Easter Fun!

easter-fun

Last weekend was packed with fun family Easter activities. We had Easter baskets, egg hunts, dying eggs, and a baptism service at church. I thought I’d share a few pictures of our weekend with you!

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I hope you had a happy Easter as well! How did you choose to celebrate with your family?

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Easter Books for Kids

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Last week I shared some ideas for sharing the hope of Easter with your kids. Today I’d like to share some of our favorite Easter themed books for kids!

  • The First Easter retold by Catherine Storr – this story begins with the disciples making preparations for the last supper and ends Mary seeing the risen Jesus in the garden. One of the things I like about this book is that is has details from the gospels that are sometimes missing in children’s books, such as the release of Barabbas and Pilot’s wife’s dream.
  • My Easter Basket and the True Story of Easter by Mary Manz Simon – I really like this book as it associates the colors in the Easter basket with the resurrection story. It is a sturdy board book with glittery cut-out pages and has fun, rhyming text. This would be a great book to use during an Easter egg hunt, telling the story with colored eggs to match the text.
  • Benjamin’s Box by Melody Carlson – this book is designed to be used with the Resurrection Eggs, though it also works as a stand-alone book. It tells the story of a little boy named Benjamin as he follows Jesus during his last days and who collects “treasures” that he uses to tell the story. A similar book is Lily’s Easter Party by Crystal Bowman.
  • The Story of the Empty Tomb by Bryan Davis – with it’s colorful illustrations and rhyming text, this book tells the resurrection story.
  • The Easter Story From the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John from Tommy Nelson Publishers – this is a great copy of the Easter story as the text is taken directly from the International Children’s Bible, New Century Version. This version starts with the triumphal entry into Jerusalem and ends at the Ascension.
  • Little Bunny’s Easter Egg Surprise by Joan Hood – while this book is not a religious Easter book, I like the overall message of this book. Here little bunny is the littlest bunny in his family and he is tired of always being so little. Mother bunny tells him that it’s not whether he’s big or little, it’s what’s inside that counts, and Little Bunny learns this when he finds an egg with a special surprise.
  • The Tale of the Three Trees retold by Angela Elwell Hunt – This book tells the story of three trees who have big dreams of being important but who end up being used as ordinary, every-day objects. But each of these ordinary objects take on new meaning when they are used by the Savior. Honestly, I have a hard time reading this book without crying at the end!

There are lots of other great books about Easter. What are some of your favorites?

Easter Activities for Kids

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I love Easter. It is easily my favorite holiday. I love that it occurs every year in the spring when the weather begins to get warmer and things which appeared so cold and dead all winter, once again show signs of life. Spiritually, it reminds me of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross. His triumph over death raised our hearts, which were dead in our sins, to new life in Christ when we put our faith in him alone (Eph. 2).

Sharing this season with my children is a privilege and joy. Every year I look for new ways to share with my children the hope of Easter, and I wanted to share a few of those ways with you today.

One tradition we have every year is to do daily Bible readings in preparation for Easter. This year we did the Life of Christ Family Reading Plan from Intoxicated on Life.

  • This reading plan follows the life of Christ in chronological order throughout the four Gospels, and the readings are designed to be completed once a day, five days a week, from New Years through Easter. Yes, this is a long time commitment (15 weeks this year, though the reading plan has other examples for shorter time periods, depending on when Easter falls each year), but I liked that it incorporated all four gospels at once and covered everything from Christ’s birth, to his ministry and major teachings, to his death and resurrection, in chronological order. So every morning during breakfast we listen to the passage being read using our Superbook Bible App (this is a full version Bible that has a read-to-me feature so we can all listen at once without me trying to read in between bites of cereal!).

If you’re looking for a shorter set of readings to do during Passion Week, Home With the Boys has a reading plan and short daily activities using the Jesus Storybook Bible.

  • This reading plan is to be used specifically during Easter week, so it is only a week long, and I like the hands-on activities associated with this reading plan, as it helps bring the stories to life.The Jesus Storybook Bible is one of our favorite children’s Bibles because it shows how the entire Bible, Old and New Testaments, tell one story, the story of God’s plan to rescue us from the curse of sin.
  • Below is a video of the Resurrection story as told by the Jesus Storybook Bible:
Easter Story–Jesus Storybook Bible

 

One of my favorite traditions that we use every year are the Resurrection Eggs. These are a set of plastic eggs with different items inside that help to tell the story of Christ’s death and resurrection. There is a pre-made kit you can buy, or you can make your own. I really like these because they give a visual, tactile experience, which is great for kids. We usually hide the eggs and then once the kids have found them all, we open each egg in order and read the corresponding scripture.

Here is a link to different ways to make your own set of resurrection eggs:

Our final Easter object lesson that I like to do with the kids is to make resurrection rolls or resurrection cookies, where the end result is a “empty tomb.” You can find the instructions here:

  • Resurrection Cookies – each step in making these cookies (which are very easy for children to make) corresponds to part of the Easter story. For example, breaking the nuts into pieces reminds children that Jesus was beaten for us, the vinegar reminds us of the vinegar he was offered to drink on the cross, etc. The fun thing about these cookies is that you leave them “sealed in the tomb” (oven) overnight and when you take them out in the morning and eat them, you’ll find that the inside is now hollow (like the empty tomb).
  • Resurrection Rolls – for these rolls, you take a marshmallow (which represents Jesus’s body) and wrap it inside a crescent roll and bake it. The marshmallow melts and “disappears,” leaving an “empty tomb.” Just be sure to seal the rolls carefully, as I had trouble with ours leaking! But they were still tasty. Smile

These are just a few ideas our family uses to celebrate the true meaning of Easter. What ideas would you add to the list?