A technology discovered at a national bomb technician conference has been providing children with disabilities the chance to participate in a tradition that was once impossible.
Children of all abilities will have the chance to hunt for specially-designed ‘beeping’ Easter eggs at the third annual EGGstravaganza for children with disABILITIES on March 24.
Presented by the St. Charles County Parks & Recreation Department and St. Charles County Police Department, the free event will be held from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, March 24 at the Youth Activity Park located at 7801 Highway N in Dardenne Prairie.
“The EGGstravaganza started from our Bomb Disposal Unit recognizing a need for children with disabilities to have an event where they could not only have fun, but also create first-time memories with their families,” said Val Joyner, public affairs officer, St. Charles County Police Department.” Our great partners at the St. Charles County Parks & Recreation Department were gracious and invited us to join their successful annual egg hunt. We look forward to presenting this event together.”
The beeping eggs offer blind/low vision children and those with sensory and mobility disabilities the chance to participate in an egg hunt.
“The traditional egg hunt often times has been too complicated for some children with disabilities to enjoy, or they have never attempted before. However, the EGGstravaganza was created with their special needs and comfort in mind,” said Joyner.
With a very easy flip of a switch, the eggs echo a chirping sound that helps children with disabilities navigate the egg hunt.
“What’s more interesting is that the eggs can be used for recreation and therapy. For the past few years, the SCCPD Bomb Disposal Unit has built and donated beeping eggs to organizations that aid blind, low vision and autistic children,” said Joyner.
The SCCPD Bomb Disposal Unit originally learned of the beeping egg technology at the National Bomb Technician Conference.
“The unit then brought the idea back home for our children. Last year, the unit taught students from Lutheran High School’s robotics team, The Roboteers, how to create the beeping eggs. They helped to design eggs for last year’s EGGstravaganza,” said Joyner.
The special eggs—which are jumbo, plastic Easter eggs—are wired to a battery and speaker. Holes are drilled into the egg for the sound to escape.
Joyner said the EGGstravaganza is open to children of all ages and disabilities from both sides of the river. Last year, the event drew attendees from as far as Iowa.
The egg hunt offers four categories—12 & under sensory hunt (autism); 12 & under mobility hunt; 12 & under blind/low vision hunt; and 13 & up hunt—which are staggered to ensure everyone has plenty of time to play. The EGGstravaganza for children with disABILITIES will follow the St. Charles County Parks & Recreation annual Easter egg hunt.
“We just ask that each participant has someone assist them during the hunt,” said Joyner.
In addition to the Egg Hunt, Joyner said many community sponsors will be on-site with resources and giveaways.
To pre-register for the event, visit www.stccparks.org or call 636-949-7535.