When our children were very little we thought hard about how we wanted to celebrate Easter with them. Easter is the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection. But culturally, Easter brings us bunnies and eggs and candy.
All of the traditional Easter customs- eggs, baby chicks, little bunnies, grass- have to do with spring and new life. Historically there have always been festivals to welcome spring and celebrate new life. I explain to my kids that all of those signs of new life can serve to draw our focus to Christ and the biblical meaning of Easter. After all, because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we can have new life. He’s the One who brings us new life in Christ. His resurrection ultimately allows us to experience resurrection and eternal life. So when you look around at Easter and see all of things our culture uses to celebrate, take those traditions and customs and use them to think about the new life Christ brings.
We wanted to have some fun holiday traditions, but we also wanted to have an opportunity to focus on the real meaning of Easter. Over the years, we’ve developed some Easter traditions that the whole family looks forward to each year. Even as our kids get older, these traditions are important to them and continue to enjoy them.
I found the Resurrection Eggs when my children were very little, and we’ve been using them ever since. The eggs are plastic eggs in an egg tray. Each egg has a small item inside that illustrates a part of the Easter story- the week leading up to Christ’s death and resurrection. The inside of the egg tray has an explanation of each item. When the kids were younger, we would pass the eggs out to the kids evenly and then have each kid open his egg in turn as we talked through the Easter story.
Easter Unit Study
Because we homeschool, I like to take time at Easter to do some sort of study the days before Easter. We might do a lapbook about the Easter story or just a unit study that includes reading books and discussing Christ’s death and resurrection. This year I’m planning to use the Holy Week Devotional from What’s In the Bible as a part of our devotions time in the mornings leading up to Easter Sunday.
Easter Egg Dyeing
Every year I get a dozen or so and some egg dye. The kids and I dye the eggs together. We’ve done it the same way every year- each kid gets a turn to do his or her dyeing individually, using whatever colors they like. Because we’ve always done it that way, the kids set it up that way even now that they are older. We put the finished eggs in the fridge because daddy likes boiled eggs sometimes.
Easter Baskets and Egg Hunts
We choose to do Easter baskets on the Saturday morning before Easter so that the egg hunt fun doesn’t take away from the Easter celebration on Sunday morning. Each child has a basket that they’ve had since their first Easter. We usually put some sort of small gift and a chocolate bunny in each basket.
Sometime after the kids wake up, we have an egg hunt. I fill plastic eggs with candy. Each child has the same number of eggs and the eggs are marked with their initial. We started this when the kids were very little so that everyone had a fair chance to find eggs. Daddy hides a few eggs (because his are always much harder than mine!). After we have them hidden- indoors or out depending on the weather- the kids hunt. It’s really funny when we can’t even remember where we put the eggs!
Taking the time to establish traditions to celebrate Easter has been important to our family. Our kids look forward to these traditions, and, even as they get older, these family traditions bind us together. They help us to have fun together and focus us on the real meaning of Easter- the death and resurrection of Christ and His sacrifice for us.
What Is Easter?
Learn more about how the new life we see at springtime helps us understand the new life we have in Jesus in the brand new book What Is Easter?
Leah Courtney is a homeschooling mom of four. She was a school teacher in her former life and now loves homeschooling her children. Recently she began the adventure of homeschooling a high schooler. She loves reading and reviewing and blogging about life and homeschooling. You can visit her at As We Walk Along the Road.