Easter is only a week and a half away! We got a jump start on some festivities with an early-bird egg hunt at Papa & Gram's while Reed's cousins were in town for their Spring break.
I started my blog around this time last year, and one of my very first posts was about Easter's approach and some thoughts on how we might help Reed to celebrate Easter in a Christ-centered manner. I came across several ideas in my online treasure hunt, but Reed was only 13 months old last Easter so most of them were bookmarked for later on. (Don't worry, we still had a Happy Easter celebration!)
This year, even though Reed is barely two, I'm going to try to use a version of the basket idea from Katie Orr at Living Devotionally, which I linked to but tucked away last year. It is basically a well-thought out eight day Easter celebration using your child's Easter basket and colored eggs to teach through the story of Easter (think abbreviated version of Resurrection Eggs meet Jesse Tree, with some extension activities). Check out the original post in its entirety here.
This will basically be my 2-yr-old version:
(I don't want to re-post the author's content, so if you're interested in the idea, and especially if you have older children, you'll want to see the link above for context and more ideas). Also, my attempt is to appropriate this idea for Reed, and while he won't be able to grasp everything, I'm trusting in Truth being spoken into His heart and that we'll grow with it in the years to come. :)
First, I've been trying to think about a "one-liner" that we repeat about Easter, the one thing we want Reed to "get" this year about Easter. This Christmas we talked a lot about how Christmas is Jesus' birthday, when God sent us Jesus to rescue us. I am thinking we will recall Jesus' birthday together and then talk about how on Easter Jesus rescued the whole world-- He died, He rose, and He will come again. All part of the rescue mission!
Give Reed his Easter Basket and tell him that it is a special Sunday--Palm Sunday.
Talk briefly about the triumphal entry and how people worshiped Jesus, their King, with branches.
Lay green Easter grass in his basket and speak praises to our King.
One liner: Jesus is our King
Read/paraphrase story of Mary anointing Jesus' feet with perfume ("Washed with tears" in Jesus Storybook Bible).
"Discuss" Jesus, our King, is more valuable than all our treasures on earth.
Add gold egg to basket with money inside that Reed gets to take to church on Sunday as offering to the King.
One liner: A gift for our King
Read/paraphrase story of the Last Supper ("The Servant King" in Jesus Storybook Bible).
"Discuss" Jesus telling His disciples about His rescue mission and teaching them to remember His great big love.
Add purple egg to basket with a heart sticker inside- to wear as a reminder of God's love for us.
Sing "Jesus Loves Me."
One liner: Jesus Loves me!
Read/paraphrase story of The Garden of Gethsemane ("A dark night in the garden" in Jesus Storybook Bible).
"Discuss" Jesus prays and surrenders to His Father- It is time for the plan. Talk about how sad Jesus felt about taking on all the sins of the whole world.
Add dark green egg to basket with tissue inside. Talk about how our disobedience (mommy and daddy too!) that makes Jesus sad should make us sad too. Model repentance.
One liner: We have all sinned, but Jesus rescues us from our sin
Read/paraphrase last part of "A dark night in the garden," which includes a snippet of Jesus' trial.
"Discuss" how Jesus was going to be punished, but didn't do anything wrong. (Part of God's Rescue Plan!)
Add clear egg and emphasize that Jesus was perfect; He never sinned.
One liner: Jesus was our perfect sacrifice
Read/paraphrase first half of "The sun stops shining" (crucifixion story) in Jesus Storybook Bible.
"Discuss" Jesus died on the cross to rescue everyone from our sins.
Add red egg to basket with grimy pennies inside. Soak pennies in vinegar/salt to show how Jesus' rescue mission can wash away our sin and make us clean.
One liner: Jesus did it! He rescued the whole world!
Read/paraphrase second half of "The sun stops shining" (crucifixion story- the tomb) in Jesus Storybook Bible.
Add black egg to basket with a chocolate marshmallow inside to represent the stone (or maybe just a stone- is it weird to let Reed eat the "stone"??:) and reiterate that Jesus died to rescue us.
One liner: Jesus died and was buried... (but arose!)
Read/paraphrase first half of the Resurrection story ("God's wonderful surprise" in Jesus Storybook Bible).
Add white egg- empty because He is risen!
Discuss the Easter story, briefly recalling each egg. Jesus rescued the whole world-- He died, He rose, and He will come again!
One liner: He arose! Jesus is alive!
This should be interesting... I will let you know how it goes! :)