Easter activities for children in Dorset
Gardens, parks, attractions and even houses will be scattered with Easter eggs this March and April as eagle-eyed youngsters go on the hunt for these oval shaped objects, and hope for a surprise and a treat!
Easy to Make: Easter Wreath
Christmas isn’t the only time of year when people dress their doors with decorative wreaths. A recent trend has seen many people sprucing up their front doors with displays of bright colour and spring materials in the shape of an Easter wreath! Creating one is really simple and something the children can add an extra special little touch to. Take a look at Pinterest for some inspiration on materials and design.
Easy to Make: Easter Bunny Bunting
Decorate the walls and window frames with these bright little bunnies. To make: buy a variety of patterned card, place a basic bunny template on top of each piece of card and draw around it. Cut this out and glue on a small ball of cotton wool for a tail. To finish, attach each bunny to a natural piece of string using mini wooden pegs.
Easy to Make: Eggy Lambs
These funky-looking lambs will look a treat perched on a mantelpiece or sideboard. Plus they’re so easy to create – simply roll small pieces of cotton wool into balls and glue these to the surface of the egg. Cover the whole egg with cotton wool, leaving a space at the front where you can add a funny face!
Easy to Do: Painting Easter Eggs
Very young children may wish to use hard-boiled eggs, whilst slightly older-children may use hollowed-out eggs. Cover the smooth glass-like surface of egg with acrylic paint. Using a mixture of soft brushes, coat the egg in a base colour. To add detail, use a fine brush dipped in paint or glitter, or use finely-tipped pens.
Easy to Make: Easter Nest Cakes
You’ll need some nests to cradle all those tasty eggs this Easter. So how about making these equally tasty nests:
Ingredients: Shredded Wheat; Cooking chocolate; Milk Chocolate Mini eggs
Crumble up the Shredded Wheat in a bowl. Then melt the cooking chocolate in a separate bowl placed in a pan of boiling water. Carefully remove the bowl and slowly pour the melted cooking chocolate over the crushed Shredded Wheat. Combine together. Then get the kids to shape the mixture into nests in the cake cases. Finish, by placing 2 or 3 chocolate mini eggs onto the top of the cooled down nests.
So, why is Easter on a different date each year?
Have you ever wondered why Easter falls on a different date each year? Well, the reason for this lies with the decisions made by the first council of the Christian church, also known as the Council of Nicaea, in the year 325 AD.
This council used a complex formula to calculate the future dates of Easter.
The council decided that Easter should be celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs on, or just after, the spring equinox.
The church set a fixed date for the spring equinox as 21 March and established that Easter can take place between 22 March and 25 April. This year, Easter Sunday is on 21 April.
Yet, this year, the full moon and the spring equinox actually occur on Wednesday 20 March. So, shouldn’t Easter be held on Sunday 24 March instead?
Astronomically speaking, yes it should.
However, the ancient calculations did not consider lunar motions for our times. The key point here is that an ecclesiastical full moon does not necessarily happen on the same date as the actual full moon.
In 2019, the first full moon after 21 March occurs on 19 April, so consequently Easter will be celebrated on Sunday 21 April.
Easter egg hunts with a difference:
The Easter Egg Hunt is usually pretty-high up on the Easter activity list but what are the alternative options to searching for chocolate eggs?
Primary Times has been on its own ‘hunt’ for fun ideas that will get the kids active, listening and counting… Here they are:
Matching Sound Egg Hunt
Test your child’s auditory processing ability by creating a game that will encourage them to match a sound in an egg case to an image of the item that is making the sound (in the egg case) on a printed sheet of paper.
You can fill the egg cases with items such as coins or pasta shapes or seeds.
Once all the eggs and sounds have been matched, the children can be rewarded with a treat.
Make the kids work for their chocolate treats!
Lay on some fun energy-burning Easter egg hunts for the kids.
Simply hide several plastic empty egg cases around the house, garden or local park and fill them with little notes inscribed with a physical activity to complete.
Each egg has a fun mini exercise challenge for the kids. For example, this could be: do ten star jumps; run on the spot for 2 minutes, do a roly-poly.
