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Easter Bonnet Alternative

Easter Bonnet Alternative

Schools are currently in a huge funding crisis nationally. Many schools have seen cuts in staffing, interventions, training and resources for the children. With all this in mind making an Easter Bonnet hasn't felt quite right this year.

I ventured out to the shops. Grabbed a basket and filled it with Easter tat. Regrettably on reflection most of this 'tat' I saw in the shops was in fact plastic, or covered in glitter which is also a real hazard for the environment. I'm not here to preach about us all converting into Eco Warriors - breaking traditions of fun and quality time (that some of us really look forward to doing).... but this is just the tip of the iceberg!

I spent a grand total of £14 on the hats and tat. I also didn't have any glue sticks left for my gun which resulted in another £6 spend on Amazon. A grand total of £20 to make 3 Easter Bonnet hats, £6.67 a hat.

Me and my children gathered around a table and I pumped the glue from the gun so the children could decorate their hats as they wished. It was actually a great half hour. Their designs were fab at just 6, 2 and 2 years old.

Easter Bonnet Alternative

We spoke about the items - the colours, the textures. Patterns came into play and there was positional language talk also as they directed me on where they wanted the glue next. It was teamwork and they loved seeing their hats turn into a sparkly, mountain of chicks, bunny's, carrots, eggs and even unicorns this year. 

There is no denying they look ace. All their own work (bar the glue pumping which simply isn't something I could allow them to use). 

I sat looking at the hats sparkling away on the table once they were all in bed and I couldn't help but think we could and should be doing this so much better

What should we be doing instead?

Schools should take this as an opportunity to fund raise for their settings, for our children. They should welcome parents and carers into school and host an epic Easter themed workshop. Parents and children working together to decorate a hat. 

Music playing, hot cross buns flowing, fun and energy. An opportunity to welcome families into the school environment as a bid to 'get to know' them better. This would help build relationships with parents! Children love nothing more than their families coming into their classrooms. They have a real sense of pride showing off the place they spend a great proportion of each day.

Children of parents and carers unable to attend would happily join in with their friends parents, teachers and support staff - this way - all children would have their very own opportunity to make their hat.

Easter Bonnet Alternative

They will have all had the chance to create and make together alongside one another and the adults that gather each day before and after school, during drop off and pick up times. 

The only people that benefit financially at this time of year are the shops. Each one of us spend between £5-£20 on Easter Bonnets each year - just think of the impact this sort of money would have on schools if we were to donate money to them instead. 

In a small school of 300 pupils if only 200 of these families managed to donate just £5 to their school that would be a grand total of £1000!!! 

Some of the money could be spent on funding the workshops - while the rest of the money could go towards helping to fund projects that would directly benefit the children and their development at school.

You could look at hosting raffles, perhaps even a little Easter Spring Fayre, a disco - the ideas are endless to help boost this additional fund raising the majority of families would love to be apart of. Parents and carers really do pull together for events like this. They love knowing they are doing something to help whilst having fun with their children too!

The whole Easter Hat Competitions make me feel uneasy also. This isn't what this celebration should be about. There is no such thing as the best hat. It should be a celebration of creativity - something all children are very capable of. Creating, making and imagining. We don't need to barge in with our adult minds and judge who has done it better than someone else. 

Lets start using Easter as a time we come together to have fun. A time we all look forward to. A time when every child can be included and encouraged to be creative. A time where we support the schools who are in a real need right now. 

This isn't saying we need to end Easter Bonnet making - we just need to start being more aware on the items we are selecting and the amount we are spending on them. Could this money be used in a better way with regards to what children get out of it?

Lets work together to make sure the schools, the community and our children see the real benefit of this celebration.

Happy Easter from Learning and Exploring Through Play.

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