Monday, 25 March 2013

An Expat Family Easter in Thailand

The International school did an Easter Hat Parade, the Pattaya International Ladies Club put on a luncheon to raise money for the children of the local orphanage, but when I informed our boys that we were going to an Easter Egg treasure Hunt and lunch at the Thai Amari Orchid Hotel on Easter Sunday, to say they were excited was an understatement.

The gardens at the hotel were spectacular by anyones standards. Orchids of all colours, sizes and species bloomed in abundance alongside lotus flowers, lillies and all sorts of fragrant flowers that were a buzz to the senses. It was a very tranquil setting amidst the hustle and bustle of the beachside resort. A refreshing escape from the turmoil of the traffic of baht buses and bikes rushing around with a constant stream of tourists and Thais hanging from every part of the vehicles

Here we were able to relax and enjoy our Easter Sunday. Celebrate with good friends. Enjoy a smorgasbourd of exotic foods and chat and laugh the afternoon away. The long trellis linen clothed table was covered in an array of tropical wonders. Watermelon, rockmelon, pineapple and star fruit sculptures cleverly decorated the centre in a lusciously inviting manner. Yet despite all the splendour that surrounded us there was only one thing on the minds of our not quite five year old and seven and a half year old sons.

The Easter Egg Treasre Hunt! It couldn't come soon enough for the eager juniour members of the expat community.  Bear in mind the constant humidity and engulfing heat of tropical Thailand, while mums and dads were happy to sit quietly and sip on tall chilled glasses of juice, beer and champagne, the kids were keen to run all over the garden in search of their treasure. Imagine the surprise and disappointment when my boys discovered the Easter eggs were not chocolate! They were beautifully hand painted blown out egg shells. Have you ever tried to explain to a four year old that the Easter Bunny couldn't leave chocolate eggs in the garden because they would melt too quickly?  By the time the eggs would have been found they would have turned to a dripping pool of mush!

It was very hard to find chocolate easter eggs anywhere in Pattaya that year. So the Easter Bunny only left one small egg for each son and a promise to do better next year. Fortunately things did in fact improve the following year as the hotel shops were more prepared for the expat community expectations and needs.
However forwarned is forarmed and to prevent disappointment other activities could have been added to the treasure hunt to make it more enjoyable and memorable.

An Easter Egg Hunt with Games and Activities attached could be a lot of fun and help with that ever elusive reading practice. Since chocolate was out of the question due to the heat,  we could have used cardbourd eggs and hid actions or activities inside them. As the children varied in ages and reading ability, it would be best to pair up older children with younger children. This encourages co-operation and team spitit too! The activities on the cards could include fun hints like "hop like a bunny to the nearset tree", or "jump on the spot and count to ten." When each child or pair has then done a designated amount of activities they could then be directed to a small gift.

A Scavenger Hunt is another great idea when chocolate easter eggs are out of the question and it also provides another source of reading that the kids don't realise they are doing while they are so busy having fun! Give each child or pair, depending on ages and ability levels, a list of things to go and find and bring back. To add to the tension you could set a time limit if you wish.  The list can be kept simple with things like, a tiny fluffy yellow chicken, a ribbon, or a hat, or the list could be more complex with things like a specific coloured ribbon for each pair, a different coloured pencil, or clothes peg, a scarf, the list is only limited by your imagination.

For a lot more Easter fun activities and games visit

For tips on how to decorate a hard boiled easter egg or Blown out Egg visit
While you're in the mood for cooking, don't forget the recipe for making your very own gingerbread aliens is on mywebsite and please take a photo and send them in, I'd love to see the results!

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