After all that exertion, the kids will have earnt their chocolate treat!
Colour Matching and Maths Egg Hunt Game
This is a simple game where children hunt for coloured eggs.
You may wish to use mini chocolate eggs wrapped in different coloured tin foil and hide them around the garden.
Once all the eggs have been collected they can be separated by colour and counted – and then consumed!
The Story of the Easter Egg
The humble egg is the food most synonymous with Easter. It symbolises the start of new life, rebirth and fertility. Many people associate the egg with Christian values at Easter, yet the egg also played a role in lots of pre-Christian festivals celebrated by the Ancient Egyptians, Persians and Romans.
In the Middle Ages when people were unable to eat eggs during Lent they began to decorate and store them for Easter Sunday and the tradition of the egg hunt began.
The first chocolate Easter eggs were made in France and Germany in the early 19th Century, and in 1873 the first British chocolate Easter egg was produced by Fry’s.
Cadbury quickly followed producing a chocolate egg in 1875 and by 1892 produced 19 different types of eggs.
Today, the UK chocolate Easter egg market is worth more than £220 million with sales growing every year. Cadbury’s Crème Egg is the most popular and over 500 million eggs are made every year.
Easter trails, scavenger hunts, egg and spoon races, bottle-feeding lambs, beach cleans – you name it – there’s plenty of adventures to be had this spring.
Easter Egg Hunts are usually a big hit with youngsters who simply love becoming mini-explorers and what’s more, this fun activity can be affordable.
You have the choice of hosting an egg-citing Easter Egg hunt in your back garden or local park, or alternatively head to a local attraction and enjoy the novelty of the occasion with lots of other families.
During the Easter school holiday, should the weather allow, go outdoors each day for some free fun.
It’s easy to distract children with uncomplicated activities such as spotting and naming clouds, searching for mini-beasts or seashore critters, visiting and perhaps bottle-feeding newborn lambs, watching a spider weaving a web, and following slimy snail trails. It’s all great fun and doesn’t cost a penny!
Take Off at Adventure Wonderland this Easter
There's loads of fun to be had at Adventure Wonderland in the Easter holidays, including meeting PJ Masks’ Catboy and Luna Girl. The crime-fighting superheroes are making their first visit to the park on Wednesday 17 April and are sure to be a big hit.
There's outside rides and attractions, egg and spoon races and Easter egg hunts in the giant hedge maze everyday over the Easter bank holiday weekend, plus a new show to be enjoyed in the Happydrome Theatre. There’s also the vast indoor Aztec adventure play centre, Wild Thing! including the brand new interactive Jungle Zap Zone. Plus, new for 2019, children visiting Adventure Wonderland can get in for free at the Aviation Museum opposite. Book tickets at www.adventurewonderland.co.uk and follow the park on Facebook @adventurewonderland.
Eggstreme Easter at Woodlands Theme Park, Devon!
This Easter, take part in the fabulous Easter egg hunts, craft workshops and animal activities at Woodlands Theme Park in Devon. Travel through a land of chocolate heaven to meet the Easter Bunny in his grotto (T’s & C’s apply), and on Fridays 12 and 19 April, go and see the amazing Fizz Pop Science team at their exciting slime and science workshops.
Plus, don’t miss the Woodlands Supastarz and meet Roary, the interactive Dinosaur throughout the school holiday. This picturesque south Devon park is set amid a stunning wooded environment and has the adjoining, award-winning Woodlands Grove Caravan and Camping Park right next door, which is an ideal spot for families. Find Woodlands Family Theme Park and Woodlands Grove Caravan and Camping Park, near Dartmouth in Devon. For details ring 01803 712598 or call www.woodlandspark.com
Alice Adventures at Lulworth this Easter
Head back ‘down the rabbit hole’ for some great Easter family fun at Lulworth Castle from Friday 19 to Monday 22 April, from 10.30am - 5pm. Inspired by the fantastical story of Alice in Wonderland, families can expect a whole host of themed activities and lots of Easter fun.
