I'm new to the idea of finding creative ways to celebrate and teach about the Christian holidays and their meanings to my children. Now that my oldest is 3, I'm feeling more eager to find ways to communicate these important truths to her, and to make these celebrations more memorable and meaningful for her, and for our whole family.
One resource that my MIL has given me is Celebrating the Christian Year which has wonderful ideas including scriptures, stories, recipes, activities, symbolism, etc. for almost every holiday, and I believe we will use some of the ideas from that book in our family celebration of Easter.
As well, a few days ago this recipe was forwarded to me by a wonderful mom in my home schooling group. I thought it was a perfect, simple and very tangible way to talk about and demonstrate what Jesus did for us, through his death and resurrection. It's certainly not the healthiest recipe in the world, but every once in a while, it just doesn't matter. To me, the symbolism and teaching opportunity that his presents is worth a little bit of white sugar!
|1 c whole pecans
1 t vinegar
1 c sugar
oven to 300 degrees F. (this in important - don't wait until you are halfway done with the recipe!) Place pecans in a zipper bag and let children beat them with a wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested
he was beaten by the Roman soldiers.
Read John 19:1-3
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink.
Read John 19:28-30.
Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.
Read John 10:10-11.
Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
Read Luke 23:27.
So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us He wants us to know and belong to Him.
Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
Read Isa.1:18 and John 3:1-3
Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered ookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid.
Read Matt. 27:57-60.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed.
Read Matt. 27:65-66.
GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.
Read John 16:20 and 22.
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
Read Matt. 28:1-9.
How does your family celebrate Easter and the Resurrection? Do you have traditions or special activities that you do with your children each year?
Image from More4Kids.info