Showing posts with label Easter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Easter. Show all posts

Apr 16, 2014

Last Minute Easter Ideas that Point to Jesus

* Make Resurrection Buns. These are SO easy! Even toddlers can help make them - and I've yet to meet a kid who wasn't delighted with how the buns turn up empty when they bite into them.

* Make Empty Tomb Cookies. These are slightly more involved, but still fun.

* Make Resurrection Eggs for the Easter hunt. It's really easy if you use the printables found here. Or take it one step further and create 3-D items for the eggs. A similar idea is to put together an Easter basket with elements from the true Easter story.

Found on Pinterest. Original source unknown.
* Put a little forethought into the food for Easter. For example, by arranging cut fruit into a cross, you point to the true meaning of the holiday. Or turn donuts into empty tombs. (See other examples here and here.) Or make pretzels into crosses. Or make the bread into a crown of thorns.  Or make a simple breakfast of bacon and eggs something to remember.

* Have the kids make an easy Easter playset, complete with Jesus, angels, and Roman soldiers.

* Make a cross "wreath" for the front door. Here's a nice example.

* A lot of children's Easter crafts forget to explain why Easter is so important to our salvation. Remedy that with this simple "paid in full" craft that turns pennies into a cross.
Via Mom on Time Out.

* Make a simple paper chain garland with your kids. Write the many names of Jesus - one on each chain.

* Provide an Easter treat for a family or children in need. It doesn't take much time to put together some Easter baskets for the children, or a box with meal fixings for the whole family. Be sure to include something that tells the true story of Easter and what it means - perhaps a tact or a children's picture book.

Mar 22, 2013

Easy, Christ-Centered Easter Ideas

the-preschool-professor.com
I feel a bit behind on my Easter prep this year, but that doesn't mean I can't steer my kids toward the true meaning of Easter. Here are some of the easy ideas I'll be implementing:

(Not even feeling as ambitious as I am? Choose just ONE of these ideas to share with your kids this Easter season!)

* Read the Easter story from our favorite children's Bible, The Jesus Storybook Bible. Although we read other picture books about Easter, none of them explain the meaning of the holiday anywhere near as well as this Bible storybook. (I think every Christian family with kids should have this book; it really gives children the big picture about what the Bible and Jesus are about. Many adults find it illuminating, too! If you want it in time for Easter, it's available as a Kindle download.)

* Make Resurrection Buns. Of all the empty-tomb style foods (cookies, cakes, etc.), this is by far the easiest to prepare. That makes it nice for moms, and also much easier for kids to focus on how the food relates to Jesus' resurrection. They also happen to taste great, and my kids never cease to be amazed by them.

Resurrection bun
* Do Resurrection Eggs. I haven't decided whether we will have the kids hunt for plastic eggs with symbols of the biblical Easter story in them or whether we'll do some printable craft resurrection eggs.

* Some sort of easy Easter craft. Because my kids love crafts. I will pick one of these, depending upon my mood: Easy popsicle stick crosses, watercolor crosses, paper plate tomb, life of Jesus cross, or handprint cross. I also really like this printable scene - like a nativity, but for Easter.

* Watch The Easter Story Keepers.

If you're feeling more ambitious than I am, please check out my previous Easter posts, as well as my Easter Pinterest board


Mar 28, 2012

Easter Basket Ideas

I really dislike spending money on Easter baskets that will just clutter our house, never to be used again. And who wants to buy cheap toys that last only a day? So I'm always on the lookout for cute ideas for Easter baskets that are useful after Easter, and which are filled with something other than useless toys. Here are a few of my favorite ideas:

* Turn a sand bucket into an Easter basket. We've done this several years. It's so simple - and my kids always need new sand pails each year, anyway. Just use any type sand bucket - add ribbons to the handles if you like. Fill the bucket with sand toys, as well as traditional candy or eggs.
Link
* Turn a hat into a basket. A simple summer hat with a brim turns into a cute basket! Choose one that has holes for air circulation and string a ribbon through them as a handle.

* Use a woven or fabric organizing bin as an Easter basket. When the holiday is over, use it to organize books or toys.

* Have your kids make their own basket from empty box, paint can, oatmeal container, coffee container, margarine tub, etc. by covering it with paper, ribbon, etc. (More here.) It may not be especially useful after Easter, but at least your kids had fun and it didn't cost much.

* Make an Easter basket from recycled paper, glue, and a balloon or from construction paper.


Instead of using fake, plastic grass, consider:

* Using no filler at all.

* Use shredded paper, which can be composted or recycled.

* Using real, living grass.


Instead of tons of candy and useless toys try:

* Art supplies, stickers, and playdough

* Books (maybe a new Bible storybook!)

* DVDs or CDs

* Lip gloss

* Pencils and erasers

* Bubbles

* Matchbox-style cars

* Flashlights

* Small puzzlesLink
* A cross necklace

* Playing cards

* Hair accessories

* Seeds (so your child can start a small garden)

* Travel games made from Altoid boxes.

