Sunday, 22 April 2018

C Columns

Notes from Home: Ways to share Easter's message with kids

By Dani Grigg

The Grigg youngsters (a few years back) scurry around picking up plastic Easter eggs. In this article, their mother offers some tips on how to make Easter meaningful for children. (Photo provided by Dani Grigg)

Today I asked my 5­-year-­old, Andy, what he knows about Easter, and he said, “It’s Jesus’ birthday!”

Not quite true, but I’ll take it! His first thought was Jesus, and that’s a win.

We talked about how Easter actually celebrates when Jesus came back to life after He died, and Andy said, “That’s what I said.”

Pretty dang close, buddy.

My 7-­year-­old nailed it, though. He said, “It’s when Jesus was resurrected, of course!”

Then I asked about Easter memories and he started to list the contents of Easter baskets past. The 5­-year-­old chimed in to mention the handfuls of Airheads from a couple years ago.

Easter is a gorgeously holy holiday. At Christmas we often see the letters J, O and Y displayed on people’s mantles and in their wreaths, but Easter is equally joyful. I’m glad my children have been feeling the joy of Airheads at Easter, but I want them to have some more sacred memories, too.

At Easter time, our family absolutely goes to church, where we listen to special talks and sing special songs, and we focus on the atonement and resurrection more specifically in our home lessons. Those traditions are special to adults, but it occurs to me that maybe children need some Christ­-centered Easter traditions that are more visual and interactive.

So I’ve scoured the internet for you, and I now present to you some excellent Easter ideas for children:

• Do a Christ­centered egg hunt, where each egg contains a small object relating to a scripture about the last week of Christ’s life. You don’t even have to come up with your own ideas for contents; there are plenty of blog post tutorials. The best part is that the last egg of the story is empty, cuing a conversation about our Savior’s empty tomb.

• Make resurrection rolls. You wrap a marshmallow in sweet roll dough and as it bakes, it hollows out, once again symbolizing the empty tomb. Memorable, for sure!

• Have your kids help you make an Easter Garden. In a smallish pot, half bury a smaller pot or hollowed ­out clay ball to represent a tomb. Use stones to make a path, fashion a cross from twigs and plant small plants to fill the garden. Use your scene to talk about the events leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection. You can swathe a small figure in cloth on Friday night and remove it from the tomb on Sunday morning.

• Fill a book with pictures from past Easters and make sure to take new photos of loved ones gathered on future Easters.

• If you’re a grandparent, visit your grandchildren at Easter time and make sure they know that you believe in Christ and His resurrection.

• Hide treat­-filled eggs in another family’s front yard, also leaving an Easter message for them.

• Put out extra pictures of our Savior.

• Visit loved ones’ graves and talk about your gratitude for the knowledge that they still live because of what happened on Easter.

• Watch the sunrise together on Easter morning.

As life begins to re­emerge from the earth all around us, I’m excited to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. And I’m excited to make this Easter a memorably meaningful one for my children, too.

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