Refreshments will be available including light lunches, cream teas, hot drinks, cakes and ice creams. Tickets will be available online or on the day and include free parking. Call 01929 400352 or visit www.lulworth.com for details.
Easter Treats in Store at National Trust Dorset
Join the National Trust over the Easter holiday when they team up with Cadbury to offer you the ultimate day out on a Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt. Get the whole family together for fun and nature-filled discoveries as you spot the first signs of spring at a National Trust place near you. Follow the bunny’s clues and finish your adventure with a delicious, chocolately treat. For more details and a list of Easter events go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dorset-easter
Go East at Monkey World this Easter Holiday
This Easter, Monkey World will be fundraising to put 8 gibbons back into the wild from sister sanctuary Dao Tien in Vietnam, run by charity EAST (Endangered Asian Species Trust).
Visit Monkey World to take part in trails, stalls and games, and help the gibbons go EAST!
Also, over the Easter bank holiday weekend, Monkey World will be giving away free Easter Eggs to the first 100 children who enter the park each day.
Visit www.monkeyworld.org for details.
Hop on Over to the Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park
This spring hop on over to the Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park, an award-winning family attraction, set amongst some of Dorset’s finest countryside. The park has received a record number of awards this year, including a Gold Award from South West Tourism for being the best small attraction of the year and of course, a Gold Award in the Primary Times Reader Star Awards (Best Half Day Out)!
It has also received an Excellence Award for Vintage Vehicles, was a finalist in the Rural Business Awards, plus it has received accolades from Trip Advisor, Hall of Fame and more! So, it’s well worth a visit! During the Easter school holiday all the regular attractions will be running, plus many extras for Easter, including egg-citing Easter arts and crafts, an Easter quiz, plus there will be lots of baby animals to cuddle. See www.dorset-heavy-horse-centre.co.uk
An Egg-citing Easter awaits at Wimborne Model Town
From 30 March, Wimborne Model Town will be delighting local families with its vintage fun. There will be an egg-citing Easter Egg Hunt Quiz to complete from 6 to 22 April where children can search for the clues hidden in the shops and buildings, that make up the miniature 1/10th scale world of Wimborne in the 1950s.
The Easter fun doesn’t stop there as there will be entertaining family fun shows with magic and jokes, for no extra charge, on 9, 11, 16 and 18 April, at 12 noon and 2pm. Another seasonal activity is an Easter Crafts session on Wednesday 17 April. Look out for the Crazy Golf, new for 2019, which is available to play for a small extra charge. See www.wimborne-modeltown.com or call 01202 881924 for more details.
Reach New Heights at RockReef
Reach new heights this Easter with a RockReef adventure on Bournemouth Pier. Take on the 28 climbing challenges, Pier Cave, HighLine obstacle course or the adrenaline-pumping Vertical Slide or Leap of Faith.
If you’re feeling brave enough, try the PierZip, the world’s first pier to shore zip wire experience. Activities are suitable for youngsters aged 4 and up, and some height and weight safety restrictions apply. You may wish to try all the indoor activities with the brand new Ultimate Ticket for only £29 each. See http://rockreef.co.uk or call 01202 237916.
Tonnes of Easter Fun at The Tank Museum
This Easter holiday, from 6 to 22 April, explore and experience the biggest day out in history at The Tank Museum. With over 300 vehicles in 10 powerful exhibitions plus explosive Live Displays on weekdays and vehicle rides every day, there’s tonnes to see and do. Kids can also enjoy dressing up, follow the trails and tours, and let-off steam in the soft play and outdoor play area. For more information see www.tankmuseum.org
Fluffy New Arrivals and Easter Bunny at Farmer Palmer’s
Farmer Palmer's will be brimming with baby animals for you and your little ones to meet during the Easter holiday. There's a full daily timetable of hands-on animal events each day and acres of adventure to explore. Join in with the Eggcellent Easter Hunts over the Bank Holiday Weekend.
The fluffy, friendly Easter Bunny will be hiding hundreds of chocolate eggs out in the field, every day from Good Friday to Easter Monday inclusive. Egg Hunts start at approx. 2.30pm each day – there is no extra charge for egg hunts in addition to normal admission. See more at https://farmerpalmers.co.uk or call 01202 622022.
