Egg drop!

posted in: Mini Grey | 38

Last Easter we discovered the Mexican tradition of Cascarones – filling blown eggs with confetti and then smashing them on Easter Sunday. We had so much fun that I knew it was going to become a tradition for us, and sure enough this year we made cascarones again.

Photo: Longhorndave

1. In the run up to Easter I blew (rather than cracked) as many eggs as possible when I was using eggs in cooking – last year we only had 6 eggs, this year I knew we’d need many more, given how much fun we had.

Actually I developed a technique for getting the egg out of its shell without blowing, and without making two holes – I held the egg so the less pointy end of it was upright, then I firmly but not too forcefully pricked the top of the egg with a metal skewer. This created a little hole and from there I was able to “pick out” bits of shell, creating a hole large enough (about the size of a 50p coin) for the entire egg to fall out of, keeping its shape – very useful when I was doing fried eggs!

2. The girls prepared the filling for the eggs. In addition to some shop brought confetti we made our own by using a hole punch and some coloured paper, and also by taking small pieces of tissue paper and rolling them up into tiny balls (the size of a pea).

All our various confetti, plus a load of glitter was added into the egg shells by the girls. If you have blown your eggs the conventional way and there are two holes in the egg, simply put in a larger piece of tissue paper first, to cover the smaller hole and prevent the glitter from falling out. Last year we also added rice which we had dyed using food colouring and I would recommend this as it gives the eggs some weight – not too much, but just enough to make smashing the eggs a little easier for little people.

3. Once the eggs were full of glitter/confetti we sealed them. I put a ring of glue around the large(r) hole in the egg and the girls covered this with a piece of tissue paper. Tip: cut up some squares of tissue paper ahead of time as my girls found it a little difficult to tear the tissue paper into squarish pieces – instead they kept getting strips of tissue paper, as that’s the way the paper easily tears.

4. We left the glue to dry. Last year we further decorated the eggs by dribbling glue all over and then showering them with glitter, but this year we just kept things simple.

5. On Easter morning we had an egg fight – throwing the eggs at each other and making a huge mess. In the hands of a boisterous teenager the eggs might become rather more dangerous missiles, but for little people the eggs are light enough not to hurt when you’re struck by one. The mess made is rather enormous, and certainly a large part of the fun. Our garden (several days later) still looks like someone got married there!

Two happy easter bunnies!

Naturally enough I had been on the look out for a book to go along with all this egg throwing fun. There are several picture books available specifically about cascarones but I wasn’t able to get hold of any of them – though in case you want to look for them for next year here they are:

  • Dance of the Eggshells by Carla Aragon, illustrated by Kathleen Dee Saville
  • The Legend of the Cascaron by Roxanna Montes-Bazaldua, illustrated by Suzan Browning
  • Confetti Eggs/Cascarones by Jane Tenorio-Coscarelli
  • Juanita by Leo Politi (Thanks to Anne Paradise for this suggestion)
  • Instead, by good fortune, I happened upon Egg Drop by Mini Grey – I can hardly imagine a better book to go with this activity!

    Egg Drop could be summarized as a 21st century version of Humpty Dumpty, but to leave it at that would being doing a disservice to this very funny little book about an egg that wanted to fly. The poor egg does indeed come to a fairly sorry end, and cannot be put back together again, all because…

    The Egg was young.
    It didn’t know much.
    We tried to tell it,
    but of course it didn’t listen.

    If only it had waited.

    This story about exuberant, youthful faith in the possibility of achieving what the more life-weary would (perhaps rightly) say is impossible is a very humorous read for parents. Although M and J have enjoyed the book a great deal, I don’t think they found it quite as funny as I did (“Why should the egg have waited, Mummy?” “Well, then the chick would have hatched, and what to chicks have…?” “….uh?…mmm? wings….?” [insert quizzical look from M rather than a lightbulb moment].

    Egg Drop was Mini Grey’s first (published) picture book and I think the narrative shows that she hadn’t quite found her feet in terms of story telling to young children. That said, her illustrations were clearly spot on from the start. M and J really enjoyed the pictures showing different attempts at sticking the egg back together again – that page has been poured over with lots of giggles and a few squirms of delightful disgust!

    Egg Drop: ** (2 stars)

    Whilst making our cascarones we listened to:

  • How D’ya Like Your Eggs in The Morning? sung by Dean Martin
  • I’m Putting All My Eggs in One Basket sung here by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald
  • Humpty Dumpty sung by Tim Hart and Friends
  • Humpty Dumpty by Ike & Tina Turner (!)

  • Other crafts that could have worked well with this book include (all found via The Crafty Crow):

  • Mosaic eggs from Gingerbread Snowflakes – in fact we should have swept up the results of our egg throwing and used them to do this lovely craft!!
  • These delicious and simple egg treats from justJENN rants & raves
  • Eggs decorated with hole punch confetti from Julie Adore Dimanche

  • Some advance warning: Next week will look a little bit different here on Playing by the book – it’s the Easter break here and so M is off school and we’re enjoying playing as a family. All this means that instead of offering book reviews next week I’ve a series of posts on where I find inspiration when it comes to kids’ books and kids’ activities. Hopefully you’ll be able to share some of your favourite sources for inspiration too! Hope you all have a great weekend – do check back in on Saturday sorry, I meant Friday, to see if you’ve won a prize in my giveaway 🙂

    Once again I’m linking up with stART at A Mommy’s Adventures – I do hope you have the time to head on over there and see what other stories + art families have been up to!

