Being the Easter Bunny for the First Time

By: Chloe Matthews

So your first child isn't a baby anymore and you're going to have to convince her that the Easter Bunny has hopped into your home, left a basketful of chocolate goodies and hidden a horde of dazzling colored Easter eggs around your house. As a new parent, how are you going to pull off this important holiday for your child? Here are a few hints for making sure your little one will believe in the magic of the Easter Bunny for years to come:

You don't have to wear a bunny costume

The good news is that you don't have to make a complete fool of yourself to create the illusion of the Easter bunny for your little prince or princess. You just have to have a little more energy than your child does for a couple of days while you prepare the following things:

&bullColored eggs - no Easter is complete without them. The hard-boiled variety are not only fun to color, but are genuinely healthier than any chocolate treat you can muster up, so coloring your own batch is a great place to start. Boil the eggs on Thursday night and tuck them into the back of the refrigerator so they are ready to color on Friday; then they'll be completely dry and ready to place into baskets on Saturday night.

&bullThe basket - you can make your own, paint a basket you have around the house, or buy one. The best way to make your child believe in the bunny is to add a few home-made treats that only the bunny could have made. During the week before Easter, spend a night making some Chocolate Bunny Pops or easy Hollow Chocolate Eggs that you can add to your baby's basket alongside a few little toys, and your toddler will be amazed.

&bullThe hunt - so the last time you were involved in an egg hunt you were the one finding the eggs? As long as you remember the complete joy you felt when you discovered another of the Easter Bunny's treats you'll be alright. This is probably the most exciting part of playing the Easter bunny. If the climate in your area is particularly hot or humid, you may want to wake up early to hide the eggs instead of hiding them on Saturday night. If you are hiding eggs outside be sure to use tightly closing plastic eggs or well-wrapped treats.

Don't be caught speechless

As small as they are, your kids will come up with some questions about the Easter Bunny that may stump you. Be prepared to defend the bunny as if your life depends on it! Some of the most common questions are:

&bullWhy does the Easter Bunny lay eggs? Rabbits don't lay eggs, and even if they did, the Easter Bunny is a boy. The real answer to the question is that the Easter Bunny (originally the hare) and the egg both symbolize fertility and renewal of life and are not co-dependent. But many people still think the Easter Bunny lays the brightly colored egg treats that kids find during the Easter hunt every year. Kids are not brainless though, and it's pretty clear - even to a three year old - that the plastic eggs filled with store-bought candy are not actually expelled from the bunny's body. So, you can completely deny that the bunny actually lays the eggs and tell your child that he buys them or makes them just like Santa buys or makes the toys that are delivered at Christmas time. Instead of a magical sack, the bunny has a magical basket. Or you can tell them it's a complete mystery to you, too.

&bullWhat do Easter eggs have to do with the resurrection of Jesus? This is another good question that most kids ponder sometime during the Easter Sunday service, when they are supposed to be paying attention to the longest sermon of the year but can't get their minds off the basketful of goodies they had to leave behind in order to get to church on time. Right after you reprimand him for letting his mind wander during the service, you could tell your curious church-goer that after the resurrection Mary Magdalene delivered a red egg to the Emperor of Rome proclaiming the rising of Christ. The red coloration represented the blood of Jesus, the egg shell His tomb, and the fertilized egg His renewed life.

&bullIf the bunny leaves the eggs, why are we coloring our own? As kids grow up it is hard not to want to share the dyeing experience with them. But how do you explain that the Easter Bunny is no longer responsible for bringing the colored eggs with him? Well, it's always nice to help out, and the Bunny does have a lot of work to do on the night before Easter. If we make our own there will be more eggs for him to share with the kids who don't make their own.

No matter how many times you let the ball drop and think that you've given the kids reason to doubt your story, just remember that they want to believe in the Easter Bunny as much as you want them to believe it. The magic of it all is so alluring that you have lots of room for slip ups!

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