I will never forget the year that Victoria was around 3 years old, and we were reading about the crucifixion...
Now, you have to understand that Victoria has grown up hearing about Jesus. She's been hearing the Easter story since she was a few months old. We read her little Bible to her from day one.
This particular day, as we were reading, I was trying to go a little deeper...I wanted her to start feeling the significance of Christ's love.
She used to look at the pictures in her Bible and say, "Jesus got a boo boo? Jesus was sad?"
So on this particular day I was laying it on thick, "Yes, baby. Jesus was hurt...He was hurt very badly. He had lots and lots of boo boo's, and He was in so much pain. He went through all of this because He loves us so much. He loves you so much."
Her sweet face looked so thoughtful as she stared at the picture of Jesus hanging on the cross. Just when I think her little heart is "getting it" at a deeper level... she sweetly exclaimed, "Look, Mama! That's so nice!"
"What's nice, Baby?" I asked. "Look! Jesus had friends with Him when He died on the cross!" she said happily!
That's Victoria. She's gonna look for something to be happy about!
One of the things that has been so important to us during the Easter season is to find ways to present the miraculous story of our savior's death and resurrection to our children.
We've done different things over the years, and I always love watching their minds and hearts grow as they learn - at ever increasing levels - the depths of their Savior's love for them.
I don't want them to just think about Easter egg hunts or chocolate bunnies as we lead up to Easter Sunday.
I want them to learn that they have a Savior who endured the cross to save them from their sins, and He defeated the grave and rose victorious!
Let's teach our children the power of the Cross and the work of redemption and salvation. They are never too young to start learning.
I wanted to share with you a few of our favorite resources we've used to teach our girls about Jesus and to make Easter come alive in their hearts.
1. THE SPARKLE EGG
This is a precious book. It tells the story of a little boy who learns about forgiveness.
You can read the story and then create your own sparkle eggs!
Just like the little boy in the story, the girls each wrote down or drew a picture of something that had happened in their life...something they did wrong...something they felt sorry for.
After they decorated their eggs with all things sparkly and glittery, they put what they had written or drawn inside the egg. On Easter morning the eggs were waiting for them at the kitchen table - when they opened them the pieces of paper were gone!
Because just like that - our sins are forgiven. Because the tomb is empty we receive the grace and forgiveness of a Savior.
Watching their faces light up as they opened their eggs was precious. Watching them learn that they have sin and need the forgiveness of their Savior is beautiful.
You could use this concept even without the book - but the story is wonderful, and our girls love books!
2. Resurrection Eggs
These are also such a great tool!
We started using Resurrection Eggs when our girls were very young. These are so great because the stories are short, and there's something hands on for the kids.
They loved opening an egg each day and getting to touch, feel, and look at whatever came in that days egg. Things like this help the story come alive.
We always pulled these out twelve days before Easter. We chose to read a short story and open one of the eggs each day leading up to Easter Sunday. However, you could space this out in anyway that works for your family.
3. MAKE YOUR OWN EASTER GARDEN
As the girls have gotten older, they still love the other things....yes, we still read the Sparkle Egg and pull out the Resurrection Eggs. They love tradition.
But, I have also tried to find new ways to teach them about the beauty and miracle of Easter.
Making our own Easter garden has been something we have really enjoyed. If you have kiddos who love the outdoors and doing hands on things, they will love this!
Click here and here to visit the sites where I was originally inspired to do this.
I hope those links give you some great ideas for how you can make your own Easter garden!
4. MAKE YOUR OWN JESUS EASTER TREE
To be honest with you, we haven't done this one yet but it looks great! I came across this just a few days ago and thought it seemed like a beautiful and meaningful thing to do- especially if your kids are older.
Maybe your kiddos are past the "Sparkle Egg" and "Resurrection Egg" stage. (Although, I feel like my girls will be adults and still want me to read The Sparkle Egg and pull out the resurrection eggs for them!)
This free devotional and Easter Tree activity might be just the thing to create some great conversation with your older children.
Click here to get all the information on how to do this with your family.
5. DRAMA NIGHT
I REALLY wish I had some photos of this to show you! But, alas, I can't find them!
If your kids enjoy drama and re-inacting things - they will love this!
The week of Palm Sunday we did a re-inactment of the triumphal entry. We even had some cousins over for this one, and they all had a blast!
One of the girls was Jesus, the others were the crowd, and Casey got to be the donkey. They gathered branches from outside, and coats from the closet. The girls were throwing the coats down, shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of our Lord." And Casey, ahem, I mean the donkey, was giving "Jesus" a ride in. They sang a "Hosanna" song and waved their branches.
Then, of course, each girl had to take a turn being Jesus!
Anything that makes what they are hearing and reading about come to life is worth the time and mess!
So what, there were some leaves from the branches that had to be cleaned up and coats from all over the house that had to be picked up and put away. But on Palm Sunday at church when we started to sing "Hosanna," you better believe the girls looked at us and were so excited because they knew what it meant!
We haven't done this one in a while...as the girls got bigger, the donkey retired! But, if you have littles, they will love this!
What are some ways you celebrate the Easter season with your family? Share with us some of your favorite books, activities, or ideas!