Resurrection Day!

I think this was the most meaningful Easter I’ve ever celebrated, probably because we were so intentional about focusing on the story of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection all week with the children.  Actually, I think from now on I want to take more time (as in 2-3 weeks) to focus on it, the same way we do with Christmas.  There were so many things I wanted to pack into this past week, and we didn’t get to half of them because I wanted to take at least a bit of time to really enjoy what we did choose to include.  I’ll definitely have to keep a file full of ideas to use in years to come!

I’ve been timing our Bible lessons so that we would be on Week 32 of the ABC Jesus Loves Me 3-Year Old Curriculum, which covers the story.  However, I ended up pretty much just doing our own thing.  Not only did we not get to everything I planned, we ended up changing our focus completely.  I had intended to use The Parable of the Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs as our “book of the week”, but we never even got to it because Ian got so into Benjamin’s Box and “Resurrection Eggs.” (In case you’re not familiar with them, a Resurrection Eggs set is made up of a dozen plastic eggs, each a different color and each containing a small object that represents part of the Passion story–except for the last one, which is empty to represent the empty tomb.)

Resurrection Set

Resurrection set from Oriental Trading

Okay, confession time. I had heard of Resurrection Eggs before, but to be perfectly honest, I was skeptical of how well they’d be received.  It just seemed a little too commercial somehow.   I was SO wrong!  Something in me (hmm, Holy Spirit maybe?) prompted me to go ahead and buy some the week before.  (I know some people have put together their own sets, but I just wasn’t sold enough on the idea to devote that much time and energy to it.) I put them out on Monday with the resurrection scene I’d gotten from Oriental Trading Company and all our Easter books.  Ian was immediately intrigued and wanted to know more about them.  I had him come over to sit with me and told him he could open one egg at a time as we went through the book Benjamin’s Box.   (Another confession: I wasn’t so sure about this book either.  It seemed like a gimmick to get me to buy the eggs.  So I hadn’t bought it, just put it on my Paperback Swap wishlist after hearing people talk about it last year, and lo and behold, it became available and I thought, “Sure, why not?”  Again, SO glad we had it!)  I don’t think Ian would have sat through the book if it hadn’t been for the eggs, but having them there kept him engaged the whole time.  He really enjoyed getting out each object and talking about how it fit into the story of Passion Week.  Later, when we watched watched The Animated Passion video together, Ian kept the eggs with him and opened them as we got to each part of the story.  So I am now an avid fan of Resurrection Eggs!  They helped Ian grasp the details of the story in an incredible way, and he enjoyed using them to tell the story to himself and to others in our household over and over.  Even after Easter Sunday, he wanted to keep going through them.  (We’re taking a “Spring Break” this week so I hadn’t rushed to put away anything from last week.)Anyway, that became the main focus of our week.  (For our Bible notebook, I kept it pretty simple: “He Lives”  Cross Make-a-Sticker Scene sticker set from Oriental Trading Company.)  We did read through a few other books, though we didn’t get through everything on our list (but I’ll share the whole thing):

We also attempted to make “resurrection rolls,” which I’ve seen mentioned on more blogs than I can count.  We learned one very important lesson: USE FRESH MARSHMALLOWS.  At least I think that’s what went wrong.  (I thought I’d use up what we had in the cupboard. Oops.)  We had SO much fun “anointing” our marshmallows in melted butter, rolling them in cinnamon sugar, and wrapping them in crescent roll dough.  I didn’t do the greatest job at pressing the seams together, so a number of them split open.  But the bigger flop was that our marshmallows didn’t melt away the way they were supposed to!  They still tasted great, but I’m afraid the boys are going to be pretty disappointed next year when the “tombs” are actually empty!

  

I think my favorite thing about this week was listening to “Easter carols” on our iPod playlist.  Most of them were songs that have played a meaningful part in past Easter celebrations in my life, and I found myself tearing up several times throughout the week as we listened.  Do you have any favorite Resurrection-related hymns/songs that we can include in the future?  Here’s our playlist from the week (including our memory verse, John 3:16):

All the things we did this week created such anticipation for Sunday morning.  Some of the songs we sang at church were songs we’d been listening to.  Ian was so excited when he heard, “He is risen!” and he knew to respond, “He is risen, indeed!”  Worship with our congregation was a beautiful, joyous celebration.

I’m already excited about celebrating again next year. I’m hoping to incorporate a lot of the “Sense of the Resurrection” ideas Amanda posted over at impressyourkids.org.  (She also listed tons of other ideas to help you plan a “Meaningful Easter.”)  I also loved some of the ideas from Desiré at whenyourise.com.  What sort of things did you do with your kids to focus on Christ this Easter season?

Posted on April 12, 2012, in ABCJesusLovesMe, Bible lessons, Preschool and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I thought I’d comment on this and tell you that I always thought the resurrection eggs were really lame. I mean, really, Easter eggs filled with the “story” of Jesus? Last year before Easter I was talking to Katie and she uses ones that she made. So she sent me her instructions. She does 20 eggs and she hides them with her Easter eggs. I did it last year and this year and now I get it. It is actually really neat. I really think you have to be a parent to get it though.

    We did a bunch of the stuff from ‘Impress Your Kids’ this year and now I am trying to come up with something to do the six weeks prior to Easter – like an advent of sorts. I’m thinking about making ornaments with the different names of Jesus and opening and hanging one each day. I’m also trying to get a ton of different craft ideas.

    Do you like the scene? It is a little pricey but if it’s worth it, I’ll last forever.

    • I hear you. As a teacher with a whole class of kids I didn’t find the eggs helpful, but as a parent being able to go a little deeper they we’re great tool. I love your idea about the names of Jesus! As the kids get older we may do more with the whole Lenten season (and the liturgical year in general). I do like the scene, but I don’t know if it’s completely worth the cost. Elijah went on a rampage doing the “arm-sweep” to clear the table and ended up breaking Jesus’ head off. It glued back on just fine, but then we made sure it was all out of reach. I just don’t remember seeing anything similar before and I loved the idea of having it out like we do with our nativity scene. So just for that reason, it’s worth it to me. Oh, and did you check out Ann Voskamp’s “A Trail to the Tree” devotional? She’s still offering it free to her blog subscribers. It seemed a little too much for my little guys, but you might enjoy some of it with your kids next year.

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