Friday, April 11, 2014

Making Easter Memories

Each year I've made a tradition to take a picture of the Spring's first flowers.  Usually, in Michigan, we get Crocuses firs.  This year they showed their beautiful faces on March 31.

I love spring; the sunshine, the flowers, the birds chirping, the horses shedding their coats, the mud puddles, the warm air, the new life.  I love the new life around us and I love to celebrate the new life we have in Christ with my family.  I love teaching my children about our salvation through the Easter story.  With a little help from Pinterest we've found some awesome activities to do with our children each spring.

1. Resurrection Eggs
Last year my friend introduced to Resurrection Eggs, she found out about them through her MOPS group.  What a beautiful idea to change the use of plastic Easter eggs to be less about candy and more about His glory.  Life Your Way has it all laid out for you; a materials list and FREE printable!  Each night at dinner we open one egg and discuss the Easter story.  Each egg contains a small snip it of the Easter story and a small tangible item that represents it.  We also encourage the kids to recall the previous eggs that we've opened.  The little items in the eggs help offer memory prompts.  Last year our 3 1/2 year old could tell you the entire Easter story!

2. Resurrection Garden
This is our second year planting a resurrection garden.  We usually plant it 2-3 weeks before Easter.  If you use annual rye grass you can have nice tall green grass in a week!  It's good to discuss the tomb, the boulder and the three crosses as a family as you make the garden.  You could even 'play' with the garden by placing some linen or gauze in the tomb on Good Friday and sealing it with a boulder and on Easter (while the kids are still sleeping) remove the linen and roll the rock away.  The Encouraging Home has a full tutorial available.

 This year Grandma B. was here to help Jacob make his resurrection garden.

Another idea would be to plant a resurrection garden and give it to an elderly person in your church, either as a thoughtful gift or as a thank you.

3. He is Risen Cards
We made these super cute and very easy cards to send to all of our grandmas for Easter.  Our kids are lucky enough to have 2 grandmas and 2 great grandmas so we made four of them!  The cards are simply cut and paste paper scraps.  Cut out a sunshine, a few long strips to make into crosses, a brown 'hill' with a hole in it, a gray rock and some grass strips that have slits in them for texture.  We made our boulder so it was attached only on one side.  When you fold open the boulder the front of the card says He Is Risen!

4. He is Risen!  Wall Sign
These beautiful wall signs are a compilation of two different ideas I found through Pinterest.  The sign layout inspiration comes from Signs by Andrea and the chippy paint technique comes from I Should Be Mopping The Floor.  I painted several layers of paint on these boards - black, turquoise, white - sanded them down a bit, added the font, stained and sealed them.  I think they turned out awesome!  If you like them too you can purchase one through my Etsy account, but hurry; I only made a few!

5. Canvas Painting
My 4 year old sun painted this canvas about a week ago.  He asked if he could paint a canvas (I think he got the idea from watching Curious George) so I came up with this technique for him.  The first day we took brown and black paints and painted the entire Canvas Panel .  We let it dry over night then we masked off the bottom with blue Painters Tape .  To make the jagged rock base we simply tore the tape and put it on the canvas vertically - so we didn't have any straight lines.  Then he cut some tape in half the long way and we tore into pieces to make the crosses.  He painted the top half of the canvas with colors that he thought looked like the sky.  The top took two coats because of the dark base so I let him speed up the drying process with the hair dryer set on low.  After the second coat of 'sky' paint dried we removed the tape and here's what he was left with!  This was a super simple craft and since it's on a canvas  I've got it hanging on the wall for the entire month of April.

6. Colored Deviled Eggs
Your family, young and old, will love these beautifully colored deviled eggs.  They'll feel like they're really eating Easter eggs!  The eggs are easy to make and totally worth the time.  Really - you could color the boiled egg whites with your kids rather than the shells that have to be removed later.  The recipe is from
Photo Credit

7. Stained Glass
We made stained glass crosses that were inspired by Mrs. Karen's Preschool Ideas stained glass Easter eggs.  This was a fun craft that we successfully did with 2 and 3 year olds.  There is a little preparation required before you do the project but it is sure worth it.  Hang your Easter cross or egg in the window for everyone to see; inside and out.

What ever it is for your family; crafts with kids, fabulous food, home decorations, time spent reading the word, praying or fasting I hope you find a way to make Easter special this year and every year.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time."
1 Peter 1:3-5

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