Planning an Easter Egg Hunt

Planning an Easter egg hunt is a wonderful excuse to squelch spring fever. Throwing the party is a breeze if you keep these tips in mind:

Since most folks have plans on Easter Sunday, schedule the party a week or two earlier on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

If you don't want the expense of buying every guest an Easter basket, ask each child to bring a basket from home. You may want to have a few extra baskets (or some lunch bags) on hand the day of the party just in case someone forgot to bring their own.

Keep the event casual by serving a buffet-style brunch and offer foods that appeal to old and young alike.

There's no need to go all out on your decorating. Simply set out a vase brimming with tulips, fill an assortment of Easter baskets with decorated eggs or sprinkle colorful jelly beans on the buffet table.

For food safety purposes, it's best not to use real eggs for the hunt. Instead, rely on colored plastic eggs, which can be found in a variety of stores. To be fair to all guests, plan on having each child look for the same number of eggs.

In addition to filling the eggs with candy, surprise the children with stickers, Silly Putty, jacks or even a certificate for a book or puzzle that they can "cash in" with you.

For the younger children, "hide" the eggs in open areas, but get a little more creative for the older kids. Before starting the hunt, instruct the children that they all need to look for the number of eggs you specify.