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The City Journals

Kids search for Easter eggs, parents complete important survey during hunt adds an important wrinkle for parents of kids ages 0-3 with Tiny Tots Fair

May 08, 2017 03:54PM ● By Brian Shaw

Kids scurry along Fitts Park searching for Easter eggs. (Photo/Wanda Baker)

By Brian Shaw | [email protected]

South Salt Lake always puts on a great show at its annual Easter Egg Hunt at Fitts Park, and this year was no exception. But this year, the city added a new and interesting wrinkle to its event—a Tiny Tots Fair.

The Tiny Tots Fair kicked off all the holiday festivities early on April 15, giving those who are less in stature and weight the opportunity to feel big. Family Liaison Coordinator Edward Lopez of Promise South Salt Lake added that while his department handed out candy to the kids and Promise volunteers played games with them, their parents answered important open-ended questions in a paper survey vital to their children’s development.  

For years, the Easter Egg Hunt has taken place in conjunction with a health fair. But, this year Lopez said South Salt Lake was one of three Utah cities awarded a grant by the state of Utah to provide developmental screenings for kids ages 0-3.

“It all comes through building reciprocal and equitable relationships with parents; are they [their children] hitting those marks?” said Lopez. “We’d like to help them achieve their goals.”

Promise, in coordination with Head Start, Help Me Grow, Utah Community Action and Upstart—the latter a preschool program of The Waterford School—had volunteers hand out short surveys to parents asking open-ended questions in the following areas: communication, sign motor, growth motor, problem solving and personal/social skills.

In years past, the city has been successful building healthy relationships with area parents, added Lopez. And, in filling out this survey, which was available to parents at the Lions Club pavilion at Fitts Park, Lopez felt this screening was another way to continue the growth process with these parents.

Meanwhile, as the fair reached its conclusion, the Easter egg hunt went off without a hitch, according to Deputy Recreation Director Myrna Clark. The park was cordoned off into areas serving kids in the following groups: 0-2 years, special needs, 3-5 and 6-8 years.

“The [plastic] eggs were filled with toys and candy,” added Clark, who said that 60 pounds of candy and 8,000 eggs were hidden in the park—along with 20 special baskets—all handed out to all attendees. Also, many eggs were stuffed with tickets for free items courtesy of other after-school and city programs.

In addition, she said an Easter bunny took pictures of the kids and families for a small fee.  

As soon as organizers told the kids ages 0-8 to be “on their marks, get set and go,” off scurried the kids in different directions looking frantically for plastic eggs and baskets hidden around rocks, in trees and along the grassy areas of the park.

The younger kids also sped along, albeit at much slower paces, their mouths already filled with candy.

In the end, all the kids who participated got what they came looking for and that was the aim, according to Clark.

“We try to spread out the areas evenly enough so everyone gets a chance to get toys and candy,” said Clark. “We usually watch for kids who walk off and try to help them get where they need to go.”