The first few green shoots in the yard, buds starting to burst open and bird song in the trees are all signals that spring is on its way, hopefully bringing sunshine, longer days and of course, Easter celebrations. Easter is a great time to share with the whole family, be that over a traditional meal, or going to church, but what other traditional or not so traditional ways are there to celebrate the spring festivities?
Remember, if you are lucky enough to be sharing Easter with your grandchildren, there are lots of health benefits to older people when looking after kids 

1. Easter Crafting
Easter is a great time of year to spend with your grandchildren as there are so many activities you can do with them, indoors and outdoors, and so many great learning and sharing opportunities. If the weather is not looking great, why not get out the craft box and let your imaginations run wild with Easter themed crafting.

There are so many options. Turn TP rolls into bunnies, or lambs using cotton balls and glue. Make a collage of a spring scene using old magazines or scrunched up colored paper. For a more religious angle make Easter crosses from popsicle sticks, and use it as an opportunity to talk about the Christian meaning of Easter with the children.

A great idea is to decorate wooden eggs and attach a thread loop. Over the Easter weekend you can arrange small branches and budding twigs in a vase and decorate them with the eggs for a stunning Easter centerpiece.

2. Get in touch with Nature
With spring in full swing, why not take the opportunity to get outside and embrace nature at its prettiest. Either on your own, with your partner or whole family, what could be better than going to your favorite spot for a walk in the spring sunshine, and having a look for signs of nature coming back to life. And as we all know, exercise like walking is great for health.

To get the full experience you could take a picnic or a snack to enjoy in the great outdoors – food always tastes better outside, and kids usually love the adventure of unpacking the picnic in a remote spot far away from the beaten track.

If you are going for a walk with children, you can set them a challenge to note down as many signs of spring as they can, or even to spot things in a chosen color.

Just remember that although it can be sunny, often warm spring weather is not that reliable and there can be a chill wind so do remember not to be caught out and to take a coat.

3. Plan an Egg Hunt
Go traditional this Easter with an egg hunt around your yard, house, or local park. You can go super-easy, by just dyeing eggs in bright colors scattering them around, and letting everyone hunt for them, or you can make a more challenging treasure hunt for older children or even adults. By writing clues or puzzles that need solving to reveal the next location you can make it an exciting and competitive activity if you choose! You could give an incentive of a small treat with each new clue, or you could save the Easter treats for the final location for the ‘big reveal.’

When it comes to the actual treats themselves, do not be confined to just the traditional candy treats, as there are plenty of Easter themed alternatives. Stuffed animals, like chicks or bunnies are always popular, or an Easter basket of goodies like coloring pens and chalks and games to play in the yard.

4. Visit a Farm
Farms are very busy places in spring time, and are a great way to connect with the yearly cycle of nature, and new animals being born. If you have small grandchildren it’s a wonderful opportunity for them to see real live animals close up, and witness first-hand the sounds and smells of life on a farm.

Often farms that are open to the public will have sessions where you can feed the animals, and even hold new lambs and smaller animals like rabbits and chickens. This is a great chance to let children get up close to real animals, and deal with any fears they might have.

If you are lucky and the timing is right you may be fortunate enough to see a lamb being born or chicks hatching – making memories that will last a lifetime.

5. Get Gardening
With plants and trees bursting to life, and the days becoming warmer, Easter is the ideal time to leave the confines of the house and pay the backyard some attention.

Research has shown that gardening hold lots of health benefits for older people, providing gentle exercise, lowering blood pressure, stress and anxiety, and getting a good dose of vitamin C by being out in the daylight.

Seeing plants that you tended to last year continuing to thrive is good for the soul, and popping in some new spring color can be deeply satisfying.

If you are planning an Easter egg hunt in your yard, use that as a motivation to tidy up after the long winter, or if you are collecting blossom twigs for a decoration, use that as a chance to prune a bush that needs a trim. Alternatively you could create an Easter themed planter with lots of spring color, adorned with Easter decorations to place by your front steps. If you are handy you could create an Easter wreath from blossom to hang on the front door of your home.

You can easily do simple gardening with grandchildren, helping them sow seeds, watering them each day and watching them grow on the windowsill, or helping them plant a tiny, Easter-themed garden in a large pot. Passing on a love of nature will give you and your grandchild a real connection and will give you a real buzz too.