Sunday, 20 April 2014

Spring into Easter!

Easter, unlike Christmas, can be tricky to talk about with children and harder for them to understand. A baby being born is a much more attractive story than one of crucifixion and death. However, there are many traditions which we can engage with and explain the thinking behind them, one of which is making an Easter garden. My daughter made this at school and I love the simplicity and creativity of it with one side depicting the crucifixion and the other the resurrection and new life. An easy but effective project that depicts the story.

Easter garden
There was also an Easter bonnet competition at school that they didn't win but we had fun designing and making them! My youngest again wanted to depict the real Easter story so she wrote the different parts of the Easter story from Palm Sunday to the Resurrection on egg shapes and illustrated them. More opportunities to talk through the symbolism of new life through lambs and eggs and er....bonnets!

On Palm Sunday we held a Messy Easter service at Stopsley Baptist Church, as usual I turn to Pinterest for inspiration! It was so busy I didn't get a chance to take many photos but you can look at the ideas on my board here. Or download my activities planner. The resurrection rolls were very popular as was the egg rolling painting but my favourite one has to be the Easter Story box which is a brilliantly simple idea from here. You retell the Easter story using the figure and the decorated box, finishing with the empty box and the risen figure, so easy for all ages to understand! 

The girls and I also made some decorated Easter jars to give to their teachers to thank them for all their hard work at the end of term. We all enjoyed doing this and sourcing the different things to make them. We cut up some chick cloths for the covers, used some fabric tape to go round the jar (both from Tiger) bought some Haribo spaghetti for the 'grass' added some eggs, a chocolate bunny and carrot! So cute! Finished off with a great free printable label from here.

We then of course did lots of baking over the Easter holidays, experimented with making a simnel cake and hot cross buns (both from Nigella's Feast book). We were quite pleased with our simnel cake (although a blowtorch would have made it look better!) and we chatted through the significance of the 11 balls of marzipan to represent the disciples (minus Judas!)

The hot cross buns however were a different matter, they do indeed look very hot and very cross! I think the yeast I used was past it's best, not able to lift the dough from it's heavy state to being light and airy. They didn't taste too bad but they certainly didn't look great! 


And so as we move from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, the unpalatable nature of Jesus' death for us becomes sweet forgiveness as we celebrate His resurrection, new life for us all if we accept it for ourselves. Something that looked like all hope had gone that turned out to be the most amazing act of love ever! 

"God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die."    John 3:16

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