If you are a Christian, Easter is the most important holiday on our calendar. This is the week which your savior bore a heavy painful weight for you. This is the week He knew His life was coming to an end, and yet said nothing so that He could die for us. It is humbling. And overwhelming. And painful and beautiful.
So much of our society revolves around being secular; a travesty in a country that boasts freedom of religion. The message of Easter is lost in pastel eggs and Easter bunnies delivering chocolate. I hope that our Easters never feel secular; that at this time of the year we can truly feel Jesus' example of love for us all through His sacrifice. Do you truly love your neighbor as yourself? Would you lay your life down for a friend? Or someone you didn't even know?
So for the last few years we have been trying to do activities with the girls that will convey the story of Easter. We do an activity every day that reinforces the story of Jesus' last week on earth. And we talk a lot about what it means to truly love others.
This is our schedule for this week.
Easter week is usually pretty busy for us so I keep to activities that are simple
and require little preparation.
Tell the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem while kids do coloring sheets.
Make a Fan Palm here.
Talk about the miracles of Jesus including feeding the 5000, healing the sick, and calming the storm. With each of these miracles we will ask them if it is possible ("If there's a storm outside, can you stop it?") and then discuss what Jesus did. Each of the links above have crafts that go along with the stories.
Teaching the Meaning of Easter egg hunt.
Christian Seder and The Passover (normally done on Maundy Thursday)
Dana (thank you thank you thank you) puts together our Seder. She does an (almost) full Seder and we eat a meal with scripture readings. As an adult, this is my favorite part of Easter-I feel tied to everyone who has ever celebrated Passover. This is my children's least favorite part of Easter but I feel that through this experience they are beginning to understand the importance of this day and feel the weight of history behind it.
There is a great website on Christian Seders here where you can put together a full Seder or just a small, symbolic one.
Repeat Teaching the Meaning of Easter egg hunt. This time see if the kids can remember what each item in the egg means. Jelly beans for correct answers!
Good Friday. When the children are (much) older, we will discuss what happened to Jesus on this day in depth. For now we tell them that this is a very sad day because it is the day Jesus died.
We will do a beading craft with the kids, if they'll go along with it we'll use the colors and poem found here (meant for jelly beans).
Neighborhood Easter egg hunt.
Before our egg hunt will talk about loving our neighbors as ourselves.
We'll be teaching Children's Church. There are many wonderful Easter crafts on this site, easy to do with large groups of kids.
At home we'll talk about Jesus' resurrection. We'll discuss what that means for them and how Jesus can preform miracles in our lives today through prayer because He lives.
Have a wonderful Easter celebration!