**This is a post I wrote as a guest blogger for Mona Corwin. You can find the original post here, but I also wanted to share it on my blog as well. It’s an update to our Easter Advent plans from last year!**
If you’re anything like me, lack of planning can mean that things just don’t happen, or maybe things don’t happen to their fullest potential. For example, if I don’t meal plan and grocery shop for a week, my family could probably still eat (maybe). But we’d be left to random dinners that consist of whatever I can find in the pantry or fridge instead of a well-planned and balanced meal.
The same thing tends to happen to me with Christian holidays like Easter and Christmas. There’s a full, amazing, truthful meaning behind both of these holidays. And with Easter coming up, I’m aware of the fact that if I do not plan to present the importance of Easter to my family, I end up celebrating the Easter Bunny, jellybeans, and Cadbury eggs with a sprinkle of teaching about Jesus’ resurrection, for good measure. (Disclaimer: I have nothing against cute bunnies and overflowing Easter baskets; I just don’t want those things to overshadow the true meaning.)
Easter Advent consisted of easy, family activities for each of the eight days leading up to Easter. We adjusted some of the activities to better fit our family needs and my toddler’s level of interest. Below are some pictures with descriptions for each day.
To get started, I just printed out the Advent Cards provided on the original post. You can find the free printable here. You can choose to print out her version of the cards, or you can print a blank version and create your own Easter Advent activities. I did a combination of both. Then, I just folded them up and put them in plastic Easter eggs numbered 1-8, and then Fairley would find and choose the egg with the number for the day that we were on.
Here’s what we did in detail:
Day 1: Resurrection Set:
We used the printables here and about a dozen toilet paper rolls and an empty tissue box to create our own resurrection set. There are complete instructions on the site listed above. This was such a great way to start out our week of Easter Advent because it had us telling the story over and over, and we could always refer back to it throughout the coming week.
Day 2: Butterfly/New Life Painting:
We painted a butterfly out of Fairley’s hand prints and foot prints and talked about how when Jesus died, he did not stay dead. We celebrated that in him, we can have new life, too (like a butterfly!).
Day 3: Act of Service:
Because Jesus was a humble servant and we can learn from his example, we did an act of service for our neighbors. We “egged” our friends by bringing them a basket of Easter eggs filled with little trinkets and encouraging messages. Here’s a link to a detailed post about “egging” (which includes the free printable you see in the picture below!)
Day 4: Make a Get Well Card:
Jesus healed the sick, and he cared deeply for those who were hurting, so we made a “get well soon” card for someone we knew who was sick.
Day 5: Secret Service/Encouragement for Daddy:
The idea of this day is that Jesus is the good shepherd and cares for those he loves. We wanted to show love to a member of our family, so we wrote down words of affirmation (Daddy’s love language) to share with him.
Day 6: Cross Art:
We did some art to remember what Easter is truly about. Jesus sacrificed his life for us on the cross. We took painter’s tape and made a cross on a piece of paper and then painted over it. After the paint dried, we removed the tape, and our cross was revealed!
Day 7: Resurrection Rolls
This might have been my favorite day! We invited our good friends, Amy and Eva, over to join us in the fun. We followed the directions on this post to make our own resurrection rolls. It’s such a great activity for the Saturday before Easter because it thoroughly explains the whole Easter story with a (yummy) visual! (Spoiler alert so you understand how cool this is: You basically take a marshmallow and pretend it’s Jesus body and add spices (cinnamon and sugar), wrap it in a crescent roll to symbolize the grave clothes, put it in the oven to represent the tomb- and wait. When you take them out, the marshmallow has melted and the tomb is empty! SO COOL!) This link is super helpful because it gives references to use The Jesus Storybook Bible and also tells you exactly what to say with each step.
Day 8: Resurrection Eggs
I also love Resurrection Eggs because they are, again, a great visual aid for understanding this story. I liked doing them at the end of the week because it was a good review and reminder of all that we celebrate about Easter. There are so many resources for making your own set of Resurrection Eggs out there, but I love this one because it’s especially for toddlers (and it’s simple to make).
Obviously, this Easter Advent is not the only way of teaching your children about the true meaning of Easter. And some of you may be gifted in teaching along the way without a planned set of activities, and that’s great! For me, though, it was super helpful to have a plan and a reminder to do something that enlarged our hearts and affections for Jesus and the beauty of Easter each day!
We’re planning to do these activities again this year and make it an Easter tradition because it really helped us focus on the true meaning of Easter, and it also allowed for lots of great discussions about Jesus’ resurrection. I’m praising God that he led us to this great resource, and I’m praying that it might benefit your family this year, too!