As a kid I loved Easter – what is there NOT to love about a holiday dedicated entirely to chocolate?!
But communicating the ideas and imagery around Easter can be tough.
Christian traditions around Christmas are all babies and lambs and stars and guys with cool presents. Its the celebration of the start of something wonderful and new. The Easter story is betrayal and violence and a man on a cross and a tomb. Its the end of something… but it is also a beginning. Perhaps the most wonderful and powerful beginning in human history.
How do we communicate those things to our little ones in a way that makes sense?
Focus on life: Before Jesus died, he lived!! And what a life it was. Share stories of Jesus life- his miracles and the wonderful things he said. If you are not a religious family, you can still read Bible stories to share Christian history/culture behind Easter or create your own traditions to celebrate life. Talk about the seasons and the way life dies off and then returns in its time and thank God for creating all of these good things. This is an accessible way to start sharing ideas around life and death with little ones.
Focus on love: One thing the Bible makes pretty clear in the Book of John is that “God so LOVED the world that he gave his only son”. Jesus came to show us God’s love. This is a wonderful opportunity to talk to our kids about how we can love other people- being generous with our things, helping people when they are hurt or lonely, making room to play with a kid that no-one else will play with. The stories of Jesus life are a great lesson plan for teaching our kids to be good people and to show love to those around them.
Focus on fun: Create some fun, tactile experiences for your kids. Eggs are a great part of Easter tradition. Try dying your own eggs or making egg-shaped crafts or just the old reliable Easter egg hunt. Talk about how baby animals come out of the eggs- that’s how their life begins. Resurrection Eggs are another great idea (just Google ‘resurrection eggs’ to find out more)- you can purchase a pre-made set or make your own. The basic idea is to have a plastic egg to open each day for 12 days which contain little icons to communicate the Easter story. Again, the content of the stories will change depending on the age of your children.
Oh, and one last thing, get Googling. There are numerous pages dedicated to easy and fun family Easter traditions!
The Jesus Storybook Bible is the best Bible I have ever found for reading to little ones: The stories are short and easy to understand and beautifully written, though always difficult for me to read through the blubbering tears 😛
There is also a Lenten reading list from the Jesus Storybook Bible to use with your kids in the lead-up to Easter: )
From my family to yours, Happy Easter.
p.s. here I am at the 2016 Victorian state MOPS Conference in ‘Starry Eyed’ themed glamour 😀