It’s that time of year when the bright spring colors, cute Easter decorations, and delicious Peeps dance in the aisles of stores everywhere. The colors are inviting after a drab winter full of dull colors. And we can’t help but be drawn in to the idea of new life and spring delight. But as we are surrounded with chicks, bunnies, and Easter eggs, we may have to work a little harder to find those reminders for the true reason for the season. How can we enjoy both the fun traditions and celebrations of a life that values new life and still keep a focus on the faith-filled reason we celebrate a risen Savior? It may not be as hard as you imagine.
I’d love to share some fun ideas for things we have tried over the years as we celebrate Easter as a family. Now I know that every family feels a little different on the balance of secular holiday traditions and Christian traditions. This article is not meant to debate that. Rather, I’d like to encourage each family to determine for themselves how they can best represent to their child the reason they celebrate the holiday. And maybe you can find some new ideas as you plan and prepare for the Easter holiday this year!
Faith is Our Focus
Our family has chosen to keep faith focused through the holidays. But trust me, that does not keep the fun out of it! We still acknowledge many of the fun traditions that are popular and even spend some time talking about how other families may do it, so we can have a common respect for other perspectives.
We have never played up the Easter Bunny or other icons as though they are real. We talk about them and say they are fun to play. In fact, I think every one of our children has known that we as parents play these roles to add some fun into the holidays. So they thank us for the baskets, stockings, and even joke us about being the tooth fairy! And trust me, we haven’t lost any of the fun! But the true focus of why
we celebrate revolves around the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
So how in this season can a family have fun and faith-focused celebrations? Here are a few ideas we’ve done over the years!
There is a carton of Easter eggs that has a story. Inside each Easter egg is a symbol or object that helps tell the story and leads you through each piece and the order in which they are to be opened. Our kids love this. As they get older, we let them take turns being the one to help the younger ones to discover the pieces. You could choose to hide and find the eggs prior the story telling or just sit and open them according to the color coded process. Here is a link to purchase or find out more about Family Life Resurrection Eggs
Easter Egg Decorating Contest
Every year we take time to decorate eggs as a family. We each do our habitual three to five eggs. (You don’t get as many eggs apiece when you have a large family!! LOL!! ) Then we can choose to decorate them however we want. We like to try some of the kit ideas as well as the fun ideas on Pinterest, like with the shaving cream tie-dye look. And of course we always end up with those special eggs decorated with the cross. We usually pick some winners in the end, most colorful, most interesting, most detailed, most you name it! Be creative! And there can be numerous winners.
Attending a Special Easter Church Service
Whether you attend church regularly or not, Easter is a great time to attend a special Easter service. These services are usually geared to include those who may not attend regularly. They are also one of the biggest celebration days within the church family. So whether you are a usual attender or not, these services can be extra fun and meaningful. There are usually extra services on these days too, which can help accommodate different schedules.
Since I was a little girl, we have always celebrated with Easter baskets. And as I mentioned above, we never focused on the reality of an Easter bunny, just the fun idea of waking to find some special treats that Mom and Dad bless the kids with. We find this a great time to replenish the socks, underwear, fun little travel games, chapstick, nail polish, devotion books, coloring books, art items (stickers, colors,
markers, glitter glue, etc) that make for some fun and inexpensive ways to enjoy small treats. We usually put in a couple Reese’s eggs (I mean you can’t do a holiday without Reese’s, right?) and a chocolate Easter bunny, since we don’t typically buy much candy. Then, of course, we can always add some little jelly beans or robin egg candies.
Easter Egg Hunts
This has been another fun tradition in our family over the years. We have put various things inside the eggs, including candy, money, Bible verses, mini fingernail polish, pacifiers, small toys, bouncy balls, etc. We try to limit the candy since we have a couple of little ones that don’t function well on sugar and really struggle with the Red 40 food dye, which is found in many different candies. **For those who are unfamiliar with this issue, Red 40 is a food dye that can cause hyperactivity, emotional upsets, and lack of impulse control. In other words, it can bring about more issue with self-control for many little ones. We can see the effect quite clear with a couple of ours, even within 15-20 minutes. If you struggle with a little one that has emotional dysregulation, frequent meltdowns, hyperactivity, or impulse control issues, you might find removing this from their diet is quite helpful.
