Monday, March 28, 2011

Peter, Move Your Cotton Tale Aside

What is Easter, besides the mounds of plastic eggs, jelly beans, chocolate bunnies and that blasted plastic grass? My girl is only 2, but she's not too young to learn & celebrate the truth about Easter with us – that is Jesus Christ.
We won't deny her the whimsical and fun events that surround our basic holidays- as we feel this is truly part of being a child & fun/bonding time for family too.
The Easter bunny can play, but he won’t take center stage. We'll decorate eggs, have baskets, do a hunt and enjoy time with family and friends doing the same. I look forward to these events and moments together! However, it's our job and JOY as parents  to make sure everything ‘pretend’ is merely a celebratory accessory to the true meaning.
For fun reading material, I found these great books for children on the real meaning of Easter. I love that this books teaches of the Easter gift, given to us!

At this age, the entire events cannot be fully understood...but the entire message can be told and celebrated in a simple way to begin with. We are planting a seed now, and with nurturing and attention it will become a strong oak tree! This is what I want and pray for- more than anything for my girl.
I love that this book tells the story in a short, illustrated and fun way.
 I know there are likely many great children's books out there that do a great job, these two just happen to be my favorite so far.
There are so many fun games and crafts that are based on the true meaning. Here are a few of my favorites (FREE projects, print outs and links):
DKL . This site is our very favorite, for all kinds of freebie print outs and craft ideas no matter what the occasion. This is the specific link on Christian Easter coloring sheets, games, puzzles and crafts.
Daniell's Place  Love the palm wreath, the Easter garden and the spin game on here!
Christian Preschool I like the resurrection egg craft and they have many great ideas/ free printables too!
 Resurrection Cookies This isn't a craft, but learning as you make cookies. Each ingredient and step matches to events. The oven door is taped shut and kids break open next morning. Here's a detailed pictorial and instructional from a blogger that I liked very much as well (Trina). I plan to play with the ingredients a little, but the learning concept is pretty cool.
For real reading, here’s an accounting of the true events of Easter as documented in the Bible:
Matthew 26:14-75, 27:11-66, 28:1-20
Mark 14:10-72, 15:1-47, 16:1-8
Luke 22:1-71, 23:1-56, 24:1-53
John 11:45-57, 12:12-50
Reading this to a toddler (zzzzzz...Bueller, Bueller...anyone?), not so much.  However, I like the idea of reading SHORT pieces of this every night (marking where you left off each time), during the weeks leading up to Easter!
What are some of your favorite Easter books, crafts and family traditions?


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