4 easy activities to do with kids over Easter in New Zealand: Egg stencils, Easter biscuits and cards

Easter Cookies

Ideas to keep the kids busy this Easter that won’t require dashing to the supermarket for supplies.

Words: Cheree Morrison and taste-tester Imogen Morrison (2)

Let’s just say it, Easter 2020 is looking slightly different to what we expected. But the good news is that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are considered essential workers during New Zealand’s lockdown.

Here are three very simple ways to celebrate Easter using what you already have at home — pantry basics, some paper, a few pens, and a little bit of imagination.

1. Make some easy Easter cookies

Ask many children the meaning of Easter, and their eyes will light up. Chocolate. Chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, chocolate Toy Story or Frozen or Paw Patrol. If chocolate rabbits aren’t high on the Easter shopping list this year, why not kill two birds with one stone? These easy sugar cookies will fill any chocolate-shaped hole while decorating them will help to keep kids entertained.

There are many, many sugar cookie recipes out there, but this one from Chelsea Sugar uses pantry staples and makes a delicious dough that’s easy to handle. Refrigerate the dough for two hours or more, or it may be too soft to handle. No Easter-themed cookie cutters? Draw your own shapes onto thin cardboard, cut out and use as a template.

Making Easter Cookies

Get crafty by making your own templates. Watch out for taste-testers – and the inevitable sugar high!

While it’s tempting to tuck straight into those yummy-smelling biscuits, here comes the fun part. There are two types of icing that work well. Royal icing uses egg whites and sets hard, or there’s a thinner, glossier icing which gives a shiny finish. The glaze is a more of an American-style icing, and it calls for corn syrup, which isn’t as common in the New Zealand pantry. Substitutes this for sugar syrup: dissolve ½ cup sugar in ⅛ cup warm water then use as directed.

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Split the icing into four, colour as desired and fill piping bags (use snaplock bags and snip off the corner if piping bags aren’t available). Cover the table and let the kids’ imaginations take over. Raid the pantry for decorating tools – bunnies can be decorated with coconut and have marshmallow tails, or perhaps eggs are best covered in sprinkles.

2. Colour in some egg-cellent eggs

If the adult colouring craze from a few years ago taught us anything, it’s that taking time out with some colouring pencils is quite good for the soul. Why not sneak some mindfulness into your children’s day and decorate the house for Easter at the same time?

Easter colouring in

Mini-Picasso Imogen Morrison colouring in her Easter eggs.

Search ‘Easter templates, Easter egg templates, or Easter colouring templates‘ online, to find an endless supply of options, including these great ones from Forest & Bird’s Kiwi Conservation Club.


Once you have lots of beautifully coloured eggs (or lovely scribbles if your kids are toddlers, like mine), hunt out a hole punch and some string/fishing line and either hang them on a tree/indoor plant (if Christmas has trees, surely Easter can too), or string them across the ceiling in their bedroom.

3. Send the kids on a scavenger hunt

Easter egg hunts may be pretty standard for many families but with Easter 2020 looking slightly different, why not change up the rules a little?

Jacinda Ardern suggests: “Draw an Easter egg and prop it into your front window and help children in your neighborhood with the Easter egg hunt, because the Easter bunny might not make it everywhere this year.”

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Parents can also have a little fun coming up with riddles, clues and puzzles to solve, while cooped-up kids can burn off some energy hunting out the answers.

No eggs or prizes? No problem- create ‘vouchers’ (you could even use their coloured in eggs from above) that they can trade-in. For example: ‘Congratulations, you get to pick tonight’s family movie!’ ‘This voucher allows the bearer an extra 30 minutes screen time’, ‘Winner, winner; you get to choose dinner’. Though perhaps add *conditions apply.

4. Make some marbled paper for Easter cards

It’s hard being apart from friends, family and loved ones, so how about making them a special card? They may not physically receive it for a while, but it’s the thought that counts – or you could read it during a video call. Give this marbled paper a go. All it needs is some shaving foam, food colouring and a few kitchen utensils.


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