Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Quest for a Christ-Centered Easter

I know my kids are young, and the concepts involved in our beliefs surrounding Easter are difficult for them to comprehend: crucifixion, death, resurrection, etc. However, I want to help my kids understand that there is more to Easter than the easter bunny, eggs, candy, and cute pastel clothes (although those are really fun). Easter falls in March this year, so I've been thinking about it ever since Valentine's Day.

I'd love to hear your ideas of how to help young children understand and know that Christ is the reason we celebrate Easter.

I found a couple ideas that looked interesting and worth a try. There is a book by Janet and Joe Hales called "A Christ-Centered Easter: Day-by-day activities to celebrate Easter Week" , which I found really helpful with some great ideas! I checked it out at the library. Here is one that we are going to try.

The Easter Story in Eggs
1.) Number 12 plastic eggs with a permanent marker and put them in an egg carton for easy storage.
2.) Photocopy and cut out the scripture passages.
3.) Gather indicated visual aides.
4.) Place each strip and its visual aid into the numbered eggs.
5.) Take turns opening each egg in sequence and reading the enclosed scripture and discuss.

1.) Matthew 26: 14-16
2.) Matthew 26:26-28
3.) Matthew 26:36-37, 39, 42, 44
4.) Matthew 27:1-2
5.) Matthew 27: 22-24
6.) Mark 15:16-19
7.) Luke 23: 26-27, 33
8.) Luke 23:34
9.) Matthew 27: 50-51, 54
10.) Luke 23:50-53; Matthew 27:60
11.) Mark 16: 1-4
12.) Mark 16: 5-6

Visual Aides:
1.) Three dimes
2.) a small cracker or piece of bread
3.) A sacrament cup
4.) A length of twine
5.) A piece of soap
6.) A swatch of purple cloth
7.) A nail
8.) Two toothpicks (to represent casting lots)
9.) A bag of crushed rocks and potting soil
10.) Strips of white cloth
11.) Spices tied in a small piece of cloth
12.) Leave this egg empty

The other idea is a pamphlet-type of guide with a picture, discussion topic, activity ideas, and little homework assignments for the Easter week. I found it on Click Here


Heidi said...

Wow, you are ambitious. When is Easter? :)

Well, I do have to say that we typically avoid Easter baskets because they end up being eaten by yours truly. Typically we do something like books or other church types of toys instead. We do egg hunts and stuff like that, too. To tell you the truth, I haven't given it much thought. These are some good ideas!

On The Go Family said...

I just started to think about this today. I, too, am trying to avoid the candy trap since it makes them hyper and I end up eating it all. I think I'll put bubbles and sidewalk chalk in the baskets this year instead and leave it at that. I know they'll be thrilled with those and I can find them at the dollar store, so it fits in our budget.

Last year we did some candy but filled the rest of the eggs with those foam stickers in the shapes of letters and number. You can get huge amounts for really cheap and it's helped Goose work on her letters, learn to spell her name, etc.

One idea I heard was doing the secular part of easter early (like maybe a week early or even just the day before) with the baskets, egg hunts, etc so the kids still get to experience it, but realize it's not the main event. Then on Easter itself (or, like you say, a week or so leading up to it) you focus on the true meaning of Easter and make the day really special.

I like the ideas you found on sugardoodle and may incorporate them myself. Thanks for sharing!

laurenthequeen said...

Mimi (Wil's mom) made us a set of Easter eggs last year and I'm looking forward to using them this year. We were out in Texas last year and did them with the whole family. It was a little beyond the kids (15 months, 18 months and 3) but it was a big group and there was a lot going on. This year will be interesting because we are having Baby J blessed on Easter. It just happens to be the Sunday that Mimi will be visiting again. So we'll see how things go.

Amy said...

Heidi - I'm not really a planner like that. I'm not normally thinking this far ahead about ANYTHING. Easter is March 23rd.

otg - Church books and/or toys for spring are a great idea instead of candy. I'm guilty of eating it all, too. Also a great idea to do the "celebrating" on Saturday or a week prior.

Lauren - yeah, it may be way too much for them (too much symbolism, you know?) Let us know how it goes. What a perfect day to bless the baby! Are you doing it at home or is that Fast Sunday also?

Libby said...

I feel the same way. Any idea's for a 1 year old though? He still might be a little young.

Libby said...

This is Lolly's 2nd. She has a 2 yr old. His picture is on the zoo part of my blog. He is adorable. I will surely post pictures when we see him/them. Fun to be in contact with you again.

Science Teacher Mommy said...

These are good ideas. I'm not sure what to do. My oldest is only six, and we've never done the Easter Bunny thing. Of course, with his Santa obsession this year, I think we may not avoid it.

Thanks for stumbling across my blog and commenting. It is such a rush to connect with a new "friend." But you look really familiar . . . like from high school? Just a thought.

Science Teacher Mommy said...

PS Scrolled down. Not so familiar. LOVED The picture of the hairy heart. I am glad you clarified that this picture was sent to you and not your husband or something. :)

love.boxes said...

I love all of your idea Amy. It seems like Easter should be a bigger holiday to me. I was impressed when Presiden Hinckley reminded all of us that there would be no Christmas without Easter. It is the most important event that we celebrate.

I think spring is the perfect season for it too as it is a time of rebirth and renewal that visually brings to all of us the ideas of the possibilty of renewing our own lives, cleaning them up and doing better.

Loved your post. :)

Sarah said...

This has gotten me thinking of just what I want to do this year. The neighbors do a fun egg hunt together the weekend before. I want to be sure to do a good family night lesson with "age-appropriate" pictures. I think what you have looks great...I might actually suggest to use some of it with my young women. I just worry it would be far to symbolic for our little ones. Sure thing to file away and pull out later (for me) though. I have done some searching and have a few ideas that still need some pictures to be finished. I'll let you know when I get things figured out. I'll share for sure if I pull something together-CLOSER to Easter (it is still near the bottom of my list) Good for you starting us all thinking so soon.