Walk into any store and it is clear that Easter is right around the corner. The shelves are filled with baskets, candy, brightly colored eggs, and trinkets and treasures featuring the star of the season – the Easter bunny! But what about the real star of the season? What about the faith meaning of the Easter holiday – the resurrection of Jesus? Where is that in the store? It seems that the story of Jesus is buried under bunnies!
If you are like me, you think bunnies are cute, and you still enjoy Easter baskets and egg hunts and all the other commercial celebrations related to the season, but you also want to focus your kids on the real meaning of Easter. I’ve tried several things over the years to teach my kids the Easter story.
Here are my three favorite faith-based traditions that go beyond the bunny:
These are by far my favorite Easter tradition. Inside each plastic egg is an object that correlates to part of the Easter story. The kids get to hear the story of Easter, and have a visual reminder of each part. Some years I have done one egg a day, similar to an advent calendar at Christmas; other years I go through the whole story multiple times the week leading up to Easter. When my kids were younger and there were less of them, I preferred the one egg a day method. Now that they are able to pay attention longer and waiting four days for your turn to open an egg is nearly impossible, we go through the whole story and they rotate who opens each egg. (Heaven forbid if anyone but my youngest gets to open the purple one!)
When I first started Resurrection Eggs, I created my own using objects I had found around the house. I then printed the correlating scripture on some cardstock and made them into a set of cards on a ring. They worked great! Then about two years ago I happened upon a set in the store, and decided to go ahead and buy them. Mine were getting a little worn, and some of the objects had gone missing. Whether you choose to make your own or buy some, I highly recommend a set. In fact, when I retrieved my Easter box from the attic, my daughter yanked ours out and exclaimed, “These are my favorite! They’re so fun!” Take her word for it, not mine.
For some examples of DIY Resurrection Eggs, check out our Pinterest page.
Attribute Egg Hunt
The second thing my daughter did when I got my Easter box out of the attic was excitedly offer to help me hide some eggs. As anyone with kids knows, an egg hunt on Easter morning is not nearly enough. They want to have an egg hunt every day!!!! Now that my kids are older, this is actually a great game for them to play on their own. They take turns hiding and finding eggs for each other and it entertains them long enough for me to wash some dishes and take a shower uninterrupted!
The only downfall to this game is that there’s nothing inside the eggs. While it’s fun to hide and find, it’s an added bonus when you get to open the eggs too. I clearly did not want to stuff eggs all day long, or provide my kids with an unlimited candy supply. Instead, I wrote twelve different attributes of Jesus on colored paper and put one in each egg. With this move I single-handedly prevented my kids from hiding 50 eggs in my house and only finding half of them, and at the same time reminded and taught them about who Jesus is. Mom win!
Scripture-Based Easter Baskets
This is a tradition that I started long before my kids could ever appreciate it. It is probably the most time-consuming thing I do, but I also think it’s the most valuable. While I love picking out gifts for my kids that I know they will enjoy, I wanted to find a way to distinguish the gifts in their Easter basket from things they might get on other occasions.
One day I found some seed planting kits in the dollar section at Target, and the idea (for lack of a better term) grew from there. The plants could remind them of spiritual growth, and there are tons of verses about growth in the Bible! I decided that each item I put in their Easter baskets would have a matching verse. At first I tried thinking of verses I wanted to speak into their lives and then brainstorming something I could buy that made sense. This turned out to be way too hard! Instead, I bought things for their baskets like I normally would and then entered a key word into my Bible app to see any related verses. I tried to write them in a way that would speak to their heart.
Here are some of my favorites:
- Play-doh: “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14
- Flashlight: “God’s word is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path.” Psalm 119:105
- Markers: “May you draw near to God with a sincere heart.” Hebrews 10:22
Now that the Easter eggs have been spotted by my children, I will probably field about a hundred questions related to egg dying, egg hunts, and Easter candy. But, armed with these three traditions, I will get to the bottom of the bunnies and remind my kids of the real meaning of Easter!