things ordered in time. (Don’t wait if you hope to get it by Easter!)
But if online retailers or local stores aren’t an option for you there is still a lot you can do to make a special Easter basket for your kids.
Do you have a gift closet where you stash inexpensive toys for when your child is invited to a classmate’s birthday party unexpectedly? Now might be a good time to pull a few things out for your kids’ Easter baskets.
Another option is to check your local Buy, Sell, Trade pages on Facebook to see if anyone in your area is selling gently used toys. If you can do porch pick up and then sanitize the toys at home, this might be a good way to get something new but inexpensive for your kids’ Easter baskets without having to be in close contact with other people.
If your kids like sweets in their Easter basket, consider making some of these fun Easter desserts for kids. Many are perfect for an Easter basket if you gently wrap them in saran wrap.
You can also consider giving your kids money for Easter or printing gift cards from online retailers for your kids’ Easter baskets. Or even event tickets you can print online (for events several months in the future post-quarantine hopefully)
Free Easter Basket Ideas for Kids When You’re on a Budget
If finances are a concern right now or you aren’t having any luck with online Easter shopping or Facebook marketplace, here are some FREE things you can put in your kids’ Easter basket.
Print out a book of coupons for things your child enjoys. You can make your own, or check out this great free printable coupon book for kids. It includes coupons for things like staying up an extra 30 minutes or getting to choose the family movie rental. Or a family game night where your child can pick the game. I’ll be using this myself!
You might also be able to re-gift a few things for your kids’ Easter gifts. Particularly if you have older kids. Maybe you have some fancy lotion your tween or teen daughter might like. Or a family recipe you can write out and teach your daughter or son to make as an Easter gift.
This might all seem kind of…imperfect. But it doesn’t have to be. Make this Easter about the joy of being together. It’s not really about the gifts, you know? And your kids will look to you. If you’re able to get in the spirit and enjoy the day, they will too.
Plus there are lots of ways to have a fun Easter holiday in social isolation beyond the Easter basket. Let’s talk about them!
What About the Easter Egg Hunt When You Can’t Leave the House?
For many kids, one of the highlights of Easter is a community Easter egg hunt at church or a friend’s house, at preschool or Grandma & Grandpa’s. Anywhere kids can gather for a good time running around outside looking for brightly colored eggs. And it sucks that this won’t happen for many kids this year.
But you can still have an Easter egg hunt even during an Easter with kids stuck at home.
If you have a backyard, that is a great place to have an egg hunt. You can fill eggs with small treats or pennies, or leave them empty and make it about the thrill of the hunt.
If you don’t have a yard or bad weather keeps you stuck inside have an egg hunt in your home. The kids will get a kick out of it!
With any luck, you saved some plastic eggs from last year and can use those. But if you don’t have any plastic eggs, Amazon has some. I like these emoji plastic Easter eggs because they were the cheapest I could find. They’re cute and I didn’t want to pay a lot. I also didn’t need a pack of 150 for my two kids in our yard. 12-24 is plenty.
Be sure to take a quick video of the hunt with your phone so you can share it with family and friends long distance. Or try video chatting (see details below!)
Drive-Thru or Drop Off Easter Egg Hunt Events for Kids
Several organizations in my area had community Easter egg hunts planned before current events trapped everyone in their homes. The eggs have been purchased and so have the toys and treats. And many of these groups are now offering drive-thru or drop off Easter egg hunts.
Search your source of local news, community Facebook groups, or newspapers to find one of these events near you! The basic idea of a drive-thru Easter egg hunt is you show up during the specified time and they hand out baskets of filled Easter eggs at your car.
Other groups are dropping off Easter baskets on porches for families that sign up. Not all events are free (but many are) so be sure to read the fine print.
And evaluate for yourself what level of contact with people outside your immediate family you feel safe with.
How to Have a Virtual Easter Celebration with Family
Now for the toughest part about Easter during a time of social isolation. The part that makes me choke up a little. Spending the holiday without family and friends is a big fat bummer. And if you’re feeling sad or angry about it, that’s ok. It sucks.
But there are a few ways you can connect with family and friends long distance this Easter that are worth exploring.
My first suggestion is one I suggest you use not just during your Easter self-isolating with kids but throughout the time your family is in lockdown. Set up a video chat with your family!
How to Stay Connected with Family & Friends this Easter via Video Chat
You can use the Zoom app to set up a video chat when you’re celebrating Easter long distance. Ask your family members to add the app to their phones or they can use a laptop or computer if they have a microphone and audio. The Zoom app is FREE for video calls for group calls up to 100 people. But there is a 40 minute limit for calls with 3 or more people.
Get the complete details on their free and paid plans here if you have questions. But chances are good you can pull off an Easter family video chat with the free plan.
You can also use FaceTime or Skype for video calls. All of these video call options are easy to use. If you’re worried you or the family members you’re trying to reach won’t be able to figure it out, I encourage you to give it a shot during this Easter away from family. With a trial run a few days before to sort out the tech difficulties.
There are tons of tutorials online for how to use them if you find yourself struggling.
If you want to simulate a family Easter dinner, set a time to eat with your laptop on the table and video chat with extended family and friends during the meal.
If you’re worried your kids will get food on the computer or phones (a very legit concern!) save the video chat for before or after the meal.
Use video chat while your kids find their Easter baskets or hunt for Easter eggs in the backyard. Or schedule a time for everyone to just sit down and chat on the holiday. Whatever will help you feel more connected during this time of separation.
And if your Easter video chat with family doesn’t go as smoothly as you hoped, consider it practice for making another attempt on Mother’s Day.
Related Post: How to Celebrate Mother’s Day When You Can’t Leave Home
Ideas for a Family Easter When You Can’t Be Together
With a little pre-planning before the holiday you can also take advantage of online retailers to send Easter gifts. Or send cards and letters in the mail if your family is far away.
If your family is more local, consider porch drop-offs of Easter baskets, Easter cards, or other tokens of the holiday. Have your kids draw pictures for family and friends you would normally see on Easter and mail them or drop them off on the porches of your loved ones.
You can also connect online in other ways. If you do a search for virtual Easter egg hunts on Google, a few games come up. Maybe you can find one that can be played together, your kids with their friends or relatives.
Or if you can only play separately have everyone play and compare scores.
If your family has a beloved Easter tradition, whether it’s attending church together, a family Easter dinner, or a neighborhood egg hunt, consider how you might be able to do something similar either virtually or with your immediate family.
OR, if the thought of a watered-down version of your cherished traditions has you feeling worse about an Easter in isolation, then figure out what new traditions you can start that would bring a little joy to your family Easter in seclusion.
Live Streaming of Easter Church Services
For many people, Easter is a religious celebration. And the inability to attend church this Easter may hit you particularly hard. Technology might be able to come to the rescue here as well.
Many churches are offering live streams of their services. Or Facebook Lives or other ways to attend long distance. If your church isn’t able to do this, ask your pastor or friends if they know what that is.
Like so many things, it’s not the same. But we can be grateful for the technology that makes this possible. And enjoy a sense of fellowship and community even if it’s long distance.
Family Easter During Social Isolation
Think about what Easter really means to you. Whether it’s about your faith or your time with family and friends. Or a special day with your kids. Whatever it is, choose activities for your family that will honor what the holiday means to you.
Video chatting with family, live streaming your church service, a backyard Easter egg hunt. Make the best of things and it might end up being an Easter memory you cherish as much as any other year.