How to Enjoy an Eggciting Easter
Like many other holidays, meaningful Easter traditions are sometimes reduced to chocolate and cheap gifts. However, you can use the days leading up to this beautiful holiday to gently explore encouraging concepts about hope and rebirth with your children. Some families shun commercialized Easter traditions entirely for more meaningful Easter traditions with family and church friends, while other families embrace the bunny and the egg-hunt as simple ways to celebrate Spring. No matter how Easter is celebrated in your home, these inexpensive ideas will spring even more egg-citement and meaning into your Easter tradtiions.
Use an Easter tree to encourage kindness. Find one with curliqued branches and 5-10 miniature egg ornaments. When your child does something kind to you, a sibling, a friend, or even a pet animal, give him or her one egg to hang wherever they like on the tree. Explain that when your eggs are all gone and all hanging on the tree, a special prize will be awarded. Purchase several meaningful prizes that further your Easter traditions, and start the game over again, talking about fresh starts and more opportunities to help others. This game focuses on positive reinforcement and encourages you and your child to look for the good in others.
Consider getting together with another family to make Easter sugar cookies for the homeless. While your family enjoys an Easter feast, others might not be so fortunate. Put an encouraging note or a verse with the cookies inside festive wrapping and hand them out together. You could also volunteer some time or goods to a local shelter, soup kitchen or rescue mission. Normally, Christmas is the biggest season to volunteer and give, but Springtime can be just as cold and rainy and miserable as Winter for those down on their luck. When show your children how to volunteer, you show them that everyone deserves a rebirth.
Watching the birth of spring animals is an amazing family tradition. Local farms often showcase their "Lambing Days." Children will love seeing the fleecy babies and imitating their baa-ing noises. Hold the baby chickies and look at the eggs. Talk about the new life growing in the buds of the flowers and trees, and talk about how life is like the changing seasons. Remind them that you will always be there for them, that you will always forgive them and give them a clean slate. Perhaps as you do some of your own research on the history of Easter, you will find more correlations and analogies to make it come alive for your children
If Easter is about The Resurrection to your family, then you and your children will enjoy filling eggs with objects associated with Christ's death, burial, and his coming back to life. Put all the eggs in a basket, and open one every day leading up to Easter Sunday. One egg might have a little rock in for "The stone that was rolled away." Another might have a tiny doll wrapped in white cloth to symbolize Jesus laid to rest. Another might contain three small nails, and another could have three nickels for Judas' 30 pieces of silver. As you open each egg, talk to your children about the items. Let them feel them and hold them, so they connect with something tangible. Fill one egg with special candies for the actual day of Easter and talk about how sweet new life is!
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