Friday, March 29, 2013

The Real Meaning of Easter: The Empty Tomb

As far as our preparations for the real meaning of Easter, we've been doing a small "devotional" each night during this week leading up to Easter. I really enjoyed Saren Loosli's article on Power of Moms titled, A Deliberate Mother's Guide to a Christ-Centered Easter. I've followed most of her suggestions, simplifying where needed so that it's age appropriate for my kids. We've read about Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, his miracles and acts of love, the last supper, Gethsemane, and today we read about his death and burial. We've ended each devotional by watching a short clip from Bible videos such as The Lamb of God and Finding Faith in Christ. 

It has brought such a spirit into our home as we've studied our Savior and talked about why He did what He did. My testimony has been strengthened tremendously this Easter and I've seen how a little bit of effort to turn our hearts to the Savior brings great dividends.
Of course our children aren't still or quiet while we read the scriptures and try to teach them about the life and Atonement of the Savior. But they are listening. I know this because on Thursday night we were setting the table quietly with lit candles, preparing to talk about the Last Supper. I put my oldest, Hazel, in charge of napkins and when I sat down, I saw this. She told me it was Christ's empty tomb.
I tucked mine away in my journal as a sweet reminder of this five-year old's understanding that Easter is more than bunnies and candy eggs.

Hope your weekend is special and fun and most of all, meaningful.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Easter Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Snowflake Eggs

Well here's a fun Easter idea, even though we are drawing close to the big day! I came upon these snowflake eggs a while ago and was excited to try them out. Turns out they are quick and easy and a little bit addicting.

Take a regular sheet of construction paper and fold it once lengthwise and once again widthwise (isn't that a word?) Then hold the folded side in your hand (left and bottom are folded) and cut a rounded edge on the open sides (top and right).
 Draw shapes and designs easy enough for your little ones to cut themselves, if you trust them with scissors that is!
 My favorite part is opening it up at the end...

 We egged our door and then mailed these beauties to grandparents with a handwritten "Hoppy Easter" from Hazel.

Happy Good Friday!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Alphabet Eggs

Here's a fun idea for something to do with all of those plastic Easter eggs you've been pulling out of the Easter bin in preparation for Sunday...
Uppercase and lowercase letter matching! (Found all over pinterest.)
  I wrote upper case letters on the top half and lower case on the bottom half of the eggs for my four year old to work on.
 I gave her a large crate to hold (most) of the eggs as she matched them up.
This next game was for my two year old who has been obsessed with the guessing game where you ask someone which hand you're hiding something in.  So I hid a tiny bunny in one of these orange eggs and asked her to guess which egg had the bunny. It was a hit for at least twenty rounds...

Once she found the bunny, I'd put it back into its egg and mix them up really fast in front of her until she had no idea again where he was hiding. My four year old loved this one as well.
We also tried a matching game where I hid two cotton balls, two paper clips, two pennies, etc into the eggs. We took turns opening two eggs to see if we found a match, which got a little hairy with two little ones who were anxious to open those babies up!

Tomorrow I'll be posting some of the ways we've been teaching and celebrating the spiritual side of Easter. There's a lot of good ideas out there... as well as some crazy complicated daily devotional egg-opening object-lessoning overwhelming stuff, so my goal is to keep it siiiiimple and focus on the Savior. Check back.

Oh and my mom mailed this to me and I'm pretty sure this was written just. about. me. Especially during this difficult month of March when winter is lingering and my goals are biting at my heels...

Four days til Easter!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Friday, March 22, 2013

Easter Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

I wanted to post some great crafts for St. Patrick's Day, but we ended up keeping it pretty simple around here. I traced the hands of everyone in our family onto paper in various colors and had the girls cut them out and tape them onto our walls in the shape of a rainbow.  I was planning on making a small "pot" for the end of our rainbow where we could leave love notes or small surprises for each other, but I never got that far. I did leave my little treats for the kids on the floor next to the rainbow on St. Patty's Day morning if that counts...

And now it's on to Easter! 
We dove right in this week with some Easter/Spring activities that coincided 
with our study of the letter C. Here's a new favorite:

Easter Bunny Carrot Cups
paper or plastic cups
carrot seeds
white and pink construction paper
googly eyes

I drew a quick pattern for the ears so the kids could put their mad scissor skills to use...
My poor Charlotte was stuck with mommy's big scissors until the little ones were free (I swear we own six pairs of little scissors, but they've disappeared along with half of our forks and all of my tape...)
We used white for the outside and pink for the inside of our bunny ears.

Glue them together...

And glue them into the inside of your cup. You might need to reinforce with tape.
Next step, googly eyes!
I asked the kids to draw a nose, mouth and whiskers for their bunnies.

Our little friend Timothy was my hand model today. I'm sure he was so confused as to why I was having him hold these seeds so still...
Time to plant your seeds! We went out back and got some mud from our garden (since it was actually snowing/sleeting here today) for our cups and planted 2-3 seeds per cup, just to be sure one of those suckers with grow!
I think it will be so fun to see some green come out of the top of these bunny cups and transfer them to our garden once they're too big for the cups.
I love how Charlotte decided to draw herself instead of a bunny face on hers, on the left. We added a little ruffle for a touch of femininity...

Here's to hoping for spring! Here's one of my favorite books that goes along beautifully with this activity:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Toddler Activities for the Letter Z

Since I never blogged our letter of the week activities since late October, I'm going to catch up a bit and share what we did with the end of the alphabet. Here's one of my favorites we did for the letter "Z" back at the end of November.

Zany Mazes
I explained to the girls that "zany" means funny and crazy, and that we were going to make a "zany" maze on the floor with popsicle sticks (I also pointed out that "maze" has a Z in the middle of it).
This was a tough one to do with little babies around...but somehow we managed. I'm pretty sure I put one or both of them down for naps by time we finished this activity.
This activity was perfect for Charlotte (4) because she really loves doing mazes and is pretty good at it. But making her own maze was quite a challenge, so I had to help her a lot. She mostly wanted it to be done quickly so she could drive her car through it to the end.
We tried some square mazes and some round...changing them up a bit after we drove our cars through the maze together.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...