The workingmums’ guide to making an Easter bonnet

It’s the time of all things fluffy. Spring is in the air. What better time to get an invitation, or if you’re lucky enough to have more than one child, two [three, four, etc] invitations to make a lovely Easter bonnet? Your cup of joy is overflowing. How do you get started?

It’s the time of all things fluffy. Spring is in the air. What better time to get an invitation, or if you’re lucky enough to have more than one child, two [three, four, etc] invitations to make a lovely Easter bonnet? Your cup of joy is overflowing. How do you fit it in with everything else you have to do in a week?

1. Get yourself into the mood. Eat a few Easter eggs and down a hot chocolate. It will serve as inspiration.
2. Look online. Some shop or other must have thought up the idea of selling Easter bonnet kits at knock-down prices.
3. Get said Easter bonnet, but try to give it an extra original twist. Raid your children’s toy box and add a stuffed animal or two. Any baby animal will probably do, bar a crocodile.
4. Take a deep breath: you could always try making your own. This has the potential to be very original or to go horribly wrong. Think of a theme. The thinking part is key. The execution should be left to the odd 15 minutes you might have free of an evening. Easter is more or less easy for themes: it’s chicks, chocolate, ducks, rabbits and death (rebirth).
5. After choosing your theme and before you start in earnest: you need a base. Don’t be too elaborate – ie avoid papier mache. It usually goes wrong and if it rains on bonnet day the whole thing will collapse. Cut up an old cereal packet and make a crown base. Involve the kids: they will do it in all sorts of entertaining shapes that you had not previously envisioned. Ensure there is some space left for some small semblance of decoration.
6. For chicks: these are on sale at all good supermarkets. Buy in bulk. Plaster all over crown. Alternatively, collect feathers from the garden and paint yellow. Or cut up pictures of chicks from chick magazines [fortuitously, there is a magazine wholly devoted to such things called Poultry World. It will also give you some endlessly fascinating chick info. You could, if feeling creative, cut the headlines or interesting facts up and paste to the bonnet for extra originality and an educational edge].
7. For chocolate: why not buy a medium-sized egg and strap it to your child’s head with a ribbon? Instant bonnet. Or smother the bonnet base with melted chocolate and cut out Easter egg wrappings in star and other shapes to embed in the bonnet. If you are feeling like promoting healthy eating, add a grape or two.
8. For ducks: see chicks. Paint the feathers greeny brown. For rabbits: shave some carrots; cut out some pictures of Bugs Bunny [these may no longer exist so find an equivalent – if you can’t, in desperation cut out pictures of the Care Bears and draw on large teeth].
9. For death (rebirth): cover hat in tomato ketchup and photocopy and cut out appropriate phrases about redemption. It may be gruesome, but it’s more authentic than the chocolate theme, plus you could get the kids to read lots of inspiring stories about redemption, thus combining creativr arts and literacy. 
10. Remember: this is supposed to be a creative experience that you and your children enjoy. Don’t turn it into a competitive sport, even if it is for some noxious bonnet competition. Explain to your children the beauty of losing. Make up a long list of winners who "have not succeeded in the long term" eg Hitler, the Bay City Rollers…and another of honourable losers: Paddington Bear, Rick Astley, Bagpuss…Who would they rather be?





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