* Flip-flops or crocs

* Sunglasses

* Jammies

* Jacks

* Chalk

* Jump rope

* Tops

* Finger puppets

* Small musical toys like harmonicas or recorders

In addition to typical candy/junk food ideas, try:

* These adorable bunnies made from packages of powdered donuts.

* No bake empty tomb snacks

* Jelly Bean Prayers (perhaps in a special box)




Other Easter Ideas:

* A week of Easter activities
* Resurrection eggs
* Resurrection buns
* Empty tomb cookies


Apr 11, 2011

A Week of Easter Activities

Palm Sunday: Make paper palm leaf fans or trace your children's hands and make a palm tree from them. Read the story of Palm Sunday from a children's or adult's Bible and discuss the meaning of "Hosanna" (praise or adoration). Ask your kids what they would have shouted if they'd seen Jesus on the first Palm Sunday.

Monday: Make a donkey puppet from a paper bag or create a donkey from clothespins. Ask your kids why they think Jesus rode a donkey on Palm Sunday. Why not a camel or a horse? Why not ride in a sedan or chariot? (This article details some reasons why Jesus may have chosen a donkey.)

Tuesday: Make some bread with your kids. (Here's an easy recipe.) Talk about why Jesus called himself the Bread of Life.

Wednesday: Take turns serving each other a meal; even toddlers can bring food to Mommy or Daddy. Talk about how serving others means we are also serving God.

Thursday: Make lunch or dinner as close to the Last Supper as you can imagine. Wash each other's feet before the meal. End the meal with bread (try this traditional challah recipe) and wine (or grape juice). Other possible foods include bitter greens (turn endive and other greens into a salad) and roasted lamb.

Friday: Make simple candles from beeswax sheets and wicks (available at craft stores; instructions here). Ask your kids why Jesus is called the Light of the World.

Saturday: Go to a park or someplace you're likely to find a large boulder. Ask your kids to try to move it. Talk about how hard the stone over Jesus' tomb would have been to move, and how scared the soldiers must have been to see it roll away. While you're out in nature, search for things that remind you of Easter: two sticks can form a cross, a red flower can remind us of Jesus' blood sacrifice, etc.

Easter: Hunt for Resurrection Eggs. Make Resurrection Buns or Empty Tomb Cookies. Read the full Easter story from a children's or adult's Bible.


Apr 1, 2010

A More Meaningful Easter

Recently, I've posted about a lot of ways to make Easter more meaningful for kids, including making resurrection eggs, empty tomb cookies, Jesus eggs, and resurrection buns. But today I want to ponder a few things that can help make Easter more meaningful for the entire family.

* Attend sunrise services, symbolizing when Jesus is believed to have risen from the tomb. If this seems impossible with young children, be sure to attend church later in the day.

* Read the Easter story from the Bible.

* Provide an Easter treat for a family or children in need. Perhaps a neighbor's husband is deployed, or a family down the street is struggling with unemployment. Make their Easter sweeter by giving the children Easter baskets, or providing an Easter meal. Be sure to include a Bible or a children's book about the real meaning of Easter.

* Plant an Easter garden. Easter is partially about rebirth and second chances. What better time to plant a garden? Unless there is still snow on the ground, you could plant cool season crops like lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and carrots.

* Watch an Easter movie together. The Passion of Christ is too intense for young children, but The Easter Story Keepers is great for kids as young as 4.

* Visit the elderly - especially those without family nearby. Bring Easter lilies or treats, and (depending upon the individual's needs) a large type Bible or Bible on CD. (You might need to bring a CD player, too!)

* Save an Easter lily. This while flower is associated with Christ's sinless life; the fact that it goes dormant ("dead" in winter) then "resurrects" in the spring with foliage and blooms, also reminds us of Jesus' sacrifice. This year, try preserving an Easter lily by keeping it indoors until your last threat of frost. Then you may plant it in the garden where it will receive full sun.


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Mar 31, 2010

Resurrection Buns

Here's a super-easy recipe, ideal for even very young children. Serve it with your Easter meal; it has just a slightly sweet flavor.

What You Need:
Canned biscuits (the large type work best)
Butter
Sugar
Cinnamon
Large marshmallows (or colorful peeps)

Rolling pin
Baking sheet

How to Do It:

1. Give a child a biscuit straight from the can and let him flatten it out with a rolling pin until it measures about 5 inches across.

2. Let the child spread a dab of butter, and a small sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon on the flattened biscuit, explaining how Jesus gave us the sweetest gift ever known.

3. Give the child one large marshmallow and tell her it represents Jesus. It's white because Jesus is holy and sinless. Have them place one marshmallow in the center of each biscuit, then fold the sides of the biscuit around the marshmallow, forming a "tomb."

4. Pinch the sides of the tombs closed and place the folded side down on a baking sheet so they won't open during baking. This is a good job for an adult; if the biscuit isn't securely pinched, it may spoil the empty tomb effect.

