Celebrating the Easter Story

Here are some of the activities we’ve been doing to celebrate the Easter story.  I have more Easter activities that I will be posting shortly, but I tried to group like activities together.

Painted Crosses

I actually had a different cross craft planned but the Zoe found these when we were at Michaels so we switched gears and painted crosses.  They are only $1 but you could certainly make your own out of wood or cardboard.  And while I know that Jesus did not die on a shimmery pink cross, I think it’s important for the girls to connect with the cross and the sacrifice and salvation it represents.

We used the shimmer paint to give it a little sparkle and while I let the girls pick their colors, I also limited them to just a few choices that wouldn’t look too bad if they were all mixed together.  We also sprayed them with sealant afterwards and will be hanging them on the wall in their bedroom.

Easter Garden

My super awesome sister actually shared this idea with me!  We bought the terra cota base, some soil, grass seeds, and decorative stones at Walmart and used a 2 1/4 inch terra cota pot I bought at Walmart.  Next to the pot lying on its side, I put a rock to build up the hill.  Then we found the twigs to make the crosses.  I tied them together with thread but I’m warning you that was a bit of a pain.  Our’s looked a lot better before the dog got ahold of it and we had to pick the soil off of the grass.  And of course, our grass hasn’t grown yet.  You can actually find a picture of a prettier one here.

The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story

This is actually my favorite Easter book to read with the girls.  They are really into the Berenstain Bears right now, but, I mean, who doesn’t love the Berenstain Bears?  Jesus dying on the cross can be scary to some children, but what I really like about this one is that it tells the Easter story with all the important parts in a way that the kids can really understand it.  Some of the other stories are too graphic, or leave out important details (we have a book of Bible stories that leaves out the whole ascension into heaven), or they are just a little hokey.

 

Lenten Chain

Lent is hard for little ones.  Who are we kidding?  It’s hard for adults too.  Advent is filled with the hustle and bustle of getting ready for Christmas.  There are parties to go to, cookies to bake, presents to get.  Lent, on the other hand, is a time of praying, fasting, and almsgiving.  It’s the holiest of seasons and yet for a child it’s the hardest in which to participate or even understand.

In order to help my girls recognize Lent, I made us paper chains to count the days until Easter.  Since the girls are still too little to do the cutting or stapling, I actually made them myself.  But I wanted them to be more than just a countdown until Easter so on each paper link I wrote a message of faith for the girls.  I kept them simple and joyful for a toddler.  Messages like:

Jesus loves you!
God made the sun and the stars!
Jesus is your friend!
God will always help you!
Jesus is with you when you are scared!
God made all the animals!
Mary is Jesus’ mama and our friend too!

I will be honest, it was hard at times coming up with the 47 messages.  Even though I was making two chains (one for each daughter), I just used each message twice and mixed them up when I put them together.  Each day Mia and Zoe will have different messages, but at some point they will have one they have already heard before, just reinforcing the message.

For the links I used purple since it’s the liturgical color of the season; however for Sundays and Ash Wednesday I used pink just to spice it up a little and make it easier to keep track of how many links there were.

We started on Ash Wednesday and so far the girls have really enjoyed it.  They love pulling off a link each day and finding out what the message is.  First they like to “read” it themselves first, usually repeating the message they had the day before.  Then they will let me read it to them.

  It does appear that this Lent we will also be focusing on patience and taking turns since they really wanted to just take off every link on the first day.  (On that first Thursday, the girls did sneak over to the chains and started pulling off links).

Hopefully this will help my girls feel more involved in Lent and help them to be saying a special extra prayer each day in their own way.

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