Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Vegan Easter Ideas for Kids (egg-dyeing included)!
First off, I want to talk about Easter in general. In terms of the kids, Easter is pretty easy for vegans. There are lots of options now to buy non-dairy chocolates, even miniature foil-wrapped eggs. There are plenty of other candy options, like gummy bears. This Surfsweet brand is vegan, and also has no artificial colors (though not all their varieties are vegan, check the label). Beyond candy, there are many other goodies - most of which kids love even more!
Our Easter tradition goes something like this... if it is sunny and dry outside, the Easter Bunny will hide the treats in the garden - if wet and cold, the goodies are inside. Several years ago, when we started with our first daughter, I bought a dozen or so larger plastic eggs that open up. These are available at dollar stores, grocery stores, just about anywhere. Every year I pick up some stickers, foil-wrapped chocolate eggs, and a few other fresh ideas to include in the plastic eggs. Some of the new items might be a small toy, a fun eraser, keychain for their backpacks, etc. Anything that will fit in the eggs (and you can get different sizes) and kids will be excited about works. Doesn't have to be pricey, just fun! I fill one egg with some stickers, another with some jellybeans, another with a keychain... you get the idea. To be "fair" for the girls, if it is something more special like a keychain, I put a small label with their initial on one egg each, that way each girl receives one special item, and the other eggs are free game! I also scatter about some chocolate eggs, because they are much more fun to hide and trickier to find!
Each year I round up the plastic eggs again (but only after a few days of playing, those eggs are sacred for a short time!), and poke them away in a cupboard to reuse the next year. This has worked wonders every year for us, and some years I have also given a small wrapped stuffie, like a chick or bunny. Easter is usually fun and uncomplicated, and the girls enjoy the small treats more than the candy.
Last year I found myself in a bit of a pickle, though. Our daughter's class was dyeing eggs as a project, and each child needed 1/2 dozen hard-boiled eggs (I think it was 6, definitely more than one). Regardless, not very vegan. I just couldn't use a real egg (let alone six), not even if I asked a friend for one. Just couldn't do it, and neither could our daughter. The girls are very connected to animals, and they didn't want any part of using a real egg either. I didn't know what to do. I thought about alternatives... plastic eggs wouldn't work for dyeing... styrofoam eggs, might have worked but I couldn't find them. Then, I thought about it and realized that many craft stores carry wooden items for painting. I called them and sure enough they had some wooden eggs! Perfect! I picked up a few for both girls. They did not dye as well as I thought they might, but they were still pretty and the girls had fun. And, we still have the eggs!
I just took these photos today. Our eldest still has the basket they made, and has been keeping an eagle with the eggs, she decided the eagle needed a 'nest'. :) You can see one of the eggs has some spots from the dyeing. And, another standing that our middle girl painted in kindergarten last year - another bonus, the eggs have a flattened bottom so they prop up! Our Can't say that for any hard-boiled egg - don't think you'd want that sitting around for a year. Only drawback is that, yes, these wooden eggs were a couple dollars a piece. What can I say? Wooden eggs are not subsidized. ;)
What Easter traditions and vegan alternatives do you have? Please share up your ideas for others!
Food for thought: One egg has more cholesterol than a "Double Down". (I didn't know what this was until I saw this story... but let's just say that a Double Down has 'doubles' the cholesterol found in a Big Mac. Yikes. Not saying that the Double Down is a good choice (obviously!), but wow. Link through for the pic and full story.)