Reverse Egg Hunts
What if instead of looking forward to your own Easter egg hunt, you helped delight another family with waking to find Easter eggs in their yard? We did this for several years for our neighbors. We used the same kind of items mentioned above but just hid the eggs in their yard for them to wake and find. It is fun to encourage our children to bless others in exciting ways, plan how they can surprise others, or just
bring a smile to someone else’s day.
Read the Easter Story
It can be easy for us to assume that our kids know the Easter story. However, there is great value in grabbing the Bible and reading the story from there. It is also quite important to share that even though we call this a story, it is true! There are pretend stories and real stories, and even though this happened many, many years ago, this is the true story of being loved enough that someone would die and then
come to life for us.
Here’s where you can find the Easter story in the Bible. Click any of the links below to read one of the Easter accounts:
Access Other Books About Spring and Easter
There are some great books out there for kids about spring and Easter. Many of them are quite effective in helping bridge the gap between the secular and spiritual reasons for celebrating. Here are a few ideas:
The Story of Easter by Thomas Nelson
He is Risen: Rocks Tell the Story of Jesus by Zondervan
God Gave Us Easter by Lisa Bergren
Easter Love Letters From God by Glenys Nellist
The Donkey That No One Could Ride by Anthony DeStefano
An Easter Egg Hunt for Jesus by Susan Jones
The Parable of the Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs
My Easter Basket and the True Story of Easter by Dr. Mary Manz Simon
We deck the halls at Christmas time, but Easter doesn’t necessarily cause the stop and pause. Maybe we can help increase the perceived importance of celebrating Easter and the resurrection by decorating and putting those reminders around our home to pause and relish the joy of the holiday. It doesn’t have to be complex and detailed. Maybe just a table centerpiece that incorporates the idea of spring, new life,
and life in Christ. Maybe it is a mini twig Easter tree that has little decorations of eggs and crosses. It does not have to be complex. I personally wish we had something similar to the nativity set that was the hill with the crosses and the tomb that became empty. Wouldn’t it be great if we could start a new trend of resurrection scenes, not just nativity scenes?! Maybe Fisher Price would like my idea!
New Outfits for Easter Sunday
No, I don’t think that new outfits are necessary for us to celebrate a faith-focused holiday. But sometimes, we spend a lot of extra time and energy on new outfits for Christmas or school programs or concerts. But do we value other days or momentous occasions the same. Again, this may be a simple way for us to relay to our children the value we put on our risen Savior!
Retelling the Easter Story
If asked by friends, could your child explain why you celebrate Easter? Maybe you could spend some time together as a family to tell the Easter story, or maybe even re-enact the Easter story. It is important that our children learn the meaning of our celebrations well enough that they can answer their buddy’s questions about it and feel good answering. Taking time to practice and talk about it or even role play
that can be fun and interesting!
Whether you have routine family nights or not, it can be fun to infuse some fun Easter activities into your time together. Maybe you can do a coloring contest with some Easter coloring pages. Perhaps you can do a word search with Easter themed words. You might even make to do some crafts together. Again, taking time to celebrate this holiday gives our children an idea of its importance to us.
Sharing Your Easter Meal With Others
Holiday traditions can run deep in families. And I have to admit, I am the first to be a bit sentimental about time spent together as a family. But maybe Easter can be a time when you can look beyond your usual celebrations and invite another family to join you as you celebrate on Easter. And if the holiday time is hard to carve out, invite them on a day near Easter Sunday. Take time to share the value of this holiday with them and their kids as well. It may be a seed planted about God’s love and something they remember every year after.
Pins & Planner
Hopefully, the above ideas can springboard some ideas for you and your family. I always love hearing what other families are doing as well. Feel free to message me your ideas or comment below. Now go ahead and pin this article for future use or to share with your friends. Maybe together you can decide on some activities that would be fun to share! And if you need even more ideas, visit my Pinterest Holiday Ideas Board.
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