    38 Responses

    1. Deb

      They look fantastic! I have a couple of blown eggs sitting on my desk right now and two little girls who adore glitter, this is going to be a big hit.

      • Zoe

        Hi Deb – I absolutely love your weekly science newsletter by the way! – it’s definitely a fun project – the making and the breaking! As long as you’re not scared of mess 😉

    2. Beth

      This looks like a lot of fun, and I love the pictures of the girls preparing the cascarones with their little busy hands and absorbed faces. This is a wonderfully rich website. Beth

    3. Katie

      How fun! I’ve heard of these before but do not know a lot about the history. I’ll have to check out those titles. Looks like a lot of fun was had by all, mine would be thrilled by the hole punch alone!

    4. char

      Wow what an awesome activity. I think we might do this next Easter. It looks like your children really enjoyed it.

    5. Zoe @ Playing by the book

      Thankyou everyone for your comments! The girls certainly did have lots of fun with this (not least the smashing of eggs on Dad’s tummy and head!)

      Christianne – I’m not very good with doing things in advance – hence the Easter post long after Easter. I’m always amazed by blogs where people are doing crafty stuff for a holiday long before the holiday arrives – how can they be so prepared!! So I can’t make any promises for next year, but I’ll try 😉

    6. Ticia

      We still have a couple of Easter posts to put up…… We’re behind too. I have to admit we bought our cascarones from the store, but they were still super popular here.

    7. Melissa

      I had never heard about these until blog world! I missed out this year, but hey we can do them any day right?! My boys would love these!

      • Zoe

        Hi Melissa,

        I love your comment about being able to do them any time – absolutely right!!

    8. Lisa Yannucci

      Thanks for pointing out that this tradition is from Mexico! I added that info to my blog post with a link to you.

      I love the idea of the glitter too!

      Btw we did this and our puppy tried to eat the egg shells. So beware if you have a dog!


      Mama Lisa

      • Zoe

        Good to see you here Mama Lisa! Thanks for the dog-health warning – I can just imagine how a dog (and especially a puppy) would get excited by this and try eating up the shells!

    9. Michelle

      This sounds like it was so much fun. I think we will have to try this out next year. I can’t wait to check out this book it sounds really cute and I think Emily and I would enjoy reading it together.

      Thank you for linking up to stART and sharing your ideas with us :0)

    10. Victoria

      I don’t come by your blog often enough, whenever I do I love it! I’ve heard of these eggs but never seen them in action. I love your egg playlist, might have to steal it next time we eat eggs!

    11. Red Ted Art's Blog » Blog Archive » Easter Get Crafty

      […] I am going to start of with this absolutely brilliant and fun craft “Egg Drop”! Zoe from Playing by the Book, has the most fabulous ideas – she takes inspiration from all around the world and does so with these Egg Drop eggs. Think confetti. Think Easter. Think LOTS OF FUN. No go and see what they got up with these eggs…. click Egg Drop. […]

    12. Kerri

      Hello! Stopping over from Red Ted. Thanks for the tip about the rice. Your little ones look so precious as they intently work on the eggs. Thanks for the book recommendations too!


    13. Lian @ Mamas Bag of Tricks

      Looks like a lot of fun but I don’t think I’m ready for the mess 🙂 I’m putting together a list of Easter things parents can do with their kids. I love this idea so I’m including it in my list. Of course I’m including a link to you. The post should be up Thursday. Just in case you want to check it out, my blog is
      I’m also following you on networked blogs and twitter. Hope to see more great stuff from you.
      Lian @ Mamas Bag of Tricks recently posted..How To Create A Homemade Easter Basket for Girls

    14. Kate

      Love the eg smashing idea….we’ve just had great fun doing ours, filled them with birdseed and those little yellow fluffy chicks you can buy. Will definitely be a yearly tradition! Thanks for the idea.

      • Zoe

        So glad to hear it worked well for you! Love the idea of filling with birdseed!

    15. Shannon

      we make these every year. We start saving eggs at new years. We end up with about 30 dozen. You can also find ones at party stores around easter, they are made with wax and confetti. We like the real ones better. the wax stuff isn’t as fun. we don’t throw them at each other, we just smash them on their heads or smash in our hands over their heads. Or smash on their backs. It has been a family tradition in my husbands family for forever. The parties get bigger and bigger as the family grows. The new person in the family is usually the target. We also add cans of silly string. Lots and lots of fun.

    16. Manualidades de fin de año para hacer con niños | Embarazo 2020

      […] Luego los pintamos y dejamos secar en las hueveras. Para hacer el confeti podemos utilizar papel reciclado que tengamos por casa y hacer agujeros con la máquina de agujerear o bien con unas tijeras. Para hacer más de un tirón, podéis doblar la hoja hasta lo que la máquina soporte. Tenéis más fotos del paso a paso en playing by the book. […]

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