Looking at my calendar, I suddenly realised it is only three weeks until Easter. Unlike Christmas where we begin our preparations early and decorate out the whole house so that no matter which room you are in, you can see something of Christmas (usually a nativity scene), Easter tends to slip past our family. In the past, I have tended to work (nurse) most days over Easter because of the public holiday penalty rates. Before kids, we were often camping with the youth group.
For the last 2 years, our church has run an absolutely fabulous Good Friday ‘immersion’ with the auditorium set up with a number of stations for practical activities or reflection times at other stations. This has been followed by eating hot cross buns and has been an incredible highlight for our family. Kids love getting involved and learn so much more by ‘doing’.
This year, I am determined to celebrate it more. I grew up believing that Christmas was far more important than Easter due to Jesus Christ being born. In the Christian faith, though, Easter is more significant with the death and more importantly, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I have listed below a few of the things we are trying this year. Some of these we have been doing for a few years, some are new this year.
- Resurrection Story Easter Eggs. These are available from Koorong or Word in Australia or Amazon in the US. Cost ~$20. Alternatively, you can make your own (see blogpost by “We are that Family” http://wearethatfamily.com/2011/03/wfmw-making-easter-story-eggs-2/#sthash.IFovogyH.) Basically there are a dozen plastic eggs with a symbol from the story of Jesus’ death & resurrection inside each egg. These symbols are a little donkey, silver coins, a cup, praying hands, leather whip, crown of thorns, nail, dice, spear, cloth and stone with the last one empty to signify the empty tomb. My kids absolutely love this ‘hands on’ aspect to the Easter story and Matey (8) in particular will spend hours playing with it and telling himself the Easter story.
- A varierty of Easter picture story books that simply explain the story of Jesus life, death and resurrection. The kids have their favourite books but each author tells the story slightly differently, and it is amazing how we all relate to a varierty of pictures and methods of telling the story.
- An Easter Scavenger Hunt. This is taken from “blessthismessplease.com”. The list has ten objects to find, and the kids then share what each object represents. Something sharp (Jesus’ pain), something prickly or thorny (the crown of thorns), something made of wood (the cross), something dead (Jesus’ death), something dark in colour (the darkness that came over the world after his death), something round and smooth (the stone placed in front of the tomb), something soft (the cloth that Mary found in the tomb on Easter morning), something living (Christ’s resurrection), something colourful (our hope and joy that comes through Christ sacrifice on the cross), something light in colour (Jesus is the light of the world).
- Resurrection garden. Making a garden on a plate to signify the scene of the cross, the cave with the stone rolled away etc. For more details, see http://wearethatfamily.com/dpbs/2012/03/diy-miniresurrection-garden/#sthash.fearFCbnu.dpbs
- “Sense of the Resurrection” ebook. Amanda White has written an ebook of activities to explore Easter using all of your senses. There are 12 simple activities for families, using all five senses. It costs $7.99USD. I am about to buy it as it looks & sounds great. I have her “Truth in the Tinsel” ebook for helping to celebrate Christmas for young children and it is great. http://ohamanda.com/a-sense-of-the-resurrection-an-easter-experience-for-families/
I would love to hear how you and your family celebrate Easter and maybe incorporate some of your ideas into our family celebration. Feel free to post your celebration activities in the comments section below.