A mother from Spruce Grove, Alta., had a simple idea to make Easter brighter for children during the coronavirus pandemic: a socially distant Easter egg hunt.
The idea is simple: decorate your home with Easter eggs — on doors, in windows and on sidewalks — and invite families in your neighbourhood to count them when they head out for walks.
Spruce Grove mother Charlotte Pardely said the idea stemmed from a Facebook post she saw on St. Patrick’s Day, asking people to put hand-drawn shamrocks in their windows.
“I started thinking, ‘Well, what if we did Easter eggs?'” she said. “We have lots of time. The kids are out of school.
“We need activities to get them outside and keep them busy. They need their physical activity too.”
So Pardely created a Facebook group called Easter Egg Hunt 2020 with Social Distancing.
“I invited all my Facebook friends and they invited more and it got shared on more and more groups,” Pardely said.
“All of a sudden, we were at 100,000 members all over the world. We’re just short of 175,000 members now.”
Families are participating in Malaysia, Singapore and every state in the U.S. Even those in some of the countries hit hardest by the novel coronavirus (China, Spain and Italy) are on board.
“It’s beyond anything I ever dreamed it would be. It just warms my heart,” Pardely said.
She’s overwhelmed by the positivity generated by the project in countries around the world.
“It gives them a sense of community when they felt like there wasn’t any,” Pardely said.
And of course she loves the smile it brings to her six-year-old son’s face.
“He’s very excited when we go out for walks and see new eggs put up,” Pardely said.
Some families have decorated their homes in ways she had never even considered.
“A lot of crosses, a lot of sunrises, lots of cartoon characters,” Pardely said. “It’s crazy where people have taken the small idea, expanded it, and the creativity and artistry that they have.”
Pardely said she also loves watching entire families walking past her home and pointing out the eggs they’ve put up.
Her son Troy has some advice for other families heading into the long weekend.
“Easter’s not going to turn out the same,” he said. “So why not do it different?”
The family hopes to continue the tradition in years to come.
View photos in the gallery below:
Watch below: Some Global News videos about Easter.