Every year I kill myself at Christmas ensuring that I've provided enough meaningful experiences for my family to both understand the spiritual significance of the birth of Christ as well as enjoy the magic of the season.
And then every year on Easter night I kick myself for missing the opportunity to do the same for Easter.
It's just a shame.
Last year I found this awesome book and fell right in love with it. (not sponsored)
It is like celebrating Holy Week for Dummies. (Holy Week is the week leading up to Easter) This small book has a day by day guide with a piece of art, history, a scripture, and fun family ideas to help kids (and adults!) better understand the last week of Christ's life and his teachings more deeply. It is written specifically for Mormon families, but there are many great concepts and ideas that definitely transfer to other Christian religions as well. It has good stuff, but not an overwhelming amount.
That being said, I've also recently found some other great ideas for free on Pinterest, so there's that.
Charting It Up
After answering my 5 year old like 29 times about how many days until Easter, I finally came up with a solution. I've seen some very cute charts for Holy Week where the kids fill in the day with a piece of art but they all required blowing up a printout at a copy store, and while that's not particularly difficult, it's just not going to happen around here.
So this is my cheap and easy solution.
I just taped the blank blue half sheets in a line so we could get excited about the activities that were coming/not have to tell anyone how many more dang days until Easter. Then every day we add the name and a picture to the wall.
So here are my activities for this week. Note that they are all easy. There's a reason for that: I want to actually do them. Some of them are more simple than others, but none of them take a crazy amount of planning or prepping.
Palm Sunday: Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem with people waving palm branches in his honor
- Palm Blessings: Write the blessings we have been given because of the Atonement on paper leaves made into a palm branch, which is what that picture just above is, in case you couldn’t tell. Ha.
Cleansing Monday: Christ throws out the people making money from the temple
- Temple Charades: Act out words associated with the temple. (Mormons have temples so some of these words might not apply if you aren't LDS, but you get the idea- just choose other words.)
Moroni, praying, wedding dress, baptismal font, scriptures, wedding bouquet, temple recommend, family, house, window, bishop, door, chandelier, temple, oxen
Parable Tuesday: After cleansing the temple, Christ taught several parables.
- Wise Steward Game: Fill a bowl with M&Ms or jelly beans or chocolate chips or whatever and give a straw to each person. Give everyone 30 seconds to suck out as many candies as they can. Some will be able to get more than others. Afterwards ask each to donate whatever they think is fair to the person sitting next to them. After everyone has finished, give each person back twice as much as they donated. Discuss the parable of the wise steward (Luke 12:42-48) and possibly the widow's mite (Mark 12:41-44)
Betrayal Wednesday: Judas Iscariot committed to betray Christ
- Act out the Resurrection Story: We act out the Nativity every year, why not the Resurrection? This does need reverence, but what a great way to learn this story.
Last Supper Thursday: Christ and the 12 apostles gather to eat Passover the night before his crucifixion. Later, Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane.
- Washing Feet: Take turns washing each other's feet in a container as Christ did.
It would be awesome if I could get my act together enough to put together a Passover Meal. I've always wanted to do that and never have. And in all honesty, it's probably not going to happen this year. But YOU should and then tell me how amazing it was.
Good Friday: Christ was crucified.
- Light in the Darkness: Make the house as dark as possible. When Christ died there was darkness (Mark 15:33) Sing the 5th verse of Behold the Great Redeemer Die
“He died, and at the awful sight
The sun in shame withdrew its light!
Earth trembled, and all nature sighed,
In dread response, 'A God has died!'"
Then light a candle/turn on flashlight and read Mosiah 16:9 or John 1:5 about Jesus being the light of the world. Talk about the shock His disciples must have felt when He died and they were literally in darkness. Then discuss the faithful women who approached Jesus' tomb and how His resurrection brought light back to them.
Salvation Saturday: Christ's spirit went to the spirit world and organized the faithful spirits to visit and teach the unbaptized.
- 5 Finger Prayer: One thing missionaries do is teach people to pray. Reinforce the steps of prayer by using five fingers. 1. Heavenly Father 2. We thank Thee for... 3. We ask Thee for.... 4. In the name of Jesus Christ, 5. Amen.
Easter Sunday: Christ is resurrected and appears to Mary Magdalene
- Resurrection Rolls: This is the best Easter activity, plus it's delicious. The marshmallow disappears in the roll! What a cool teaching thing. Couple tips here: seal it well or the marshmallow will seep out. Also, make more than you think because they are good. Did I mention they are yummy? Because they are.
This is my plan, but hopefully this gives you some ideas to cherry pick from. And really, anything is better than nothing so even if we miss a few days, at least we're focusing on Christ this week.