I know this post is coming a bit late, but when faced with the option of blogging or sleeping these last few nights, I chose sleep every time. What can I say–I’m pregnant and E X H A U S T E D all the time. But I did want to share our Easter with you, because we had a wonderful day celebrating the Lord’s resurrection.
Tyler and I have made the decision to not do the bunny thing, because let’s be real–a bunny laying eggs filled with candy in your living room while you sleep at night has nothing to do with Jesus sacrificing Himself for us and being raised to life. We’re not opposed to the egg thing, because we can buy into how it represents new life, as well as the Trinity (because of it’s 3 separate parts that are all 1). But, we’re careful to not make the egg the focus. The ultimate goal is that when our kids hear ‘Easter’ they think of Jesus first, and all the other things second. Of course, we still want the kids to have fun because it is a celebration after all, so we’ve worked hard at coming up with activities to do with them that are fun but Christ centered. So the week leading up to Easter, we did a handful of fun Easter things with the kids (mainly Eowyn, because Ary is too little still).
On Palm Sunday, Eowyn and I made palm leaves and reenacted Jesus being welcomed into Jerusalem.
After we were done, she decided that it would be a good idea to ‘recycle’ the leaves by making them into a hula skirt.
She then proceeded to teach me how to hula.
I found this idea on Pinterest (of course) to make a resurrection garden, which I thought was so cool! Unfortunately, I found it 6 days before Easter so we really didn’t have enough time for anything to grow. Mix that with the bad luck of 30 degree weather, and the seeds that we planted didn’t have a chance. So, nothing ended up growing in our garden. BUT, Eowyn had so much fun making it and watering it every day, and it was a great tool to reinforce the Easter story. We will definitely be doing this again next year, but will start it a couple weeks in advance so as to give the seeds a chance to grow (and if the temperatures drop again, I’ll remember to bring it inside so the seeds don’t die).
Another idea from Pinterest was a recipe called ‘Resurrection Rolls’. It was super easy, a really great way to tie into the Easter story, and a lot of fun. Plus they tasted like a Cinnabun! All you need are big marshmallows, melted butter or margarine, brown sugar, cinnamon, and Pillsbury Crescents.
The marshmallow represents Jesus, and how He was pure and white; completely without sin.
But He came down and took our sins on Him (represented by dipping the marshmallow into the melted butter).
Then His body was rolled in spices for burial (roll the buttered marshmallow in the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture).
And he was placed in a tomb (wrap up the marshmallow in a crescent, being sure to close the sides so it doesn’t leak out).
Then you bake the crescents according to the instructions on the package, and when you open them, the tomb is empty! The marshmallow melts, leaving a hallow center. The kids loved it!
We also did an Easter scavenger hunt. I got this idea from somewhere online, but forgot to bookmark it. So I just want to be clear that I am not trying to steal credit for someone else’s idea, I just can’t remember where I saw it : /
I didn’t hide specific things for this, but just let Eowyn run around finding whatever matched the description. I thought for sure that the ‘something empty’ was going to trip her up a bit, but she totally nailed it by bringing me an empty toy bin!
She had a lot of fun with this one, and asked to do it a few times.
Our last activity was making cross mosaics. I’ve done mosaics with Eowyn before, and thought that it was something that Ary might get into as well. Inspired by this post that I saw on Pinterest, I had the kids help me rip up colored construction paper and glue it onto a page with a cross drawn on it. Ary has an infinity for ripping up books, so I thought she would like that part of this craft.
But after a few minutes, she was over it.
Honestly, I did most of the ripping as it is quite tedious to get the paper into small enough pieces. Next time I do this, I’m going to rip up the paper myself beforehand because the kids got a little ansy waiting for me to finish, and Ary took to throwing the ripped pieces all over the floor like confetti.
Along with all of these activities, we read the girls different Easter books every night at bedtime for the whole month of April. It was almost impossible to find an Easter book that didn’t revolve around the bunny, but I found one that I liked called, The Story of Easter, by Patricia A. Pingry. I like this book because it’s short, sweet and to the point, so it’s easy for our preschoolers to follow and understand. It’s also a cardboard book, so it’s Ary proof. My mom sent the girls The Story of the Resurrection, by Chuck Smith. This followed the Bible directly, but the storytelling was engaging for kids. Eowyn actually really liked this one, and it had lots of colorful illustrations. My sister sent the girls The Tale of Three Trees, by Angela Elwell Hunt. This is one that she and I used to read when we were children and I absolutely love this story. It’s not exclusively an Easter story; it covers the birth of Christ, the story of Jesus calming the storm, and then the crucifixion/resurrection story. But it’s told so beautifully, and is infused with so much meaning. If you have never read it, I highly recommend you get a copy.
Easter Sunday was a simple day; we went over to Tyler’s parents house and had a delicious meal (which Eowyn called a feast), and did some Easter games.
I found this idea to do Resurrection Eggs for the egg hunt, as opposed to eggs filled with sweets. It’s just another fun way to incorporate the story into a traditional game. There are only 12 eggs, and each egg has a number on it. Inside each egg is a token to represent a part of the Easter story. The kids have to find the eggs, put them in order, and go through one by one to tell the story:
- A leaf, representing the palm branches that were laid down at Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem.
- A cotton ball with perfume on it, representing the perfume that Mary anointed Jesus with.
- A piece of cracker, representing the last supper.
- 30 dimes, representing the money Judas received to betray Jesus.
- A small cross. (We made ours out of twigs glued together)
- A thorn, representing the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head.
- A piece of fabric & a dice, representing how the soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ clothes.
- A nail, representing how Jesus was nailed to the cross.
- A piece of sponge with vinegar on it, representing the soaked vinegar sponge that Jesus was given to drink.
- Whole cloves, to represent the spices used to prepare Jesus’ body for burial.
- A rock, to represent the stone that had been rolled away from Jesus’ tomb.
- A piece of cloth, to represent the cloths that were left behind in the empty tomb.
Honestly, the kids were so excited to open the eggs that it was difficult to get them to open them one by one. Especially with Baby Ary, because she’s only a year and a half. But they had a lot of fun searching for the eggs, and I’m sure some of the story was absorbed by Eowyn at least.
Of course it wouldn’t have been a true Jonsson event without a performance, and Eowyn did not disappoint. She did her own rendition of an Easter song that my mom made up when I was little, adding a bit of pizzazz ; )
So, that was our Easter! We had a lot of fun celebrating the resurrection of our Lord, and it was such an honor to share this wonderful story that is the cornerstone of our faith with our children. It’s such a blessing to watch them pray, and to hear Eowyn tell Bible stories from heart, and to see them genuinely thirst to know more about God. I hope your Easter was as blessed and filled with joy as ours was!
He is Risen!