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Saturday, April 07, 2012

Easter Fun

So today we had a lot of Easter fun. It all started with the Easter egg hunt at church.
After the egg hunt, we came home and dyed eggs. This year we tried something different . . . glitter eggs! Those were my favorites. I think we'll be doing more of them next year.
Mason and Hannah Kate were so excited about Easter this year. It seems the secular expressions of the day overwhelm the TRUE meaning of the day. So even though we have a lot of fun with eggs and baskets and such (I'll tell you a secret: We don't do the Easter Bunny!), we've made it a priority to teach our children what Easter is REALLY about. Easter means that Jesus is alive! That simple fact has changed the world, has changed lives. And there are some super fun ways to teach Christ's death, burial and resurrection to young children in a way that they will understand, remember and even be excited about what Easter is all about! Trust me . . . they don't even miss the bunny! So I'm going to share some of our Easter traditions.

Resurrection Eggs
Resurrections eggs are a fun, visual way to tell the Biblical account of the events of the Holy Week. There are twelve eggs, and each egg contains something in it that symbolizes a part of the resurrection story. The last egg is actually empty because Christ's tomb was empty on the third day. Mason and Hannah Kate love opening up each egg to find what's inside. I've also used these in my Sunday School class and Wednesday night kids' Bible study at church. Resurrection Eggs can be purchased here.

Resurrection Rolls
In addition to the Resurrection Eggs, I also did this last Wednesday during our kids' Bible study. And we do these at home, too. Mason and Hannah Kate absolutely love it! This is another really fun, visual, interactive way to tell the Biblical account of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection. You'll need:

1 package crescent rolls
1/2 stick melted butter
large marshmallows
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine the cinnamon and sugar.
  • Give each child a triangle of crescent roll dough. The crescent roll represents the linen cloth that Jesus was wrapped in. Matthew 27:59
  • Give each child a marshmallow. This represents Jesus.
  • Dip the marshmallow in the melted butter. This represents the oils of embalming. John 19:39
  • Dip the buttered marshmallow in the cinnamon sugar mixture. This represents the spices used to anoint the body of Jesus. John 19:40
  • Wrap the coated marshmallow tightly in the crescent roll, being careful to bring the sides up and seal the marshmallow inside. This represents the wrapping of Jesus' body after He died. John 19:40
  • Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. The oven represents the tomb. John 19:41-42
  • When the rolls have cooled slightly, the children can open their rolls and discover that Jesus is no longer there. HE IS RISEN! The marshmallow has melted, and the crescent roll is puffed up, but, like the tomb, it is empty! Matthew 28:1-9
We've also made the Resurrection Cookies, but my children prefer the rolls. This is probably because the cookies are more of a shortbread cookie, a little "bland" for their tastebuds. They really pour on the cinnamon sugar when we make the Resurrection Rolls. The Resurrection Cookies have the same concept, but you also have the opportunity to crush pecans with a wooden spoon, which represents Jesus being beaten by the Roman soldiers after he was arrested. That's definitely fun for little ones to do. Here's the recipe and corresponding Bible verses for the Resurrection Cookies.

Mason and Hannah Kate each have their own Bibles, and we have a family devotional time and read a Bible story every night before they go to bed. We started doing this when Mason was about 18 months old. We have several children's Bibles, but these are my favorites:

Mason absolutely LOVES his Bible! There are lots of Old and New Testament stories in here, and they are so easy to read and understand. This Bible is also full of colorful pictures. It's super easy to read the Bible stories about Jesus' triumphal entry, the Last Supper and Jesus' arrest, death, burial and resurrection from this Bible while using the Resurrection Eggs at the same time.
And, of course, Hannah Kate wanted her own Bible. She also wanted a pink Bible. It took some doing, but I finally found this one that she loves. It's such a sweet Bible. It, too, contains Old and New Testament stories but not as many of them as The Beginner's Bible.
I highly recommend this Bible for older children. I highly recommend this Bible for adults, too! I absolutely LOVE it. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, and it's written like nothing else I've ever read in a children's Bible. Jesus' name is weaved into every story in this Bible, even the Old Testament stories. You just have to read it for yourself to understand.
Because, you see, for me as a mommy and a child of God . . . this is what it's all about:

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. ~Deuteronomy 6:5-9


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