Easter celebrations are likely going to feel quite different for most of this year. There will be no bunny photos or large egg hunts or dressing up in our Sunday’s best for Easter service. In a lot of ways, Easter this year will be quite simple. They will be quiet, without the rush and bustle and people that usually surround all of our favorite holidays. And while in some ways this disappoints me; in a lot of ways it is allowing my heart to be even more focused on the reason we celebrate Easter in the first place.
Taking away the external elements of Easter, we are left with the one thing that truly matters and is forever unchanging: a cross and an empty tomb. Jesus is alive and we get to be with Him forever! That will never be taken away. That is just as true now during a pandemic as it was before. That will never change. In a time where everything seems to feel different, this Easter, we have even greater reason to celebrate our great, unchanging Father that loves us SO much.
Even though things feel so different, I am very much in the Easter-spirit! To me, this is what Easter is all about. It is about facing the darkness of the cross, but then it is also about looking past it and seeing the light and hope that lies beyond it. Jesus’ resurrection is one of the greatest reminders that death and darkness DO NOT get the final word. Death is defeated. There is hope. We will get through this.
This may sound silly to you, but one thing that has helped me to be more focused on the hope of Easter is a week full of Easter-centric activities and crafts with Hudson Boy (21-months)! Each day this week we did an Easter-themed activity. All of them were very simple and with materials that can mostly be found around the house. These activities absolutely brought some joy to our indoor days & reminded us both of the great hope we have in Jesus!
With Easter just about a week away, these activities could be a great way to count down the days to Easter Sunday with your kiddos.
Quick side-note: we packed a lot of fun intentional activities into our week, but if you look at all my pictures in this post, you will easily find dust all over our floors. To the mom that struggles with a comparative heart (ME!), don’t worry if it was a week with less hands-on activities. It is all about give and take. This week we did a lot together, but my kitchen and floors and whole house for that matter is a bit of a disaster.
1. WATERCOLOR CROSS ART
I was inspired by the Resourceful Mama’s tape Resist Cross. We did not have painter’s tape on hand, so I cut out a cross with construction paper and taped it to the card stock. Obviously painter’s tape is ideal, but it still worked out for us! This is a great project to do on Good Friday to focus and teach on Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection. This project is simple and the result is really beautiful with the watercolors. I have ours on our mantle. It has been a really powerful reminder to me all week about how the dark cross does not get the final word. There are beautiful colors on the other side.
2. INDOOR EASTER EGG HUNT
After this egg hunt, all Hudson seems to be able to say is “eg, eg, eg!” I had saved a handful of plastic eggs from last year’s Easter egg hunt, so used these. If you are feeling stumped with what to hide in the egg for this random, indoor hunt, you could do a “Resurrection Egg Hunt.” There are ideas for this type of egg hunt all over, but I was specifically inspired by Meredith over at the blog, Wait ‘Til Your Father Gets Home.
For Hudson’s egg hunt, I quickly wrote down what each item represented, along with the correlating Bible verses. As Hudson gets older, I will use this activity to go through scripture and have a more in-depth discussion on Jesus’ resurrection. For my 21-month old, it was still a good activity for him to hold each item and for me, in a few, simple words explain to him what the item represented. This was a great activity that helped make a random indoor egg hunt feel a bit more meaningful.
Since this one hunt, we have done a few. Usually with empty eggs. He is obsessed with it and it is a fun way to pass some time.
3. POM POMS + EGG COLOR SORTING
With those same eggs, we did this color sorting activity. So simple and great for practicing colors with toddlers! Also, great for fine motor skills, as Hudson tried to pack as many pom poms as he could in a single egg. We just used our hands to sort pom poms by color, but you could also use plastic tongs or a spoon to really work on those fine motor skills.
4. CHRIST-CENTERED COLORING PAGES
My favorite resource for free, Christian coloring pages is Christian Preschool Printables. It is an amazing site with some wonderful + free printables. I look forward to using this resource even more as Hudson gets more into the preschool years. He really enjoyed coloring these crosses and immediately started to run out the door to give it to someone. Coloring pages, like these, are a great thing to have on hand, especially when someone wakes up way too early from their nap! Coloring in the afternoon with a few snacks seems to sit well with Hudson as a solid afternoon activity.
5. EGG + BUNNY EARS COOKIE BAKING
To end the week, we spent time with auntie and made Easter sugar cookies. At this point, I am convinced that Sally’s Baking Addiction has the very best sugar cookie recipe. I made this same recipe for Valentine’s Day and these Easter ones were just as delicious. I was totally inspired by the way she used the same cookie cutter to make both eggs and bunny ears. How cute!
Our cookies, look NOTHING like hers, but we all had a lot of fun making them! I set up Hudson’s own little decorating station with wax paper and a few cookies already frosted in white for him. This allowed him to spoon some color on to each cookie and shake some sprinkles on. He was a happy camper with this set up. I intentionally made a really small egg that he called “baby.” This was a fun one for him to decorate and I didn’t mind him eating the whole thing since it was so tiny!!
There are a few things we did not get to and are hoping to fit in next week!
Other Easter Things To-Do with with Kiddos
- Dye Easter Eggs! (Excited to try these PAAS Marble ones). If your Target has a Drive-Up, you should utilize it! I just made a Target trip the other night and it increased my anxiety times 10.
- Easter Photos! No mall bunny photos this year, so hoping to make a spring little set-up in our backyard to get some cute Easter photos of Hudson!
- Write Easter Cards to Family! Holidays are my favorite times to write words of gratitude to those we love most. I have a mild obsession with Trader Joe’s seasonal cards. Picked these up the other day and I am excited to spend time with Hudson pouring love into each card. We might not be able to see all of our family members this Easter, but we certainly can show them we are thinking of them.
- Easter Play-dough Play! Planning to make a new batch of play-dough. I will dye half orange and the other half light pink, so we can use our carrot and bunny cookie cutters!
And of course, we will be reading all the Easter books on our shelves. A couple weeks ago, I put a list of our favorite Easter books. Another one that is not on that list that we have been reading constantly is Here Comes Peter Cottontail! We have Hudson’s grammy’s version and I love this edition’s illustrations. This week would also be a great time to delve into the Easter stories in The Jesus Storybook Bible. We keep reading the story, “God’s Wonderful Surprise,” over and over again. It has been a comfort to both of us this week.
What are some simple things you are doing with your kids and family this coming week to celebrate the coming hope & joy of Easter? I would love to get some more ideas + inspiration!