3 Tips to Help Your Families Prepare for Easter
In our continuing series, Home for the Holidays, we have been taking time to help families celebrate the holiday seasons differently during our continuing season of COVID. Things are finally looking up as we head into spring and Easter. Our families and churches are definitively feeling a bit more normal, but many families may still choose to celebrate Easter virtually due to various risk factors. Whether you plan to observe the holiday in person or virtually, incorporate the following three ways to prepare for the Lenten/Easter season. The Lenten/Easter season is such a special time for families to reflect, connect, and celebrate. While there are some additions and distractions similar to Christmas, Easter remains, at its core, a celebration of new life–both seasonally and spiritually, so here are 3 tips to help families intentionally prepare their children for Easter.
40 Days and Nights: Calendar
During the Advent/Christmas season, we often use an Advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas because the daily routine helps children celebrate each day. This year, create a 40-day calendar for your family, using two of these blank cardboard Advent-style calendars, or something similar (https://www.orientaltrading.com/diy-advent-calendar-a2-13819051.fltr). Creatively decorate and number the fronts of each drawer, but save the top drawers to write out the word “Easter.”
Place a small slip of paper containing a Bible verse in each drawer to be read as a family each morning. Use different portions of scripture from the Easter narrative. Add a small surprise or Easter candy to add to each drawer, as well. While you may still have the traditional Easter baskets, this is a fun way to slowly pace giving out all of that Easter candy to your children, too.
Planting the Seeds of Faith
Easter is the celebration of death to life. Another special way to celebrate as a family is by “Planting Seeds of Faith.” Purchase a medium planting pot, along with some dirt and fast germinating seeds. Also, consider the Zinnias, which grows quickly and can also flower swiftly or even a vegetable like lettuce. As each family member plants one or two seeds in the pot, have a conversation about Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Then place the pot in a central area with good sunlight for the family to see each day.
Allow younger family members to water the seeds or take turns each day. Then continue to have conversations about Christ’s life and His resurrection as you watch the seed slowly grow and emerge. Plus, this may also be a great time to have honest and frank conversations about death with younger children. What a powerful opportunity to share the good news of heaven and eternal life, planting the seed of faith in your home!
Egg Your Neighbor’s House
As much as this sounds like the wrong kind of fun to have at Easter time, you might be surprised! COVID is probably affecting the usual social events in your area or at your church. As a result, the traditional Easter Egg hunt outreach may not happen. If that is the case, bring the fun home and take it local by “egging your neighbors.”
Purchase the usual plastic eggs and candy, and create a surprise Easter Egg hunt in your neighbor’s yard. Make it a family event and work together to stuff the candy in the eggs. At an appropriate time (maybe after dark or when the neighbors head out for an errand), sneak over and hide eggs in their yard. Leave a note on their door letting them know they have been “egged” and invite them to find the eggs. Be sure to inform them how many eggs you have hidden. If you plan to attend an in-person Easter service, invite their family to join your family. If you are participating in an online service, extend an invitation to your home to worship and enjoy Easter dinner together.
Whatever you do for Easter, make time to pause and reflect on the incredible miracle God gave us in Jesus. Whether you can gather with other believers in a traditional service or you are planning to worship online, use these creative ways to remind yourself and your family of the hope found in Jesus alone.
Dan Istvanik has been working in youth ministry for 25 years, serving in churches in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Washington DC. He is a speaker, ministry coach, writer, and contributor to other ministry resources. You can contact Dan at www.mymresources.com, where he shares student ministry resources.
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