Agony Aunt Aneliese on DIY Easter

I know I say this almost every month, but April really is one of my favourite months because of a little thing called Chocolate, and also because the whole family gets together and I get to do what I do best: entertain! This month’s questions were all about home improvements, DIY Easter decorations and healthy Easter alternatives.

easter eggs

I’m toying with the idea of not buying my children any chocolate eggs this Easter, not because I’m running for Cruellest Mother of the Year, but rather because they get enough treats from friends at school and relatives. Can you recommend some fun non-chocolate alternatives that won’t make them hate me? Suzanne from Pimlico

You had me worried Suzanne, but there’s actually a lot of logic behind your idea and now I’m half-thinking about doing this myself. You will be pleased to know that there are countless ‘fun’ edible and inedible items you can fill the kids’ baskets with and scatter round the garden this year.

Here’s just a handful of ideas to get the egg-shaped ball rolling:

  • If baking’s your thing, you can whip up some healthy banana or oat treats that the kids can have in between the sugar-loaded chocolate eggs they source from elsewhere. Make them extra Eastery by buying egg-shaped cutters or rolling them into balls and perhaps even wrapping them in coloured foil
  • Dye and decorate some hard-boiled eggs and scatter them around the garden for the kids to find, or set up an arts & crafts table and let decorate their own eggs
  • Buy some brightly coloured plastic eggs that open up (all good arts & crafts stores will have things like this at this time of year) and fill them with whatever you like – some lollies or a fiver for them to put in their piggy bank, for example

Plenty of parents now give their kids gifts instead of loading them up with Easter eggs, and in my experience a lot of older kids in particular prefer this. Not only are gifts like toys and books healthier than chocolate, but they also last a lot longer.

Easter at Kew Gardens sprinkles_easter_1

The hubby and I are thinking about doing our house up to sell in the next year or so and everything from small DIY projects to a possible loft conversion is on the cards. We’re in desperate need of some inspiration and both have a few days off over the Easter break – where should we start? Debbie from SE13

There are so many things you can do to get the ideas flowing. Easter is a fab time of year because chances are you’ll have a dinner party or two to go to, and there’s no better way to work out what you want your home to look like than by being a sticky beak in other people’s homes. If you don’t have any dinner parties on the cards, ask neighbours who have had work done if you can have a look at the finished product, or ask local building companies to put you in touch with clients so that you can get some ideas and work out which company you would like to use. People love showing off their homes so you shouldn’t have any trouble whatsoever getting inside a handful. Companies should have online galleries too, so you can get an idea of what type of space you could achieve and what styles you like from the get-go. The company I work for has a great gallery, and we’re also big on Pinterest, which is a great resource for design inspiration and a great way of gathering and comparing ideas for your own project.

My youngest son’s birthday falls on Easter Saturday this year, so obviously he’s going to have to share the day with the Easter Bunny. Do you have any suggestions for Easter decorations him and his friends could make on the day (to keep them out of my hair for a bit)? Martha from NW6

I love your honesty, Martha. I had Easter at my place a couple of years ago and I had the clever (if I do say so myself) idea of setting up an arts & crafts table, getting them to make bunny-shaped baskets (some good ones here) then sending them off into the garden for an Easter egg hunt, which lasted for hours and gave us adults some much needed time to catch up.

Happy Easter to all you lovely London Mums!

Aneliese x

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