By Renee Wheeler for United Poultry Concerns (UPC)
You can have all the pleasure and surprise of a Spring Celebration and Easter Egg Hunt without using eggs. Most of the supplies listed here can be found at any large craft store. Some are stocked only around Easter. By checking yearly you can gather an assortment of Easter decorations to be used again and again.
Ideas for Replacing Hen Eggs
Craft stores offer a variety of "eggs" such as plastic, paper mache, wood, even glass. For young children and a fun party, use plastic eggs and colorful stickers appropriate for Easter. Card shops, fabric shops, even supermarkets, carry fake eggs and Easter decorations. Children can put stickers on these eggs, which can be hidden as is, or small trinkets or other treats can be placed inside.
More artistic eggs can be created using paper mache, wooden or glass eggs. Most wooden and paper mache eggs are brown so you may want to paint them with a coat of white paint. (Tempera or craft store paint works fine.) After painting the eggs white, they can be further decorated with paints. There are all kinds of paint ranging from poster paints to t-shirt paints, which puff up when used. Fabric scraps, fake stones, and glitter can be glued on, and colorful pictures can be cut out and pasted on the eggs. Children as young as 2 enjoy painting, gluing, and pasting on glitter.
As you look around the craft shop notice all the different "eggs" you can display, "hunt," and give as gifts. Parents can choose to save 1 or 2 eggs their children decorate each year. You can't do that with hens' eggs.
Easter Cookies & Cakes
Children love to take part in making Easter cookies and cake. Craft shops have lots of cookie cutters and cake molds. Once cooled, cakes and cookies can be decorated with powdered sugar or icing. To make a powdered sugar icing, follow the easy directions below.
- 1 box confectioners sugar
- 1 stick of softened margarine
- 1 tablespoon flavoring of choice
- 3 or more tablespoons of soy or rice milk or fruit juice
- Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer till smooth. More liquid makes a thinner icing that can be poured on cookies to produce a hard glaze when dry. Food coloring may be added to create different colors. Thick icing can be piped onto cake and cookies to make decorations. Craft shops have an assortment of cake decorating equipment for creating designs. Different shakeable colored sugars and edible decorations can also be found in craft shops and grocery stores. Dried fruits and nondairy candies & chocolate chips can also be used. To ensure things stick, decorate cookies and cakes while the icing is wet.
These are just a few ideas for modernizing Easter and Spring celebrations while retaining all the fun of tradition. If the finding of eggs used to be identified with the finding of riches, today's eggs are laid by a medicated hen in a wire cage without sunlight or fresh air. Very young children are capable of great compassion. Starting early helps them to live happy lives without harming animals.
Renee Wheeler is a celebrated cook and the mother of two healthy vegan children, who have never eaten a product derived from an animal. Vegan children are much less likely to suffer from respiratory ailments--sore throats, colds, laryngitis, earaches--that plague children raised on dairy products.