Happy Easter – we’ll all be Celebrating a little differently this year!

We’ve all been told to stay at home this Easter…the good news is, the Easter Bunny has been practicing ‘social distancing’ for as long as we can all remember. He’s an old hand at gently and quietly hopping into homes and gardens all over the world, spreading love, laughter and connection with his glorious Easter treats.
Having fun at home is more important than ever this year, especially for our little ones. Here’s some ideas for the young and the young at heart to spread some joy this Easter

Cook an Easter Feast at home

Everyone has their favourite meal, use Easter as the time to go the extra mile and spend some time cooking whatever your favourite is. It could be a lavish breakfast, a long lunch or a heart-warming 2 or 3 course dinner. Put some extra time into creating something truly memorable.
Set the table, use your ‘good’ dinner set if you have one, iron a tablecloth, pick some fresh flowers from the garden and create a beautiful dining space for your loved ones. If you have kids, get them involved in the decorating. Perhaps they could draw and colour some eggs for the table or make an Easter napkin ring for the table. Take your time and have some fun with it. 
Not only could you dress up your table, but you should also dress up. Put on an outfit that makes you feel good. You might even dress up in an Easter theme by getting crafty and making your own Easter hat to wear to your feast!
Share your creations on social media, text message or video message with your family and friends to help spread some joy.

Connect with an on-line church service

Many local churches are offering on-line church services to help regular parishioners and the broader community maintain connection and as a place to reach out for support.
Google your church to find when you can view a webcast or a live Facebook event. Many have on-line church services available every Sunday.

Bake your own Hot Cross Buns

An all time favourite for many! Have you ever tried baking your own? This is a great activity for the whole family. You could even bake extra and deliver some to your neighbours front door. What a lovely Easter surprise!
Our dough recipe is simple:
2 x 7g dried yeast
4 ½ cups of plain flour
¼ cup of caster sugar
40g butter
1 ½ teaspoon of mixed spice or cinnamon
2 eggs – lightly beaten
4 tablespoons water
300ml milk
A pinch of salt
Optional extra: 1 ½ cups of currants or sultanas
Combine all dry ingredients (including optional extras if you choose) in a large bowl.
Melt butter in a saucepan and add milk, heating only until it is lukewarm. Add this to the dry mixture bowl.
Mix ingredients together using a flat knife or wooden spoon. Once roughly combined, use your hands (make sure they’re clean) to continue to mix together to make a dough. Try not to overmix it.
Sprinkle flour onto a clean, flat surface. Then remove the dough from the bowl and knead it for 10 minutes until it feels smooth. 
Add a small amount of olive oil to a clean bowl and place the dough in it. Cover with cling wrap and put aside for 1-1 ½ hours. The dough should double in size.
Use non-stick baking paper to line a large baking tray. Place the dough back on the floured surface and punch it down to its original size. Knead lightly for 20 – 30 seconds then divide the dough into 12 portions and gently shape each one into a ball.
Place the dough balls on the baking tray 1 – 2 cm apart. Cover the tray with cling wrap and once again put aside for about 30 minutes. The buns should double in size.
Turn on the oven to 170C (fan forced).
To make the cross, mix ½ cup plain four and 4 tablespoons of water together. Spoon the mixture into a zip lock bag and cut a small section off the corner to make a piping bag. Pipe the mixture over the top of the bun to make crosses.
Put the tray of buns into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
While the buns are baking make a simple glaze:
Place jam and water into a saucepan over low heat until jam dissolves. Boil the mixture for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and as soon as the buns come out of the oven, brush the glaze over them while they’re still warm.
Serve at room temperature.

Watch an Easter Movie

Snuggle up at home with loved ones and create a cinema at home. Make some popcorn or create a movie picnic dinner in the lounge room for relaxed and fun viewing. Hop has to be an all-time family favourite, you can’t help loving this adventure over and over again! You might also enjoy watching Peter Rabbit or Rise of the Guardians where the Easter Bunny joins the likes of the Tooth Fairy and Santa Clause to save the world!

Create a Virtual Easter Hunt at home

You can still involve family and friends in this fun, traditional Easter activity. Who knows, a virtual egg hunt might become a new favourite for families who are already geographically distanced?
Here’s how:

  1. Pick a day and time.
  2. Send an invitation to family or a couple of friends to get involved. 
  3. It’s important to make sure you’ve got some treats to hide. If you don’t have an abundance of treats, perhaps save whatever you have for a treat at the end of the hunt. It’s an opportunity to get creative before the day getting the kids involved  in drawing and creating eggs to hide or you can use fluffy cotton balls – just like the Easter Bunny’s tail! You can also encourage the kids to dress up or make an Easter Hat beforehand.
  4. Test your technology – spend some time setting up Skype, Facetime or Zoom with those participating. You’ll want smooth sailing on the day of the hunt.
  5. Nominate a team leader at each home. This person controls the mobile phone ensuring the best hunting view.
  6. You can hunt for eggs in your own backyard and also do it virtually in the other person’s backyard – a fun challenge! You can give clues to those who are hunting and encourage them to shout out when they see a glimpse of a hidden egg. Once they find it, be sure to make a fuss of it. You could make the egg finder do a ‘happy dance’ to celebrate their find! Once this is done, place it in a basket or bag with their name on it. 
  7. At the end, gather everyone around the camera at each person’s house. Count up the number of eggs found by each individual. Hand out prizes to your own team at home and stay online for some chatter and a virtual cuppa to continue the Easter fun!

Spending Easter at home is a great way for you to contribute to the health and wellbeing of the broader community. We hope our suggestions help spark your imagination as to how you could create Easter fun a little differently this year, whilst staying connected with loved ones.