Megga Easter at Crealy
Head to Crealy for their Megga Easter and experience the biggest Easter event in Devon. This year, Crealy will be welcoming the one and only Peter Rabbit to the popular family theme park from the 18th to 22nd of April as part of their Megga Easter event.
You and the family will be able to meet and greet the mischievous rabbit at intervals throughout the day so make sure you take your cameras for that golden selfie! Prior to Peter’s arrival at Crealy, there will be a Megga Easter Egg Hunt from the 15th - 22nd of April. Your task is to find all the magical egg locations across the theme park and tick them all off on your special map! Once you’ve completed your quest, head over to the Piazza Stage where you will be rewarded with an egg-ceptional, chocolately prize. If that’s not enough, Crealy are offering £15 tickets from the 6th to 14th April, where you’ll be able to enjoy the theme park at a discounted cost! Tickets are now available to purchase online at crealy.co.uk
Easter Fun for Everyone at Honeybrook
Visit Honeybrook Adventure Farm, near Wimborne, for its fun family Easter event which will be running from Friday 5 to Tuesday 23 April. Look out for the giant Easter bunny and get a free Easter photo taken. Plus, don’t miss the animals with their new baby arrivals.
Enjoy all of this and more for only £5 per person. Check out the advert in this magazine for full details of what else is included free in your child’s admission. Honeybrook is open every day from 10am to 5pm. See www.honeybrookadventure.com
Go Wild this Easter at RSPB Arne
Go Wild with the RSPB this Easter! Over the holidays, the RSPB will be running a range of events for all the family. Start off by following a trail to the woods and try your hand at some fun woodland activities.
Or pop along to the egg-stravaganza to celebrate the signs of spring in the wonderful café garden. Children will also get a small Fairtrade chocolate egg afterwards for completing the challenge. For more information visit www.rspb.org.uk/arne
Dr. Ranj’s Teddy Bear Hospital to entertain all at Brewery Square this Easter
Children’s TV entertainer, Dr. Ranj is set to bring his Teddy Bear Hospital to Brewery Square in Dorchester on Saturday 20 April with two free performances at 11am and 1pm. The fun and informative family performance is entertaining for parents and children, as Dr. Ranj and his friends sing and dance during the educational live show. Two free performances will take place on the day, each lasting 30-minutes and featuring a selection of Dr. Ranj’s fluffy friends.
Charlotte Spracklen, centre manager at Brewery Square, added: “We’re really excited to welcome Dr. Ranj and his Teddy Bear Hospital to Brewery Square this Easter. Our Easter events have worked really well in boosting footfall and have become a firm part of the calendar offering something for all the family.”
In addition, Brewery Square will be running its annual Easter Egg Hunt across the weekend, from Friday 19 until Monday 22 April, between 10am and 4pm. Children up to the age of 15 can collect a form from the Concierge Office, and all returned and completed forms will receive a free Easter prize. Visit www.brewerysquare.com for more information.
Keep your children healthy with Everyone Active
Being physically active every day is important for the healthy growth and development of children of all ages. To maintain a basic level of health, children need to do at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
This should range from moderate activity such as walking to school, scooting or playing in the playground to vigorous activity such as swimming, running and gymnastics.
Keeping your children active over the Easter holidays is easy with Everyone Active’s ‘Active Kids’ programme. It offers a wide range of activities for children aged from four months to 10 years. From football coaching, gymnastics, dance and trampolining to swimming lessons and under-fives ‘Active Antz’ and soft play sessions, there’s plenty for your little ones to enjoy. For further details, contact your local Everyone Active centre or visit www.everyoneactive.com
Did you know?
- Easter chocolate sales make up 10% of Britain's annual spending on chocolate.
- The UK chocolate Easter Egg market is worth in excess of £220 million.
- If you laid all the Cadbury Creme Eggs made in a year from end to end, it would stretch from Bourneville, Birmingham to Sydney, Australia.
- Easter is the second most popular time of the year for eating chocolate.
- J.S. Fry of Bristol produced the first chocolate eggs in 1873.