When the kids showed up to the Easter event, they were really shy, and some are a bit worried about hanging around new foreigners! This year there were about 20 kids, with a mix of preschool and elementary students.
We started off with introductions- all the ALTs introduced themselves, where they’re from, and where they live now. Some of the kids got really into finding out where the ALTs are from- there was a cry of “Trump-san!!” every time a new American was introduced, and a very confused “CANADA!?” when the first Canadian introduced himself. The hardest part- explaining what Easter is. It’s a complicated and kind of strange holiday, so we made it more fun by focusing on what we actually do rather now than going too deeply into the history of it.
Next was reading a book! This year we picked out a really good book, “Happy Easter Little Critter.” This book gave basically a walkthrough on Easter and how it’s typically celebrated, plus talked about some good examples (like helping smaller children and not fighting over eggs!) that we hoped the students would do too.
Next we made easy paper baskets for the kids to use in the egg hunt. For the egg hunt, we used the back half of the Takinoue culture center, where there is some green space and a Japanese garden for the egg hunt. Every child received a certain number of eggs to find, and when they found that amount, they helped the smaller children find theirs.
Next came dyeing the eggs! Most of the children have never done something like this and were eager to try and make their own creations.
By the end, without fail, the children really warmed up to the other ALTs, and were readily talking and playing with them, even the ones who were hiding behind their mothers at the beginning. I think everyone- children, parents, and volunteers- all had a good time.