Greg and I really want to make a HUGE deal about Easter because as a Christian family this should be the most important holiday of the year for us, but let's be honest it's easy to make a big deal about Christmas and harder to make a BIGGER deal about Easter.
So this year we've started an Easter Countdown. It works the exact same way as a Christmas Advent Box, but we countdown the 12 days until Easter using paper chains and Resurrection Eggs. Since the date of Easter changes every year, so will the dates of our activities but we'll always start 12 days before Easter. I already hung the paper chain up on our China cabinet to build a little anticipation over the next few weeks about our coming Easter activities. This year we'll start our 12 day countdown on March 20.
Resurrection Eggs are twelve plastic eggs which each contain a little symbol that represent part of the Easter story. As the children systematically open the twelve eggs and each tiny object is discussed the story of Easter is told.
Wednesday, March 20
Make a Resurrection Centerpiece
- Wide shallow planter dish
- Potting soil
- Grass Seed
- Small pebbles
- 1 large rock
- 1 small flower pot for the tomb
- Sticks and string for 3 crosses
- Cover shallow planter with potting soil.
- Bury a small flower pot in the dirt with the opening showing.
- Add some small pebbles for a path to the “tomb” and a larger stone to cover the doorway.
- Plant grass seed in the potting soil to cover the spots that do not have rocks, and water. Keep in a sunny place, seeds should sprout within about 7 days!
- Create 3 crosses using sticks and string and display in the grassy area.
Thursday, March 21
Read "The Parable of the Lily" and purchase an Easter Lily
Friday, March 22
Make a cross craft to hang on the windows
- Contact Paper
- Black Cardstock
- Tissue Paper
- Tape (to hold contact paper down while you work)
- Take backing off of clear contact paper, and lay sticky side up. Secure to table with tape.
- Place lots of colorful pieces of tissue paper all over the contact paper.
- Cut another piece of Contact paper that’s the same size and place it sticky side down on top of your tissue paper covered contact paper. Draw cross (or desired shape) on with a sharpie and cut out.
- Cut out strips of black cardstock paper and tape to the edges of the cross.
- Tape the cross on the window for display!
Dye Easter Eggs
Palm Sunday, March 24
Make Palm Branches and have a "Hosanna" song themed dance party
- Green Construction Paper
- Large Popsicle Sticks
- Trace children's hand prints on green construction paper and cut out.
- Glue the green hand prints to large popsicle sticks.
- Wave your palm branches and dance to "Hosanna" children's songs.
"Shout Hosanna" by The Donut Man
"Hosanna!" by Steve Green
“Hosanna” by Shout Praises! Kids
“Ho-Ho-Ho Hosanna” by Wee Sing
Monday, March 25
Act out the Crucifixion & Resurrection Story with Easter Magnetic Set
Tuesday, March 26
Make Jell-O eggs and watch a "Veggie Tales" Easter movie
Wednesday, March 27
Play Jellybean Game
Have a living room picnic dinner (homemade bread, cheese, lunch meat, and grape juice) and talk about the last supper. Daddy & Mommy wash children's feet.
Good Friday, March 29
Enjoy Hot Cross Buns for breakfast and watch "Greatest Bible Adventures - Easter Story" movie
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 3 Tbs. butter
- 1 Tbs. instant powdered milk
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbs. active dry yeast
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 Tbs. water
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. milk
- Put warm water, butter, skim milk powder, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, egg, egg white, flour, and yeast in bread maker and start on dough program. (Takes approximately 1 ½ hours.)
- Punch down on floured surface, cover, and let rest 10 minutes.
- Shape into 12 balls and place in a greased 9 x 12 inch pan.
- Cover and let rise in a warm place till double, about 35-40 minutes. -OR- For overnight: Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours. Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Mix egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water. Brush on balls.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire rack.
- Mix together powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Drizzle a cross with the icing.
Saturday, March 30
Make and decorate cross sugar cookies to share with Sunday School classes
- 1 ½ c. butter, softened
- 2 c. white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 5 c. flour
- Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients. (Add food coloring if desired.)
- Cover dough and chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface and cut out cookies.
- Bake for 7 - 10 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet.
- After cookies cool completely, decorate with frosting.
Resurrection Sunday, March 31
Make Resurrection Rolls for breakfast, receive Easter baskets, attend church, and go on an Easter egg hunt!
- 2 (10 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
- 16 large marshmallows
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 2 Tbs. ground cinnamon
- 4 Tbs. white sugar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- Separate crescent rolls into individual triangles.
- Read John 19:38-42. Explain that we are going to pretend to be Joseph and Nicodemus preparing aloe and myrrh. Melt the butter in a shallow pan. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar.
- Explain that we are going to pretend to be Joseph and Nicodemus placing the aloe and myrrh on Jesus body to prepare it for burial. Dip a marshmallow into melted butter, then roll in sugar mixture.
- Explain that we are going to pretend to be Joseph and Nicodemus placing Jesus body in the tomb. Place marshmallow into the center of a dough triangle. Carefully wrap the dough around the marshmallow. Pinch the seams together tightly to seal in marshmallow as it melts. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat.
- Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Explain that we are pretending to be Jesus followers waiting three long days while Jesus remained dead in the tomb.
- Read Matthew 28:5-8. Explain that we are going to pretend to be the women followers of Jesus who went to the tomb and discovered it was empty! Have the children open their tombs and joyfully discover that they are empty! Enjoy eating the delicious resurrection rolls!
On Easter afternoon we have an Easter egg hunt with the kiddos. We are honest with our kids and tell them Daddy & Mommy hid the Easter eggs and gave them the baskets of goodies and presents. We explain to them that some people like to pretend that the Easter Bunny delivered the eggs filled with treats, but they are in on the "secret." :)