March 26, 2012

More Ideas for Easter

It's hard to believe how quickly Easter is approaching! There is not much time left at all, and I have a lot to do....make that, EVERYTHING left to do. Hopefully, we will be doing our Easter shopping on Friday! The girls and I love Easter shopping day! The boys...not so much! We love doing special things for and with our family for each holiday. We want to build wonderful and fun memories for our children, but we also want to make sure the emphasis is placed on the true meaning of these special days. Here are a few more ideas that you might consider adding to your Easter this year.

Idea number 1: This is my newest found idea, and our family is going to make this tomorrow:

Plant an Easter Garden! Using potting soil, a tiny buried flower pot for the tomb, shade grass seed, & crosses made from twigs. Sprinkle grass seed generously on top of dirt, keep moistened using a spray water bottle. Spritz it several times a day. Set it in a warm sunny location. Sprouts in 7-10 days so plan ahead. What a beautiful idea and a wonderful way for younger kids to visualize the empty tomb!

Idea number 2: Our family is reading the book Amon's Adventure: A Family Story for Easter by Arnold Ytreeide. It is a chapter book and definitely written for the interest of elementary age children. My oldest two are completely enthralled with it, and my younger two listen while coloring or quietly playing with blocks. We haven't finished it yet, and so I cannot give a complete review, but so far, it is a wonderful story of a little boy who lives in the days of Jesus and becomes entangled in the trial and death of Jesus. It tells the story of Jesus' last week here on earth from Amon's perspective. It gives a detailed picture of Jesus' death and resurrection and makes the details more real to the children as they read from another child's perspective. If you have elementary children, I would highly recommend reading this each Easter.

Idea number 3: The resurrection eggs...another great visual reminder of all that Jesus did for us. You can visit this website for more details of how the resurrection eggs work. This year, instead of using eggs, I am hanging each symbol on an Easter tree. We will do one symbol each day during our morning reading of Proverbs. You can do one each day as a short devotional type, or you can sit down and do all of them at once during a longer Bible time. FYI: For the "empty" on the last day, I will use an empty Easter egg to hang on the tree.

Idea number 4: I am also using the book So Much Bigger Than the Bunny by Tasha J. Via. In it, she gives one family activity to do during the "Holy Week" (the week before Easter). A couple of examples are explaining the Lord's Supper and making unleavened bread, making Easter baskets for your neighbors and giving them an invitation to your church's Easter Sunday service when you deliver it, choosing something to give up on the Saturday before Easter (the day of waiting). These are all wonderful ways to help your children realize that all that Jesus did for us was REAL, and it helps involve them in preparing to CELEBRATE how wonderful Easter is!

Idea number 5: I accidentally discovered a great devotional in the form of a downloadable e-book to use with younger children the week before Easter. You can find it here. It doesn't give a sample, and so I bought it praying it would be useful, and it was! It is only $6.95, and I do think it was worth the money. Each day discusses things that took place during Jesus' last week on earth and is written out in a devotional style so that you can just sit and read it to your kiddos. It gives great discussion questions to ask your elementary age children, and it closes with a family activity or game that helps solidify the devotional. If you're looking for something short and simple to do together as a family, this would be a great choice!

I know there are a lot of ideas here, and some of them take some planning ahead. Please don't feel as though you need to use all of them. After all, we don't want to become busy and stressed with even the best of intentions. That takes away from the remembering and celebrating. Do what works for you and your family. Start small and grow! Have fun, but most of all, spend time in prayer asking God how He would like your family to remember and celebrate the sacrifice He made!

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