There are a number of holidays and “special” days that are incredibly difficult to explain to young kids. A lot of them don’t make sense – Groundhog’s Day, anyone?; or they require a LOT of explanation – Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day? So most of these holidays are just regular days for us. I don’t even mention the uniqueness of the day, assuming we will get there some day. But there are other days that are just SO important that the difficulty associated with trying to share them with my young ones is worth it. Easter is one of those days. As difficult as it is to explain to a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old the real reason for Easter, I do – because it is the most important holiday we celebrate all year.
Christmas is pretty important, too. But if we didn’t have Easter, Jesus would not be important to our lives. He would just be another dead guy. But because of Easter Sunday, we have SO much more than we can even imagine in Him. Because He lives, I must share this important information with my little ones, in the hope that they, too will have faith (like a child). And we have been doing a number of activities in the lead-up to Easter this year, to focus on Him, on His resurrection, on what that means for them.
And I struggle with just how much of this they will be able to grasp. How much of it is too far, how much is beyond understanding (even for me). So, I do tiny things that I hope will make big impressions on our girls’ hearts and minds. And I came up with a fun way to talk about Jesus while doing a simple activity that they LOVE.
Here’s how it went.
I spent a few minutes putting together some egg dyes (from a kit) in rainbow colors. And I took a few minutes to write a secret message on 5 eggs with a white crayon.
Then I gathered the girls and told them that these eggs had a secret message that would tell us what Easter was all about.
I asked them what they thought Easter was about. (they weren’t quite sure)
Then I dunked the first one in the red dye. The second in the orange dye. The third in the yellow dye. The fourth in the green dye. And the fifth in the blue dye.
As I dunked each one into the dye, I said, “There is a special, secret message on this egg that will tell us about Easter.” The girls were really excited to see what the eggs would tell them.
I told them to run off and play for a while because we wanted the eggs to have time to reveal the message.
And after about 5 minutes, I gathered them back around the eggs and said, “Let’s find out the secret message.”
I took the first egg out of the red dye. And asked what they saw. Both shouted, “J!”
And I took the second egg out of the orange dye. And asked what they saw. Both shouted, “E!”
I took the third egg out of the yellow dye. And asked what they saw. Both shouted, “S!” And then it dawned on G; she shouted, “Jesus! Easter is about Jesus!”
I quickly took out the fourth and fifth eggs to reveal the letters U and S.
It was a simple, quick project for the girls to talk about the real reason for Easter. And they loved it! After we were done with these first five eggs, I let the girls dye their own Easter eggs, let them dry and decorate them with lots (and lots) of stickers. It was FUN! I hope that in the fun of the season, they will see that Jesus is the reason we celebrate Easter and eventually they will believe in Him, too!
Do you celebrate the real reason for Easter – the resurrection of Jesus? How do you make it simple enough for a child to understand it?