My two boys will tell you that I am all about celebration, down to the most minute of days. We celebrate daddy’s pay day with donuts, the first day of summer finds us at the ice cream shop, we craft our way through the year and are sure to send cards to our loved ones whenever I get the inspiration. Life is meant to be lived abundantly and I do believe a part of that is done by celebration. For the purposes of this mini series I have created a list of ideas for your Easter observance within the coming days. Don’t feel like you have to add these to an already full schedule for your Easter to be complete. That friend, is not the point. I have created this list incase you need some inspiration, either way I would love to see pictures of how you spend your week!
Activity 1 – Make resurrection Rolls
I remember making these as a child in Sunday school and I have made them twice with my own kiddos. They are a great way to teach about the empty tomb and what that means for us a Christians in a way a small child can understand, remember from a few days ago symbolism works great for kiddos! They are also fun for older kiddos to make so don’t shy away if you don’t have young kids!
What you will need
– Bread dough (lets be honest, I use Pillsbury crescent roll dough because its super easy) you can use whatever dough you choose!
– melted butter or water to dip the marshmallow in
– cinnamon and sugar (mixed in a bowl so that you have what is known as cinnamon sugar)
preheat oven to 375 degrees
cook time 8-10 minutes
1). Unfold the dough and as you are doing so explain to your children that these pieces are similar to the linen cloths they wrapped the Lord in after He was taken down from the cross.
2). Give each child a marshmallow and explain the marshmallow as representing Jesus.
3). Roll the marshmallow in the melted butter or water so that the cinnamon sugar will stick.
4). Roll the marshmallow in the cinnamon sugar which represents the spices they would have used on Jesus’ body in preparation of burial.
5). Wrap up the marshmallow in the bread dough, making sure the marshmallow is all of the way covered. Don’t worry if they look a little wonky, remember the lesson is in the marshmallow disappearing (symbolizing Jesus’ rising from the dead).
6). Once you have completed the above steps for all of your marshmallows (how many you make will of course be dependent upon your family size) place them in the oven (which represents the tomb) and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown.
7). While the rolls are baking find an age appropriate Resurrection story to read your children.
8). Once the rolls have cooled allow your children to open them and discuss what happened.
Activity 2 – An Easter story scavenger hunt
This is an activity that my oldest and I had a lot of fun with last year. I originally got the idea off of Pinterest and if you search “Resurrection Scavenger Hunt” you are sure to find many ideas! I will share how we do ours and encourage you to use your imagination in this activity. The scavenger hunt part of this activity is best done on Friday, so that ‘Sunday can come’!
What you will need
– your child’s Easter basket
– a red towel
– the items listed below “to find”
To Find: (What it Represents)
– coins (Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver)
– a flower (perfume Mary of Bethany anointed Jesus feet with)
– something black (our sin)
– something sharp (the nails that held Jesus to the cross)
– something prickly (the crown of thorns)
– two sticks (the cross Jesus died on)
– a rock (the tomb where He was laid)
The scavenger part of this activity (which you will do on Friday) can be dark and heavy, if you have a child who is more sensitive you may hold off on this or find a way to encourage them through it. As your children are finding the pieces that go with the story (listed above) have them place each item in their basket. I encourage you, as you are “on the hunt” for these items, to discuss why they relate back to the story of Easter (keeping in mind your child’s level of understanding). Next, you will lay the red towel over their Easter basket (covering their “finds”) and place it somewhere to wait for Sunday. On Sunday morning carry out your families basket tradition but now instead of the items they found on Friday, their basket will be full of “goodies” representing how Jesus covers our sins with His blood and gives us blessings in place of our transgressions. This activity worked well for my now 5 year old last year (as in he would have been 4 at the time). I don’t know that children much younger than that would understand but they might have fun helping older siblings!
The next few activities are going to be left open to your interpretation so I have not included directions or a list of items you will need. I would love to see any pictures you may take of your families Easter celebration this coming week. Feel free to tag me in pictures on instagram @cultivatingjewels
1). Make a Spring themed breakfast for Easter Sunday
– We do not include the Easter bunny in our celebrations, however I have made cinnamon rolls into the shape of a bunny and served a fruit salad and some scrambled eggs or breakfast meat on the side in the past. This is simply a way to make a fun breakfast for my preschoolers using a Spring like theme. Get creative with this! -Or- you may have a traditional breakfast you make every Easter, for my husbands family growing up it was Welsh Rarebit, for my family it was what we called Fondu breakfast, which is an egg, cheese, bread and sausage casserole type dish.
2). Hymn Sing
– Gather some of your favorite Hymns and sing them as a family. I really want to make a practice of doing this more often in our own family year round. Hymns are packed full of such beautiful truths.
3). Read Easter books
– These are plentiful search online, at a local book store or use your library. Reading to our children is of utmost importance and I try to add it into our days as often as possible.
4). Make a card for a loved one
– This year we will be celebrating Easter with Lance’s parents and so I will be having my boys make a card for their grandparents. Who could you bless with a homemade card?
5). Make an Easter Craft
– I am not creative in the way of crafts. Thankfully there is Pinterest, which is where I get 99% of my ideas when my boys ask to make a craft. Use what you have lying around the house or take a special trip to a craft store. It can even be a Spring themed craft so you can keep it up longer!
6). Hold a Maundy Thursday Dinner
– This is something we did in youth group when I was in high school and would be more suitable for older children. We had a meal that consisted of lamb, vegetables and herbs. The room was lit with candles (no overhead lights) and we sat on the floor. It is meant to be somber and reflective of the next day (Good Friday).
7). Bless a neighbor
– Make a Spring themed treat for your neighbors (I know this can be a little trickier with everything going on with the virus) perhaps there is another way you could bless someone who lives near you. Last year when we were in the beginning stages of the virus and everything was shut down we put a palm branch in our window for palm Sunday and got comments on it! Find a unique way to bless someone this season.
8). Dye Eggs
– This is such a fun family tradition many of us already have. If you are in need of some change up this year, again head over to Pinterest! There are so many fun ways to dye eggs. Once they are dyed have fun hiding them and if you feel led to draw this back to the Christian tradition, talk about how the eggs symbolize new life as we have new life in Christ!
9). Find something traditional you can use in your child’s basket
– When I was growing up this looked like a pink Easter bunny (my brother had a blue one) that was tied to a red string which my mom tied around the handle of our baskets and filled with jelly beans. I remember her using this from the time I was around 5 all the way up until I was a senior in high school (yes my mom kept the basket tradition alive that long!).
10). If you no longer have children in the home or if you are single/never had children
– Find a friend to bless with a Spring themed gift! What a fun surprise it would be to deliver daffodils and a sweet note to go along with them. This doesn’t have to be expensive to be meaningful!
– I focused this post on things you can do as a family at your home, however my biggest encouragement for you would be (if at all possible) to attend Good Friday and Easter services at your church. There is something very special about worshipping the Risen Savior with your church family!
It is my hope that this post gave you at the very least a spring board of ideas of fun things to add to your celebration this year! It is such a very special holiday and one we Christians should be having the most fun observing!
Soli deo Gloria!