Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Family Traditions #19: Easter 2013

"Family traditions give identity and belonging to each member." - James Dobson

My favorite activity these days is teaching my boys about God. I love waiting for their responses to the questions I ask them, just to hear what is going on in their curious minds. They are sharp too! Going through Easter with my boys this year and seeing them really experience the story for the first time made it even more precious to me.

We treat Easter like we do Christmas, it isn't that we hate the Easter bunny, we just didn't have any time for him with all that we wanted to cover. Even with being in the States for this holiday, my boys didn't notice bunnies or eggs. I hope that when they do start noticing, they don't look at the Easter bunny as a bad thing, but just as something that isn't their own. I don't think they will feel like they missed out, they were pretty happy about our week. I would tell the boys each day "we're going to do our Easter activity" and even up to the last day they were excited and eager!

We started 12 days before Easter. I got my inspiration here. I adapted it a bit for our family so I am only going to put a link where our craft differed from hers. I loved the way she laid it out. It tells the whole story. She also has a free bunting printable.

Day 1: Jesus Entering Jerusalem (Matt. 21:1-17)
We made palm branches.
As we read the passages, the boys liked holding their own Bibles. They can't read, but they like finding the numbers. 
Kiki helped too!
Then they shouted, "Hosanna!"

Day 2: Judas Betrays Jesus (Matt. 26:1-5; 14-16)
We rubbed 3 dimes for the 30 pieces of silver.

Day 3: Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet (John 13:1-17).
We traced our feet.

Day 4: The Last Supper (Luke 22:14-20)
We made a diorama out of an Egg Carton.
We also had some crackers and red tinted water out as visuals as we talked about the Lord's supper and what it symbolized. I love listening to my boys explain it back to me. They always tell us about the things they learn. 

Day 5: Jesus in the Garden (Luke 22: 39-46)

Day 6: Jesus is Arrested (Luke 22:47-54)
Since they are 3 we focused on the cool ear chopping off part of the story and Jesus healing it... so we made cardboard and tin foil swords. 
With a story like this, nobodies ears were safe!
Not Daddy's...

or Papa's...
or even Mama's!

The boys skyped with G after this and told him about the story. Unfortunately they said "Peter Pan" chopped off the soldier's ear. They did get the rest of the facts straight though!

Day 7: Crown of Thorns (Matt. 27:27-31)
We made crowns of thorns out of playdough and toothpicks. 
I was surprised at how solemn they got when I explained to them what the soldiers did with the crown. They talked about how it would hurt and they were very sad about it. 

Day 8: The Thief on the Cross (Luke 23:32-33; 39-43)
We made a wax paper sun-catcher of the 3 crosses. We used this method, but with 3 crosses. 
They can point out Jesus' cross and then they point to the other two and say "bad guys'!

Day 9: Jesus Dies on the Cross (Luke 23:33-38; 44-47)
We searched for sticks outside and then made crosses wrapping them together with pipe cleaners. 

Day 10: Why Did Jesus Die (Rom. 5:8)
We drew red dots on our hands to symbolized Christ's scars and then we wrote our names over it since He did it for us. 
My boys took this part very seriously. As I was drawing the dots on their hands Jonah said, "Mama, feet too! Nails in Jesus' feet!" That made me so happy because we hadn't even talked about that yet that day, he remembered it from us talking about it all week. Love!
Now when we ask Silas why did Jesus die, he says, "He loves us."

Day 11: Jesus' Body Placed in the Tomb (Matt. 27:57-66)
We made edible tombs. We used chocolate icing, green colored coconut, a cupcake, Oreo, and a marshmallow to hold the sign. Each year I do this craft with my church kids, so it was fun to finally get to do it with Jonah and Silas!
{Love the chocolate already on his face!}
{We forgot to roll the stone away... oops.}
It just so happens that my great uncle sent us a video of the Easter drama his church did last year and it arrived while we were doing our craft. It was playing in the background and when it got to the crucifixion scene my boys were very interested. It was perfect because then they could point out the nails, His blood, the sign on top of the cross, and His crown of thorns. It was a wonderful visual for what we had been talking about!
Then they watched the tomb scene. And they didn't want to stop watching until they got to see Jesus again, to make sure He had risen again. 

Day 12: Jesus is Risen (Matt 28:1-10) 
Using free printables, we recreated the resurrection scene. 

Jonah and Silas used the figures and told me the story!
"Three days later He had risen."

Here are my boys doing this same activity a year ago:

We kept an Easter wall for those 12 days of all the things we had learned!
We didn't cover Jesus returning to Heaven, but when we picked them up from their class Sunday morning, they had made a craft of Jesus ascending to Heaven and Silas ran up to me (as he was moving the Jesus he had colored) and said, "Look Mama, Jesus going in the sky to Heaven!"So that worked out perfectly!

We did a couple other activities last week as well:
We brought our Easter book back with us. It is a great summary of the whole story.
We also tried this idea. We talked about how Christ hadn't done anything bad, but He took on the bad things we had done. 
The carnations did soak up the red dye, but only after they had died. It took about 7 days. I guess the grocery store where I bought them must have had them for a while. They still were very effective because of the discussions we had about them. 

Easter eve, we used this recipe and made Resurrection Cookies!
{Silas explaining to Jonah exactly how to use that hammer!}
Each ingredient ties into the Easter story.
This was a big hit with my boys!
Easter morning we tried them. They were hollow inside (like the empty tomb) and delicious!

After church we came home and had a big yummy Easter dinner together that my Mom prepared!
I loved every meaningful minute with my boys those 12 days! They are so smart and soaked all of this up like sponges!!! We had a wonderful Easter celebrating Christ's victory over sin and death. We hope that all of you had a wonderful Easter too!


  1. What a great way to celebrate Easter with your boys. I hope to do activities like that with our little guy too when he is old enough. Thanks for sharing - those are great ideas to tuck away!

  2. So cool. Looks really fun & I love all your ideas. I especially love that it helps the kids learn the true meaning of Easter. Awesome.
    - Wanda Atkinson

  3. Thank you for sharing your Easter. What a great way to teach your children.


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