So, in the Christian calendar this is ‘Holy Week’. Which starts the Sunday before Easter (called Palm Sunday) and includes the days leading up to and including Easter Sunday. For most people Easter means a break from work, family time, maybe getting away for a few days and of course…
and more chocolate!
Now I personally have no problems with chocolate, seriously none at all!
I do rather enjoy a chocolate indulgence here and there.
But… would I want my kids to be inundated with chocolate eggs and bunnies?
Some, for sure, but, in the manner that we can teach them the importance of moderation and have them focus on the true symbolism behind ‘eggs’ being gifted at Easter.
Here are some fun, colourful, family orientated, practical and
meaningful Easter giving alternatives.
The Traditional Easter Egg Hunt
The Eater egg hunt is a traditional and beloved Easter activity for children and adults alike. I know I still love them! And we at Oh Bless see many traditions as ‘retro cute’.
Of course you can hide chocolate eggs around the house or garden for your little ones to find, or… you can get plastic eggs from craft suppliers. You then fill them with whatever you want, such as: chalk, bouncy balls, hair-ties, ribbons, matchbox cars, marbles etc.
Also, instead of putting physical gifts in all the eggs, why not place quotes, scriptures or personal notes of encouragement and love in some of them. Helping your kids see the importance of family, relationships, and values for life.
For older kids, you can give them a really fun challenge by placing clues in each egg, which leads to another egg, which leads to another, until they finally discover a treasure trove of Easter goodies to enjoy. My friends and I loved this kind of activity, it was so much FUN!
The clues can be as literal or cryptic as you think your kids can manage. Give them a bit of a challenge, but make it achievable. Your kids can do this together by working as a team, with your support, making it a whole family activity. And whatever they find at the end is a shared gift, which really emphasizes the values of Easter.
A creative Easter break
As you and your children have some time off school and work, why not make the most of it to spend quality time together doing activities you can all enjoy. Instead of giving chocolate eggs, some people give ‘crafty’ gifts such as:
- Play dough, shaped as eggs, wrapped in cling wrap and presented in a basket. You can make the play dough yourself and colour it brightly or in pastel colours.
- Easter activity and sticker books
- Egg decorating (more on this below)
There are heaps more Easter craft ideas online at sites like www.kidspot.com.au This link will take you directly to their Easter crafts: http://www.kidspot.com.au/subsection+162+Easter-Crafts.htm
More on egg decorating
This is a very traditional activity and can take several forms. You can blow the filling out of the egg before decorating or you can decorate hard boiled eggs.
Of course you can create many cool effects by dyeing your eggs or painting them, but there are many new ways to be creative with your Easter eggs. I found a Readers Digest article that has some cool new ideas for decorating eggs. http://www.rd.com/slideshows/unique-egg-decorating-ideas/
I particularly like the tattoo eggs and the chalkboard eggs.
Some other useful sites for egg decoration.
Easter Story Time
Books are great gifts for any occasion and there are many good easter themed books to share with the children in your life. Plus giving a book, allows for some quality time with your little ones, as you read with them.
I know of many parents in Australia who give a pair of winter pajamas to their kids at Easter. What a great idea!
New p.j’s, combined with a lovely book is a great combo, as once your little one is in their new, warm and fuzzy p.j’s, they can snuggle up and get cuddles as they have a story read to them. I personally treasure the memories I have of such times during my childhood.
Outings and experiences
I am a huge fan of gifts that come in the form of an experience. They can enrich our lives, open our eyes to new things and give us wonderful memories to treasure. Plus they allow the family to share experiences and build relationship.
Some ideas for outings at Easter could be:
- Visiting a farm or Zoo where kids can interact with the animal – If they have chicks or bunnies, that is an Easter bonus!
- Head to a park, or the country for a picnic – you could do an egg hunt on location.
- Heading to an Easter service, at a local church can be a great cultural experience and very educational. There are some sunrise services on Easter Sunday that can be a great experience if you can get out of bed in time (I always struggle with that). Most churches have websites, or signage outside their buildings with service times and styles – try picking a ‘family service’.
- Check out some local tourist attractions – often we don’t explore the areas closest to us.
- Visit a museum
- Check if there are any community festivals or events in your local area – If you are in Melbourne check out this site: http://www.weekendnotes.com/melbourne/april/
- Take your kids to a concert – there are often free concerts running in the capital cities, google ‘free concerts in your area’ to see what is coming up.
- Go see a play together – Many professional and amateur theatre groups present productions for kids over the school holidays. Keep your eyes open for signs at the side of the road advertising such things or search for such on line.
Chocolate is of course delicious, and I know I will certainly be having some at Easter, but there is certainly more to life and definitely more to Easter than a choc bunny or egg. For more ideas check out: http://www.kidspot.com.au/Easter-Gifts-Healthy-Easter-alternatives-to-chocolate+4595+406+article.htm
I hope this has been helpful.
We at Oh Bless wish you a happy and safe Easter!