Wednesday, March 30, 2016

An Egg Hunt 'Round the Depatrment

I have been meaning to do this for years and, for some reason, I always seem to forget until, like, the day before Easter. But not this year! I planned an egg hunt around the Youth Services Department, ongoing for the month of March... and people really liked it!

Figuring out the logistics took a bit of time. I didn't want to have to continue to re-hide the eggs every time someone did the egg hunt. So I decided on paper eggs, taped up around the room. I was trying to work out something with hints and clues and then, finally I just thought: No, keep it simple, just go for the old school hunt.

No hints, no clues, just good ol' lookin' around. Here is what our sign looked like:

Making a "Family Egg Hunt" was a little trickier than you might think. Three-year-olds and twelve-year-olds have very different finding-things abilities and I wanted to accommodate all ages, having it be challenging yet doable for everyone. No easy task! I wound up making some eggs easy to find, some eggs hard to find, and hoping for the best.
The day after the egg hunt's debut, the consensus from my coworkers was that it was "too hard." But I disagreed. I was happy with it. In fact, I wanted it to be a challenge, wanted it to take a little while. So I kept it like it was. There were four eggs that were easy-ish to find and four eggs that were trickier. To make the whole thing a little easier (a compromise on my part, but I'm glad I did it), after trying it out a few days, we added bunny hints.*

* The bunny hints are easier-to-find, strategically placed pictures of bunnies that point to harder-to-find eggs. Here's an example:

Not too tricky to find this bunny at the end of the shelf of books.
A bit trickier is the under-shelf egg that the bunny points to.

The bunny hints were used for the 4 trickier-to-find eggs (even though one of them was only moderately tricky) and we didn't outright tell the kids about this unless they asked for a hint. If they got stuck, telling them about the bunnies was often the first clue that we gave. But a good handful of egg hunters figured out the bunny thing all on their own, which was really cool!

Then, if (aka, "when") the kids found all 8 eggs, they got to pick a prize from the prize basket:

We were able to use up an assortment of leftover things here, which is always wonderful. There were dinosaur eggs, wind-up robots, 3D geometric puzzles, owl stampers, pirate bouncy balls, atomic bouncy balls, and globe keychains. A nice selection, I must say!

What worked least: Before the bunny hints, the hunt was a little hard. Once the bunny hints made their appearance, the hunt got a little easier and more appropriate for younger searchers. BUT sometimes the bunnies would fall down. We were pretty good about making sure we always replenished them, but, at times, there would be one down, and this actually made the eggs that the bunnies were supposed to point to, even harder to find because people assumed, no bunny--no egg. As the month went on, we all got a little more neurotic about making sure the bunnies were always properly taped up.

What worked best: I actually feel like the difficultly level made this super fun for everybody! We had a great turn out, approximately 160 hunters, and I feel really proud of how well-taken-advantage-of my simple little egg hunt was! It was such a success that I'll be doing a "sports ball hunt" (to take advantage of this summer's reading club theme) from June through August!

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