Sure, the basket full of candy and gifts is a pretty big hint that the Easter Bunny came. But what other clues can you leave behind to make your kids think Peter Cottontail stopped by? Here are some ideas, several of which were suggested by fans on the About.com Kids' Parties Facebook page.
- Pull apart some cotton balls and leave a trail of "bunny fur" from the Easter baskets to the front door. Better yet, visit a store that sells rabbits beforehand and ask one of the workers to collect some real bunny fur for you from the bottom of a cage. Store it in a sandwich bag until Easter's Eve, then leave a trail of it instead of cotton.
- Have the kids leave out a carrot for the bunny the night before Easter, then nibble off the tip while everyone's sleeping.
- Leave bunny footprints on the floor by sprinkling glitter or baby powder, and then brushing some of it away in the shape of bunny paw prints. Or, leave muddy paw prints. One reader on Facebook said she makes only one print, just to keep things mysterious.
- Leave a letter from the bunny in the kids' baskets. Write it on bunny- or spring-themed stationery. For a signature, draw a bunny paw print.
- Ask a friend or neighbor to wear a bunny costume and hop through your yard at a certain time--making sure your kids are looking out the window and that your bunny has a quick escape route. Ask the bunny to drop a few eggs or chocolates, so the kids have something tangible to "prove" they saw him.
- Write a message from the bunny on your driveway using chalk, then leave chalk messages on the driveways of other kids in your neighborhood (with their parents' permission).
The following ideas won't necessarily prove the existence of the Easter Bunny, but they'll still add to the magic of Easter morning:
- Drop a bit of red, green or blue food coloring in your milk jug to turn it a pastel color or replace regular milk with strawberry milk.
- After the kids go to bed, color a dozen raw eggs and then put them back in the original container. When you pull out the eggs to make breakfast in the morning, act surprised that the eggs are now colored.
- If your kids are heavy sleepers, draw bunny noses and whiskers on their faces while they're sleeping using washable felt markers (regular face paint is more likely to smudge while they're sleeping). They'll get a fun surprise when they see themselves in the mirror in the morning. As long as you use a light-colored washable marker, it will wipe clean with soap and water before you head to church.
Whatever you do, please don't purchase a real bunny on a whim. Every year, families buy rabbits because they think the animals make cute Easter gifts, but after the thrill wears off, they neglect them. Celebrate Easter in a fun and responsible way.