For the annual family Easter egg hunt at our house (8-10 kids) we fill colored, blown real eggs with confetti. After (and during) the hunt, the kids crack the eggs over each others' heads, releasing a shower of confetti.
For the confetti, I use tiny cut up bits of seed catalogues, and junk mail that I cannot put a stop to (grocery ads, etc.) Some sources suggest gluing a bit of tissue over the opening to keep the tissue from falling out, but I have not had a problem skipping this step.
This is definitely an outside activity, but the egg shells and paper scraps decompose back into the lawn, and decreases the amount of sugar the kids get.
For their Easter baskets, I fill blown eggs with melted chocolate chips. Easter morning, the egg shells peel like a dream, and they get solid chocolate eggs with no packaging. My 5 year old suggests not eating the whole egg before breakfast, however.
For easter... we do plastic eggs (what no!) Yep, i pull them out of the basement, fill them with fresh seasonally appropriate berries and some chocolate and some $$$ and its so much fun! I wash them and store em for next year. We use the baskets all year long. What ever happened to all of the plastic easter eggs and cheap, flimsy, pastel baskets of my childhood?
When I was a kid we just used real hard boiled eggs. We decorated them one day and were used for the hunt on Easter - the fun came from the decorating, then the hunt and seeing who could get the most eggs. The gift part was in the basket. The Easter bunny normally gave one gift and a basket of loose candy. You could make sugar view eggs, but unless you have a bowl, candy dish, or something to use already, most molds these days are plastic.
You're right, Maria! In fact with my kids, for years, we had Easter egg decorating parties. Aside from store bought food coloring, it's easy to make dyes from saffron, veggies such as beets, etc. (becomes a teachable moment!). A little online research will show you dozens of ways little ones can decorate eggs successfully.
When hunting for eggs, even two year olds can manage to scoop up real, hardboiled eggs without them breaking. Should they break, no biggy. If an egg is not found by the kids, some animal will have a treat!
Making the sugar viewing eggs is a lot of fun, and you could probably share a mold with multiple families if you have no suitable bowl; they will last generations if taken care of. We have a local baking supply store that holds children's decorating events annually; you might too. Bulk purchased (think, those specialty shops) or home made treats are fun also. Maybe add a handmade fabric bunny, etc.
We used the same [real, decorated] baskets our kids' entire childhood; they turned into fun gifting moments as they became adults.
The nice thing about taking the time and effort to personalize, and involving the children, is that they remember, and many will carry on as a family tradition.
On a more traditional note, 4 packs of Cadbury Creme Eggs are a recyclable option. While not zw, the packaging is tinfoil and cardboard with no plastic. I think that this also is a good idea for children of friends and family who aren't zw and might not appreciate other options.
I remember that while dying hard boiled eggs was fun. Eating them just wasn't, at least not as a treat. Frankly, as a kid, they were kinda disappointing.
Maria, again, agree! We used hard boiled decorated eggs for the hunts, blown for crazy elaborate decorating. One "kid" loved eating hard boiled eggs, the other handed over for making deviled eggs. The Easter Bunny left treats in the baskets, in front of their bedroom door, the night before. Once inspected, and emptied into something else, the baskets were taken on the egg hunt. We usually went up to a local, wooded park, had a picnic and, after the adults covertly hid the eggs, the kids went searching. We keep count so would know when all were found.
I *just* tossed some blown, decorated eggs from years ago. I hadn't stored well (egg cartons) and they were irretrievably dirty. Some had stencils, colored feathers, sequins, decorative braid, satin ribbons, all sorts of bric-a-brac from crafting, sewing, old gifts, etc. I had gotten some ingenious decorating ideas from Martha Stewart along the way, too. For years we would hang the blown eggs (past and present) using ribbon loops, on a small fallen/trimmed tree branch, creating a centerpiece for a special dinner and the egg decorating party. Some also decorated the Christmas tree. Really awesome were some goose eggs we scored on a Farm Trails visit :-).
Regarding sugar viewing eggs (rice krispie ones would be same), we tried saving, but ants discovered them. Dumb storage on my part, but eckk.
Another idea is nesting eggs, similar to nesting dolls. They're quite a [fun] challenge for little eyes and hands.