Math Easter Egg Hunt


Clip art courtesy of Laughing Deer Studio

Hi everyone! Every year we have lots of fun with our grandchildren at our annual Easter Egg hunt held on our back lawn. The kids enjoy it and look forward to it. Two years ago I realized that the kids were getting too big to truly enjoy opening little plastic eggs with little candies and trinkets inside. I decided to create something new. At first there were complaints because it was change and my oldest grandson is not a math fan, but the kids had a great time and when it was over I had three happy kids! Then I thought an adapted version of my new math egg hunt could be used for classroom fun.


I created a new Easter Egg hunt based on luck but engaging and lots of fun. The eggs were stuffed with numbers.  Just for fun, the numbers over 10 were printed in yellow to be recognized as having a higher point value.  Here are the sheets of numbers waiting to be cut and stuffed into the eggs.


The Challenge for Selecting Numbers

Each kid got a sheet with 16 numbers. The kids had to choose just 12 numbers and write them in the bunny ears.  These are the only numbers they would get credit for finding.

When deciding which numbers to choose, kids needed to think that lower numbers were worth less, but there were more of them in the eggs, so the chance of finding lower numbers was greater. Kids need to make a choice. Their chosen numbers were written in the bunny ears.


The eggs were hidden and the kids ran around the yard looking in the garden, on benches, in flower pots, in window boxes, etc. until they were sure they had found all of the eggs.   

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Each child was given an empty egg carton with the 12 numbers they chose--one number in each section.

When they opened each egg there was a number inside from 5-20. Then they sorted the numbers from the eggs into the egg cartons. If they had chosen the number in the beginning they were awarded that number of points.  If the number in their egg was not on their list, it was discarded.  We computed one number at a time, starting with 20 and working our way down to 5.  "How many 20s do you have? How many points is that?" Then the next child was asked, "How many 20s do you have? How many points is that?"

Next the numbers had to be tallied. It was interesting to see the math non-fan 9-year-old, who wasn't happy with the new Easter Egg Hunt format in the beginning,  adding those points and all of a sudden interested. "I found five 9s. That's 45 points."  The 1st grade twins had no problem concluding "I found three 10s. That's 30 points."  Finally, the 9-year-old used a calculator to add the total number of points for each of them.



Winner's Prizes

Slightly larger eggs were stuffed with a few $$$$ to create 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes.


And, of course, they each received an Easter gift from their grandparents. Here they are with their gifts and holding the prize eggs.

That was my hunt for my grandchildren. It was lots of fun because they enjoyed the steps of the process and there was suspense to see who would win. Surprisingly, the older one liked doing the computing. Here's an idea to adapt the hunt for a classroom activity:

  1. Stuff enough plastic eggs for each kid in your class to find at least 3 eggs. (You decide the number). To be safe be sure to make a few extra eggs. Sometimes 1 or 2 eggs cannot be found.
  2. Stuff the eggs with numbers your kids can add, for example, single-digit, two-digit or three-digit numbers.
  3. Enlist someone (maybe a student or two from another class) to help you "hide" the eggs on the playground just before your hunt.
  4. Arrange kids in groups of 5 or 6 and send in a general direction so as not to have them run over each other. There is no need to rush or push or fight. Everyone gets to collect just 3 eggs and there are plenty for everyone. It is a game of luck! No one know which eggs have the biggest numbers.
  5. Tell kids when they have found 3 eggs, they should return to you.
  6. When you return to the classroom, the kids add their numbers. The kids with the top 3 highest totals win 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes presented in larger eggs or envelopes--or whatever you create. Prizes can be dollar store finds or homework certificates.

If you need a fun activity for your kids, try the math Easter Egg hunt,  Be creative and adapt it to the needs of your students! Let me know how it works for you. Have fun! Happy Easter! Happy Spring!


Kathleen in 8 Apples