Monday, March 11, 2013

Making Easter a big deal for your kids

A couple weeks ago I shared with some ladies at church 4 ways we can make Easter special in our homes so our children know that this is a time of year when we rejoice in our risen Savior.  I thought I'd share them here and then discuss them more in detail in the coming days.  These ideas are very simple, but can make Easter a big deal for your kids!

Working on a painting -- keeping it real with the messy house in the background!
The lambs are peeking out of the book basket
1. Books -- get some really excellent books celebrating Christ's death and resurrection and put them in a special place in your home.  I dragged down a large picnic basket to hold mine, and put them out in the living room so they are accessible to my kids all the time, but also have a designated place so it looks nice (our collection of stuffed lambs is in the basket as well).  Start now to build your collection by buying 1 or 2 books each year, adding one to each child's Easter basket, or trying to find good titles from your local library (I wouldn't count on just that -- but you can find some!).  I gathered together all our storybook Bibles as well so we can read about Jesus' life in each of those, and read and re-read the accounts of the Holy week so that when they know the story very well.  Tomorrow I will  Here is a post a suggested list of Resurrection titles I like to read for children.

2. Music -- just as Christmas has its carols, worthy of singing because of the great truth and tradition, teach your children songs about Easter!  When my daughter was not quite 2, we just sang the Gospel song and "Easter Friday" over and over with lots of motions.  Now that she is almost 4 we are learning a new song every week this year.  I think you have to be a bit more intentional with this, because Easter songs are not marketed and available like Christmas carols, but you can glean wonderful songs from here and there, and play them in your home, sing them before a meal, listen to them in the car. . . my daughter has been known to belt them out in the grocery store. ;)  Please comment if you have a favorite Easter song or hymn!  I will be posting links Here is a post I wrote about some of ours.

fabric scrap bunting
3. Decorate your house -- in some ways this is less essential than the first two, but it does speak volumes to your kids that you are remembering a special occasion when you get busy making your home look fresh and springy.  Here are some suggestions for a VERY everyday person:  (I am NOT a decorator by any means!) There are lots of free printables on Pinterest you can print off and frame you just have to search through the bunnyish ones to find the good stuff!  You can write scripture passages on a chalkboard (I borrowed some from my neighbor who decorates for weddings.  I do not own cute things like that!).  You can hang a banner or bunting (I made mine by ripping scraps into strips and looping it around a ribbon), a wreath, spread a special tablecloth or use spring colored place mats.  I like to cut branches with small buds on them and put them in jars to watch them open, and then use that for our "Easter Tree" that we hang small trinkets on each day when we open our resurrection eggs.  I have my kids paint and color and use markers on special coloring pages and crafts I print off and then hang those up as well, as part of our decor.  There are so many possibilities for decorating if you are actually artistic and crafty! :)

This year I received a very special quilt that belonged to my mother that is a gorgeous bright colored antique.  I think it will be a part of our Eastertime decor every year from now on as it was the quilt that we draped on my mother's coffin at her funeral.  When I look at it, I remember that we have hope because Jesus crushed death on Easter morning.

Susie helping make a tasty treat to send to her Aunt who is in college
4. Traditions -- when it comes to Christmas, we have Christ-centered traditions like crazy!  I want Easter to be no less for my kids.  So I have been planning certain foods we make each year, certain activities and outings and crafts.  You certainly don't have to do everything, but if you choose a few things and do them well, and intentionally, it will become a tradition your kids look forward to each year! I will be posting more about activities we enjoy doing in the coming days, but for now, I will link my posts from past years if you are interested in reading what we have done in the past.  This year is much easier because I am really just re-doing what I have done before with a couple of additions!  That's one bonus about traditions!

Holy Week Last Year
Decorations and Easter Baskets
Countdown to Easter
Easter 2011
More Holy Week activities 2011
Holy Week 2011

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