Note: This was part of the “Easter Experience for the Whole Family” event on March 5, 2016.
How to Use the Resurrection Eggs
by Bethany Dattolo, Children’s Director
It’s not a secret that I love to do projects and crafty things with my kids. And if I can squeeze something more meaningful in with the project, like a tie to a book or Bible story, even better! But now that we have an infant in the house, crafty projects don’t happen as often and when they do, they can be a little stressful. So for this Easter I was looking for something simple that wouldn’t require any crafting but would still be fun and meaningful. I decided to do the Resurrection Eggs that you see in stores ($17 at Morning Star) but rather than buying the pre-made eggs, we’re making a family night out of it and assembling them together. If you missed the Family event, you can easily find things around the house to create your own Resurrection Egg kit. Here is a downloadable version of the Resurrection Egg Cards that can be used with each egg. They may not be as polished as the kits you can buy, but they’ll be just as effective at telling the Easter story in a fun and creative way—plus we’ll have the memory of making them together as families! Here are a couple ideas of how you can use them at home:
1 Day at a Time
Take the last 12 days leading up to Easter and do one egg each day. Sit down with your kids, open the egg and use the Bible card to discuss the meaning of the symbol and read the passage from your Bible. (Don’t just rely on the card for the scripture, it’s so much more meaningful when we open our Bibles as a family and read directly from God’s Word together. We can even read more than just the verse provided, too.) Use the questions on the back of the card to help facilitate discussion with your children.
*Side note about the questions… Some questions are good for older children to think through, while others are simple enough for your preschooler to understand. If a question seems too hard for your young child, you don’t have to ask it. Instead, use it to simply tell more of the story to your youngster. The idea of these eggs is to help our children understand each part of the Easter story: what happened leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection and have it make sense to them. Some questions may evoke feelings of sadness or even confusion for our kids, especially the young ones. This is a good thing! I don’t think we should sugarcoat Jesus’ death for our kids, (though we don’t necessarily need to go into every gory detail with our 4-year-olds) it’s important for them to understand that He was a real person (not just an image or icon) who had friends and family that cried over His death, that He bled and hurt (young ones don’t need to know how badly), and that He did it because He loves us.
Each day you do an egg, you could even hide it for your child(ren) to find for an added element of fun!
12 Eggs at Once
Another idea is to set aside an hour or so one day to do all the eggs at once. Again, you could hide all 12 eggs to make it an egg hunt first! You could do this any day before Easter or on Easter if you have the time. Have your children find the eggs and then bring them all together to go through the whole story at one time.
If you have young kids, a great resource to use (especially if you opt to do all the eggs at once) is the book, Benjamin’s Box ($8, Morning Star). This is a picture book that goes through each egg and has one page of reading per egg. It’s easy to understand.
Easter Baskets? Yes or No?
In a word, YES! ☺
As Christian parents raising our kids in a secular world, sometimes we can feel caught between teaching our kids the real meaning of holidays like Christmas and Easter, and still participating in the fun, cultural traditions. Are Easter baskets okay? Do they take away from the meaning of Easter? They probably can if you let them. But I don’t believe there is anything inherently wrong with giving our kids Easter baskets as long as we’re still teaching the real reason for the holiday above all else. But if you happen to be looking for a different way to celebrate, and still participate in the fun without deterring from the Biblical aspect of the holiday, try this:
Sunday mornings in my house are a bit chaotic. And since Easter will always be on a Sunday, we just don’t have the time to do Easter baskets before church on Sunday morning, and we’re rushing off to be with family after church. So we started doing “spring” baskets last year. We put together a typical basket you might give on Easter, but we give our kids their baskets on the first day of spring (which happens to be March 20, Palm Sunday, this year) and celebrate God’s beautiful creation becoming new again. It’s a great alternative if you don’t want to do a traditional Easter basket.
If you’re looking for some things to fill those baskets with other than chocolate and jelly beans, here are some ideas:
Cross necklace or pin
Picture book about Easter (there are plenty to choose from at Morning Star or other book stores!)
Veggie Tales or Adventures in Odyssey DVDs or memorabilia
Kids’ Jesus Movie
If you’re looking for tips on how to talk to your kids about the “hard parts” of the Easter story, you can obviously talk with other parents at church, Pastor Steve Blumer, or myself. But I also love how Amanda White talks about it on her website, which is a great resource for cool ideas on how to emphasize Christ at home and through the holidays!