Have you seen the adorable book by Dr. Mary Manz Simon? It teaches the story of the Gospel through the colors that might be found in an Easter basket? Enter to win the book here, and order a couple of extras for kids you know. Dr. Mary Manz Simons wrote up a few extra activities that parents and teachers can use as they read this book with kids. This is a GREAT way to help even then youngest kids understand what Easter is all about.
1. My Easter Basket uses the colors in the basket to help children discover the real meaning of Easter.
Your child can walk through the Bible story using the colors found on pieces of fruit. Prepare a fruit basket to give to another family. When your child gives away the fruit basket loaded with that rainbow, he can repeat the true story of Easter by telling what each color represents. Because young children are concrete thinkers and understand what they can see and touch, the fruit will be “mental triggers” representing parts of the Easter story. The storyline is very simple, so the Resurrection narrative can be one of the first that a young child learns. Attach sticky notes, labeled 1-6, as additional support for preschoolers.
Choose fruits that are the following colors.
Green: grapes, lime, avocado, Granny Smith apple: palms people waved
Purple: grapes, plums, grape juice bottle: the wine Jesus and his friends shared
Red: grapes, strawberries, cherries, red apple, raspberries, dried cranberries: Jesus died on the cross
Brown: kiwi, banana, dates, sugar pears, coconut: Jesus was buried
White: grape juice bottle, honeydew melon, shredded coconut, Qinguan apple: the angel who said “He is Risen!”
Yellow: lemon, papaya, Golden Delicious Apple: the sunrise on Easter
2. After reading My Easter Basket, help children re-tell the story using sidewalk chalk on a driveway or parking lot.
Mark off six numbered sections of a driveway or parking lot. Put one piece of colored sidewalk chalk in each section:
Ask children to draw one item, representing each part of the story, in each section. Older children can draw a complete scene in each sidewalk square.
Have students in a class each take a section. Add text reading, “The Easter story sidewalk art by —-class.”
3. The butterfly, which breaks out of a cocoon, is a symbol of new life, which is the reason a butterfly is associated with Easter.
A butterfly is shown on the front cover, back cover and on each page of My Easter Basket.
Invite your child to make a “hand butterfly.” Fold a piece of construction paper lengthwise in half. Open the paper. Using washable paint, (fingerpaint works well) your child can completely paint the palm and fingers of one hand. Press the painted thumb in the middle of the paper crease. Then press down on the paper with the painted fingers spread wide and palm. Immediately remove the hand and fold together the two sides of the paper, pressing tightly. Open the paper to reveal the two matching wings of a butterfly. Antenna and eyes can be added with a brush or using paint remaining on fingertips. When dry, cut out the butterfly. Use yarn to hang the butterfly outdoors on a tree branch. Add additional butterflies to your Easter tree.
An alternate method uses the blob painting approach. This is great for toddlers and those with special needs. Crease the paper as instructed above. Open the paper. Put a tiny blob of paint in the crease and a larger blob of paint higher up on the crease. Fold the paper, pressing the two sides together. Open paper to reveal the two matching wings of a blob butterfly. Add antenna and eyes as desired. Cut out when dry and hang.
How do you plan to teach your kids about Easter this year? What are some ideas you have used in the past?