Welcome back Laundry-ites! This is going to be a great idea for your little ones to really experience the Easter story along with you.
Before I start this how-to, I want to let you know about two resources I’ve found recently which, I think, will really be up your street.
The first is a resource for Easter by ‘OhAmanda.com’ called “A Sense of the Resurrection”. I’ve just downloaded it and am very impressed by the concept. It’s 12 activities which can be used as Easter approaches. Possibly slightly too much all to be done in Holy Week but great for those of us who have only just caught up with the fact it’s Lent! I have friends who used it last year and loved it. Probably for the 3-10 crowd looking at it but really designed for the whole family. Definitely worth checking out!
Also, a lovely online magazine called Home Front. They call it a spiritual parenting resource. Imagine the kind of ideas I share here crossed with Country Living Magazine and you’ve got the idea. It’s beautiful, usable, a bit of fun too and FREE! (My favourite price). I haven’t read more than a couple of editions but I like what I see.
Right, to the main event!
So, what are Resurrection Eggs? Basically, they’re a dozen plastic, hollow eggs into which you put symbols representing different parts of the Easter story. It’s an engaging and tactile way to tell the Easter story again and to help children order what happened in their minds. Anything with a ‘reveal’ helps to hold their attention, as does the fact that they can use their fingers and noses as well as their eyes and ears to experience this story.
You can use them in different ways depending on your kids but what we did last year was to start by getting them out a few times and opening first one, then two the next day, then three, always building up the learning. By day 5, Pigwig got impatient with that (where’d she get those genes? Erhem!) so we took them along on Easter day to my parents’ house. It was raining so no garden egg hunt but I hid them around the living room and, once assembled, we opened them one by one to tell the story together, Mummy filling in the bits the children didn’t yet know. And yes, of course, I gave them chocolate eggs to eat as a prize for finding the plastic eggs (and this shockingly addictive stuff!)!
You can buy a whole set at Amazon with a little accompanying story book but the book isn’t that great (I’ve seen a set) and they’re a cinch to make, costing less than a quarter of what the bought ones do. Crack on, use things you have around the house, and you’ll be done in under an hour.
This idea is good for age 4 and up but, for toddlers, this version is even easier to do and more appropriate.
Here’s what I used:
A dozen plastic eggs. About £1.50 in Hobby craft or available on Amazon or Baker Ross. I’ve also seen them in Sainsburys and The Works
An indelible pen for writing numbers onto the eggs
Some paper to write bible verses onto
some solid spices like cinammon sticks or cloves
A small sponge (I cut the corner off a clean washing up sponge)
a few nails
a small cross – I cut down a palm cross and glued 2 bits together
A small plastic donkey (you could use a picture) or palm leaf – Playmobil pot plant pieces maybe? A real fern leaf would work if not left too long.
A tiny silver goblet made out of tin foil, and a crouton
a white cloth – I used a cut up bit of an old baby muslin
a purple cloth – as above but I used purple felt tip to colour it!
some cotton wool
a picture of some praying hands – OK, yes, I drew this – it doesn’t have to be amazing. Or use google for an image
A 5 p coin or any other silver coin
Here’s how to make them:
Write out the reading plan below onto some paper and cut it into strips to tuck into each egg. Or, you know, print it. Our printer is always either broken or out of ink. I also added a quick summary of each story as I couldn’t flick through my bible, or even a children’s bible fast enough to keep the kid’s attention through several eggs. If you were doing one egg a day, you might have a chance. You might also be able to come up with a plan using a favourite children’s bible, maybe using fewer eggs. Your choice.
Number the eggs, a large number on the pointy end for the kids to read and a small number at the bottom. This is so the right top ends up back with the right objects which nestle in the egg bottom.
This is how it all fits together:
Day 1:Matthew 26:6-13 Cotton wool soaked in perfume – The woman anoints Jesus’ feet
Day 2: Matthew 26: 14-16 5p pieces for the silver – Judas is paid to betray Jesus
Day 3: Matthew 21:1-11. Donkey or palm for Palm Sunday
Day 4: Matthew 26:26-29. Cup and/or bread – the Last Supper
Day 5: Luke 22:39-46, 54a. Praying hands – Jesus prays in Gethsemane
Day 6: John 19:1-7. Purple cloth – the soldiers mock Jesus
Day 7: John 19:16-17. Cross – Jesus carries His cross
Day 8: John 19:18. Nails – Jesus is nailed to the cross
Day 9: John 19:33-35. Sponge – they offer Jesus vinegar to drink on a sponge
Day 10: Matthew 27: 57-60. White cloths – Jesus is laid in the tomb in burial cloths
Day 11: Mark 16:1-3. Cinnamon/cloves/spices.- the women go to anoint Jesus’s body
Day 12: John 20:1-8. The final egg is empty! This was easy!
Assemble your eggs and see how your children respond.
I’d love to know how you get on and what variations you create!
With thanks to The Vicar’s Wife for the inspiration to just get on and do it last year!