I have a love-hate relationship with traditions. I LOVE looking forward to the same activities each year and creating special memories for the kids. But if I’m not careful, traditions can suck the fun out of the holidays for me. If traditions are stressful in any way, I can’t enjoy them. The key for me is to keep them simple and flexible.
If you feel stuck or overwhelmed when it comes to Easter traditions, I want to pass along some ideas. I do things with my kids that require little-to-no prep. Most of these things can be done with items we already have around the house. The goal is to have fun while teaching our kids the gospel.
- Gospel Eggs. For Bible time we do “Gospel Eggs.”
Well, I guess mine would be called “Gospel Mini-Giftbags.” My items don’t fit into eggs. We’ve been doing this for five years now and the kids love it. It’s an interactive way to tell the Easter story. You put an item that represents part of the Easter story in each egg (or bag) and have the kids open them one at a time as you read the Easter story. There are lots of plans to choose from online if you google “Gospel Eggs,” but we made our own. If you’re looking for scripture passages about the Easter story, check out these:
- Triumphal entry (Palm Sunday): Matthew 21:1-11
- Crucifixion: Matthew 27:33-56
- Burial: Matthew 27: 57-66
- Resurrection: Matthew 28:1-15
I pack these items up and store them so I can reuse the same ones every year. Sometimes I use this as an advent calendar and we open one bag a day leading up to Easter. I forgot to start it in time so this year we did them all today. Flexible.
2. Read-Alouds. At rest time we read our favorite Easter books. “The Legend of the Easter Egg” tells the gospel message. It is engaging, theologically sound, and has gorgeous illustrations. I also love that this book doesn’t have any pictures of Jesus. (For info on why I would even mention that, check out this helpful article by Reformed Mama.) The other two books are favorites from my childhood. Dig through your picture books and gather any books you can find about spring, bunnies, or eggs. Topical read-alouds are one of the simplest traditions you can make for any holiday.
3. Dye Eggs. At lunchtime we color eggs. This is another opportunity to talk about the gospel. “The Legend of the Easter Egg” talks about how the eggs represent the new life we have in Christ. And – they’re just fun! The colors make me happy. (For more info on Easter traditions and the gospel, I appreciated Roger Patterson’s article in Answers in Genesis: “Are the Symbols of Easter of Pagan Origin?” )
There are SO many incredible ways to dye fancy eggs. I was tempted, but I had to keep it simple. I always go straight for the vinegar and dye from the dollar store. Gotta keep the bar of expectations low. I don’t let my kids anywhere near Pinterest.
Here are some other fun things we do using what we usually already have laying around:
- Make “Happy Resurrection Day” cards for people at church, especially people who might be lonely around the holidays.
- Give the kids a bag of plastic eggs and let them fill them with cereal and hide them for each other around the house/yard. My kids make up all kinds of games with them.
- Paint rocks and hide them on a hike for other hikers to find.
I would love to hear what you do for Good Friday!
Books by Sara Wallace:
The Gospel-Centered Mom is a Bible study for busy moms in need of daily grace.
For the Love of Discipline: When the Gospel Meets Tantrums and Time-Outs comes out April 30th. Reserve your copy today!