5. Have the child spread a tad more butter, sugar, and cinnamon on the outside of each biscuit. Explain this represents the anointing of Jesus' body.

6. Bake the buns according to the biscuit packaging directions. Allow to cool.

7. When the buns are eaten, the children will be surprised to discover the marshmallow has disappeared from the center. (And if you use colorful peeps, the inside of the bun will be the color of the peep you placed inside.)

He is risen! He is risen indeed!



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Mar 30, 2010

Empty Tomb Cookie Recipe

© Richard Croft; licensed for reuse under Creative Commons License
Empty Tomb Cookies are a great way to bring Easter to life for kids. Begin the process of making these treats on the day before Easter.
What You Need:
1 cup whole pecans in a plastic sandwich bag
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 egg whites
1 pinch of salt
1 cup of sugar

a wooden spoon or wooden meat tenderizer mallet
mixing bowl
electric mixer
baking sheet
painter's or masking tape
Bible

How to Do It:
1. On the day before Easter, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

2. Read John 19:1-3: "Jesus was beaten for our sins..." Beat the nuts with the wooden spoon or mallet, then set aside.

3. Read John 19:28-30: Jesus drank something like vinegar; sniff the vinegar, take a little taste, then place the vinegar in the mixing bowl.

4. Read John 10:10-11: Egg whites symbolize Jesus' holy, sinless life; add the whites to the mixing bowl.

5. Read Luke 23:27: The women's tears were bitter; taste a few grains of salt, remember your own sins, then add the salt to the mixing bowl.

6. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16: Sweet salvation! Taste the sugar, then add it to the mixing bowl.

7. Mix the ingredients in the bowl with an electric mixer as your child reads Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3; mix for about 12-15minutes. The dough must be quite stiff.

8. Read Matthew 27:57-60: Fold the nuts (representing the rock placed over the tomb) into the dough.

9. Drop spoonfuls of the dough (using a knife and spoon) onto a cookie sheet. These mounds represent the rocky tomb Jesus was laid in.

10. Place the cookie sheet in the oven, and turn the oven off.

11. Read Matthew 27:65-66: Seal "the tomb" oven with two pieces of painter's or masking tape.

12. Read John 16:20 & 22, discuss, then go to bed.

13. On Easter morning (the very next day), read Matthew 28:1-9: Jesus is risen! Behold, the empty tomb! Unseal the oven door and remove the cookies. Break one in half - it is hollow inside. It is empty, just like Jesus' tomb.

He is risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!


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Mar 29, 2010

Easter Egg Tips

When I was about 9 years old, my mom, on a whim, bought some brown eggs for us to color for Easter. We were astonished by the results. The eggs dyed into strong, bold colors just using ordinary food dye. From then on, we always made sure we dyed brown eggs.

Another, more meaningful, tradition is to buy some sticker letters and spell out "Jesus" on some eggs. Boil 5 eggs, allow them to dry thoroughly, and place one sticker each (a "J" on the first, an "E" on the second, and so on). Dye the eggs in food coloring, let the dye dry, then remove the stickers.

If you like, use all natural food coloring; you'll find the directions over at Inspiring Ideas.

Give it a try!

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Mar 24, 2010

Making Easter Egg Hunts Meaningful

For those of us who want to give the kids a little something fun to do on Easter, but want to make egg hunts a lot more meaningful, I recommend resurrection eggs. Yes, you can buy them, but they are also easy - and cheap - to make.

All you need are some plastic eggs (I recently bought a large pack for $1 at the Dollar Tree), some strips of paper with Bible verses printed on them, and a few items to put inside the eggs:

* A small piece of bread, along with a print out of Matthew 26:26: "Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."

* A coin, along with Matthew 26: 14-15: "Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, 'What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?' So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over."

* A piece of purple fabric, with Mark 15:17: "They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him."

* A thorn from a rose bush, with Matthew 27:19: They "twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said."

* A piece of string, representing a whip, along with Mark 15:15: "...He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified."

* A small cross (available at a Christian bookstore, or make one from cardboard), with John 19:17-18: "Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle."

* A nail, with John 20:25b: "But he said to them, 'Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.'"

* A small printed sign, along with Luke 23:38: "There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS."

* A small piece of sponge, with Matthew 27:48: "Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink.:

* A small spear-like object (a pointed stick or a toothpick), with John 19:34: "Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water."

* A small rock, with Matthew 27:59-60: "Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away."

* And an empty egg, with Matthew 28:6: "He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay."

Hide these along with real eggs (or candy filled ones), and you've just created a Christ-centered Easter egg hunt. Young children may have trouble focusing on Resurrection eggs when candy eggs are to be had, so take some time after the hunt to sit down with them while they much on a chocolate cross, and read through and discuss the Resurrection eggs. End by reading the Easter story from the Bible, or from a great children's book like An Easter Gift for Me (toddlers and preschoolers), Read and Share: The Story of Easter (up to kindergarten), or The Very First Easter (kindergarten and up).

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