Friday, March 1, 2013

Preparing Their Hearts for Easter.

Aside from Christmas, Easter is hands down one of my favorite holidays. Easter is all about redemption; the Savior who was born, died, and He rose again on the 3rd day. He is alive, and His death and resurrection assures eternal life to anyone who places their trust in Him as Lord and Savior.  What glorious hope there is in the Easter story!

Easter is a little bit earlier this year, and so I've been gearing up with preparing my preschooler's hearts for Easter and thought I might pass along some of the resources that I have found useful in preparing my preschoolers hearts for Easter.

Last year I wrote a post about how we create Christ-centered Easter baskets for our kids. Everything that goes in the basket has a deeper meaning than just a basket filler. As my kids get older, they'll understand more the meaning of each item.

We also have a few books on Easter that are preschool appropriate. The boys love to read these throughout the year, but I try to place them out prominently during the weeks preceding Easter so that we can read them a bit more often.
 1. The Story of Easter (retold by Gwen Ellis). This book was given to Brayden by one of my dear friends when he was born. I would say it's probably more age appropriate for an older preschooler, around 4 years. It's split into sections though, so you don't have to read it all at once. It also has little snippets that will help spur on additional conversation, and also gives scripture references for each part of the story.
2. The Story of Easter (by Patricia Pingry). This one's been in our book collection for a few years now (I think it was a gift to Brayden from his Mamaw and Papaw 2 years ago). This is great for younger toddlers/preschoolers who don't have a long attention span.
3. The Jesus Storybook Bible (by Sally Lloyd-Jones). Obviously this isn't just an Easter book. But this Bible is my very favorite preschool/toddler bible. The stories are written so well, and always point back to God's perfect plan of redemption for all people. Both of my boys LOVE for us to read them the stories in this little Bible (the story of David and Goliath is well worn... my boys love a good bible hero!) If you don't have this, I would highly suggest purchasing it for you child (it would be a great item for the Easter basket!!!)

Last year we started the tradition of the Resurrection Eggs. We have started doing our family devotionals at night before bed, so that's when we'll incorporate the Resurrection Eggs this year. Last year Brayden did well at remembering the different symbols, but I'm excited to see how he'll grasp concepts this year since he seems to be able to connect to things a little deeper. Connor tends to follow big brothers lead, so I am really excited about our devotionals over the next few weeks as we focus on Christ and the sacrifice He made for us. The eggs we own are the version that Family Life makes and sells (found HERE), but I've also seen a few tutorials online to create your own set (just google 'resurrection eggs' and you'll have a few tutorials pop up). If you have a really young child (probably younger than 18 months) who may not be able to understand these yet, be sure to watch after-Easter clearance sales. I snagged our set for $5 after Easter when Brayden was a baby! (image source)

If you have older kids who may get bored with the Resurrection Eggs, I love this idea by Ann Voskamp with an Easter Devotional and Jesus Easter Tree.

I'm starting to push myself outside of my comfort box a little bit and trying my hand at SIMPLE crafts for the boys to do. It's no secret that I am not a crafty mom, so simple is my mantra. This will be my first year to attempt crafts with the boys for Easter. Here are a few ideas that I've found that we will probably try:

Do you have ways to prepare your little ones hearts for Easter? I'd love to hear your ideas! Send me an email, or better yet, share in the comments of this post!

Disclosure: I was not compensated for any of the links in this post. The opinions in this post are 100% my own and are things that we have either done, or are planning to do to help our boys grasp what Easter truly is about.

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