Easter is my favorite holiday by far! I love it all--the warming weather, the pastel colors, the Cadbury mini-eggs, and of course the spiritual implications, which humble me to my core. I even welcomed my firstborn on Good Friday. Boy did Jesus’ suffering mean a lot to me during that experience!
Christmas is fantastic, but there is usually so much going on. People often get so focused on the gifts; Easter, however, is just about Jesus! Sure there are some baskets of goodies, but I think the heart of the holiday is easier to keep on the forefront. It has been so fun to celebrate this life-changing occasion with my kids. Today I wanted to share with you a few things we have done/plan to do in our home to honor our Lord.
1. The week or two before Easter, I get out a homemade set of Resurrection Eggs. I used the store-bought version when I was teaching third grade, and the students loved them. Using the book, Benjamin’s Box, I lead the kids through a fictitious little boy’s observations of the Holy Week. It is a powerfully—though not too graphic —method for teaching children about Jesus’ sacrifice. My oldest accepted Christ after we went through the story! If you purchase the book, you will see symbols at the top of the page. I purchased a set of eggs from a craft store and drew those items onto the eggs. As you read the page, you can have your child find that egg. You could also use plastic Easter eggs and place objects inside them that relate to the story. (For example, place a coin inside the egg that corresponds to the page about Judas betraying Jesus.) If you prefer, you can buy the store-bought version also. I’ve seen them at a craft store before. If you time it correctly, you may be able to get them on sale too!
2. Every Saturday evening before Easter Sunday arrives, my boys and I have made Resurrection Rolls. These are a very simple way to show children that Jesus was in the tomb… and then he wasn’t! You “entomb” a marshmallow with butter and cinnamon sugar and place it in a crescent roll. Make sure to pinch the sides of the crescent roll tightly so that the marshmallow doesn’t seep out. Bake for 10-12 minutes, and then leave the rolls in the oven overnight. When you wake up on Easter morning, get out the rolls, and bite in! You will discover they are hollow and that Jesus (the marshmallow) has risen! Like I said, it’s simple and effective illustration for young kids.
3. Egg Smash: This one I learned from Betsy! Every year after Easter dinner, Betsy brings out a large basket of dyed hard-boiled eggs. We get into pairs and try to smash our opponent’s eggs. The tournament continues until the last person doesn’t have a cracked egg. It’s fun to see everyone’s strategy—my Uncle David really goes for it and smashes hard! Sometimes that pays off for him and he is the winner! It’s fun to have a prize or extra dessert for the winner. (This lovely tablescape is courtesy of Laura Irion, who has welcomed us into her home for many a fabulous holiday.)
4. My mom often made a large sidewalk chalk birthday sign in our driveway for birthdays. We loved walking out the door to see our gigantic birthday “card”. Wouldn’t it be fun to create a giant “He is Risen!” Sidewalk Chalk Message on your sidewalk? Perhaps you could even get the neighbor kids to participate and have a great conversation about why Easter is so amazing!
5. I’ve never done this around Easter before, but wouldn’t it be neat to visit a farm, zoo, or pet store with baby chicks and explain to your kids that Easter is about new life? Jesus died so we can live again. Sometimes animals are a great way to teach kids. Seeing a baby animal could imprint on their minds how much God loves to create and make things new.
Of course I also love to dye eggs, have egg hunts, and most of all, worship my Savior! These are just a few more ideas to get you focused on the meaning of this incredible event! Remember Lesson 1 of the Entrusted Study? “A godly mother embraces Jesus as her Savior!” This one is a non-negotiable, so let’s make sure we don’t miss this opportunity to thoroughly celebrate our King with our children!