Crossing the border with a Kinder Surprise Egg could cost you $300 — these chocolate treats boasting tiny plastic toys are illegal contraband in the United States of America, and pocketing a prohibited egg in your purse may result in confiscation. Seriously?
Squawk Surprise: Make a ‘Squawk Mock’ Kinder egg and treat your kids to a little tasty fun for less. Can you spot the doggone difference?
Yeppers! The U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Customs and Border Protection (phew) deems the chocolate eggs — which are totally legal and super fun in Canada — a hazardous toy worthy of banning.
From the CBP: “Kinder Chocolate Eggs are banned for sale and import into the United States because they contain a toy surprise hidden inside and pose a choking/aspiration hazard in children younger than three years of age.”
For those living under the dark, chocolate egg ban: Kinder Eggs are hollow milk chocolate orbs wrapped in a branded foil wrapper. The ‘hazardous’ toy is contained in an oval-shaped plastic capsule, which is encased in the milk chocolate orb. I use the words ‘milk chocolate’ loosely here since the ‘chocolate’ is pretty dismal tasting stuff.
The smallest Kinder is the size of hen’s egg weighting in at 20g, the medium weighs 100g, and the Kinder Surprise Maxi (the big egg every kid wants) is 150g. The Kinder Maxi likely contains the biggest aspiration hazard of them all — a lot of chocolate, followed by a major sugar high, all topped with a massive surprise toy. Woot!
Now, I’m the first to admit that Kinder Surprise Eggs are dangerous stuff. Hazardous toys (cough) aside, have you seen the prices on these banned beauties? The small egg cracks in at $0.99, the medium ostrich-sized egger is $4.98, and the Kinder Maxi maxes out at $9.98. Are you choking yet? No wonder the American border police banned these silly stuffed eggs — they’re expensive!
So, in my bid to bring ‘surprise eggs’ to the masses, I’ve devised a secret plot to help Americans (and cost-conscious Canadians) build a safer, cheaper, and healthier secret egg.
Cracked Open: Make your own surprise eggs and customize the toys and candy for the tastes of a boy or girl.
(Yes, I painted a replica Kinder Surprise Egg. Yes, this was a crazy feat. Don’t do it — make a prettier egg using my paper mache method below.)
That’s right people, by cracking open your kitchen supplies, blowing up a balloon, and getting creative, adults and three-year-olds alike can now enjoy chocolate eggs with safer (larger) toy surprises, healthier (higher quality) chocolate, more colorful wrapping, and fewer bans by the border police. Smile.
Here’s how to to make a medium-sized 100g mock Kinder Surprise egg for $0.99 — a savings of 80%.
How to make a Surprise Egg
This is a fun and frugal paper mache craft for the kiddlets. Just be sure to keep the candy, chocolate, and toys a secret so your kid can open the egg and still be surprised.
Egg building supplies:
- Small balloons (blow up to an egg shape)
- White tissue paper
- Colorful tissue paper
- Corn starch
- Crafty hole punch or scissors
- Paint brush
- Small glass (to hold egg while you’re building)
- String (to hang eggs to dry)
- Toys and candy (seek bulk supplies for frugal pricing)
- Tape and needle (for popping balloon)
- Optional: ribbon, for opening egg
- Optional: paint
Cost Cutting Tip: Buying dollar store craft supplies, shopping for smallish toys out of season (or on sale), and sourcing quality candy in bulk are the best ways to keep your surprise egg frugal. Using these tactics, each egg cost me under a buck to make.
STEP ONE: Blow. Put your lips together and blow an egg shaped (and sized) balloon. Mine mimic Kinder’s 100g medium-sized surprise egger.
STEP TWO: Layer. Using corn starch paper mache glue (recipe below) and an old paint brush, glue a layer of white tissue paper onto the balloon. I created a simple paper sleeve, positioned the balloon within it, and layered three pieces of tissue paper onto the balloon. You’ll need to measure the tissue paper sleeve to fit your balloon. Be sure to keep a space at the base of the balloon clear of tissue paper.
A small glass is a good base from which to work.
If you’re painting the eggs, let layers dry overnight by hanging your balloons with string.
Paper Mache Recipe:
- Scoop 3 tablespoons of corn starch into a small bowl.
- Add just enough cold water to mix and dissolve starch. The mixture should be clump-free and look milky.
- Quickly whisk in 1 to 1.5 cups boiling (still bubbling) water. The starch should change from milky to a gray, translucent goop. Don’t stop adding water until the color changes and the glue reaches the consistency of thick gravy.
- Use right away.
STEP THREE: Decorate. Egg painters should start painting only when the white tissue paper is dry. Those using colorful tissue paper can start to decorate when the white tissue paper is still damp.
Using craft hole punches or pretty hand-cut shapes, apply a single layer of colorful tissue paper to your egg with the corn starch glue.
Hang to dry overnight.
STEP FOUR: Pop. When the paper mache (or paint) is completely dry, place a square of tape at the exposed base of the balloon — this prevents the balloon from popping too quickly and destroying your egg. Stick a needle into the tape and slowly allow the air to escape. Gently remove the balloon.
With scissors, cut a two-inch incision down your egg to create space for surprise stuffing.
STEP FIVE: Stuff. Gently place your chocolate, candy, stuffed animals, puzzles, or toys into your egg. You could even write a message to a loved one and pop it into the egg. Perhaps a marriage proposal? Sky’s the limit, people.
Stuffed critters are a great filler for keeping your surprise egg from collapsing under the weight of candy.
Bunnies may be best for Easter.
Hop on over to 8 Ways to celebrate Easter for under $5 for egg dying tips and fun games to play on Easter.
I bought a three-pack of small, quality, stuffed animals on sale for under a dollar.
STEP SIX: Close. Tape some string or ribbon along the inside of the egg incision to seal the surprise. Pull the string, and the child can easily open the egg to reveal the stuff inside.
Use leftover tissue paper and starch glue to close the hole.
If you’re into it, use photographs to further personalize the egg. Do you have fancy handwriting? Write scripty letters to illustrate a message. Or just add some holiday stickers and decorate to your heart’s desire. Creativity is free.
My big eared dog makes a great Kinder Surprise bunny, dontcha think?