Lent is a time of preparing our hearts and homes for Easter and the celebration of the Risen King. As moms, we should also make it a point to prepare our children’s hearts and foster a sense of anticipation for this most blessed and miraculous event.
This year I did two things, created a set of resurrection eggs and planted an Easter garden. The eggs are used in a daily object lesson in the 11 days prior to Easter morning. The Garden is a representation of Jesus’s tomb and a hands on way for children to engage in the Easter Story.
To make our Easter Garden Makayla and I filled a shallow glass bowl with rocks and then soil. We partially buried a small terra-cotta pot to serve as the tomb (I have seen Easter Gardens with actual caves that people either made or bought at an aquarium supply store). We planted cat grass which grows fast, and also thrives indoors. For some detail, we created a path leading up to the tomb, placed a cross on the ‘hill’, and put a small Lamb in the tomb to represent Jesus.
This is (hopefully) what it will look like when the grass grows.
The garden can serve as the focal point for another tradition; using resurrection eggs. Resurrection eggs are a series of plastic Easter eggs that are filled with objects and a corresponding scripture. You can either hide them and open them all on Easter morning, or place one near the garden each morning and have a sort of Easter advent. I like the later option because it creates anticipation, and you can spend more time with each element of the story.
You will need to find objects to fill the eggs with, and I am certain you have all of these things in your home already. If you do not, you can make an appropriate substitution. You can buy resurrection egg kits already made, but I like creating my own. There are lots of different ways to do it, this is just mine. So if you do want to make your own set, be creative and make yours unique for your family.
Here are the directions for making the resurrection eggs I put together for my family.
Message — Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The people waved palm branches.
Scripture — Matthew 21:1-11
Object– A donkey or a palm branch
Message — Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet.
Scripture — John 12:2-8
Object — A small perfume bottle or cotton ball sprayed with perfume. (There is a very strong connection between smell and memory, so anytime you can incorporate smell into a lesson you should do it!)
Message — Jesus shared the Last Supper with His disciples.
Scripture– Matthew 26:17-19
Object– A piece of bread
Message — Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
Scripture– Matthew 27:3
Object– 3 dimes or plastic “silver” money
Message — Jesus carried His own cross.
Scripture– John 19:17
Object – A cross
Message — Soldiers placed a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head.
Scripture– John 19:2
Object– a branch with thorns
Message — Soldiers parted Jesus’ garments and cast lots for His coat.
Scripture– John 19:23
Message — Jesus was nailed to a cross and pierced in His side.
Scripture– John 19:18,37 & John 20:25-29
Object– A nail and/or a small play sword from an action figure
Message — They gave Jesus vinegar mixed with gall on a sponge to drink.
Scripture– Matthew 27:34
Object– A small sponge soaked in vinegar. (make sure the sponge is dry when you put it on the egg, you just want the vinegar smell)
Message — Jesus’ body was prepared for burial.
Scripture –John 19:40
Object– a roll of gauze (the kind you would find in a first aid kit) and some spices
Message — The stone covering Jesus’ tomb was rolled away.
Scripture– John 20:1
Object — A rock
Message — The tomb was empty, He was not there. He has risen!
Scripture– John 20:6-7
Object — Nothing! The tomb is empty!
I play to place one of the eggs near our Easter Garden each morning. As part of our homeschool lesson Makayla will open the egg and then I will share the story with her and read the scripture from our illustrated family bible. Also, some of the items can be added to the garden or placed in the tomb; for example the shroud from egg # 10 can be left behind on Easter morning and the rock from Egg # 11 can be rolled away to reveal the empty tomb.
These are just two examples of ways we can honor God in our traditions, and make sure that the focus is on Him, rather than some made up story about a rabbit! I hope you have a blessed Easter season creating memories with your family.
There are many different ways to create resurrection eggs and an Easter Garden. Here are some links to some other versions of these ideas.