Hi! I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!
So many things to do with the kids for Easter to celebrate the true meaning of the holiday! These are in addition to our church’s services.
1. The Tradition of Resurrection Eggs
Our set has 12 plastic eggs, and each egg contains a trinket and the corresponding scripture to take us through the Passion of Christ until His resurrection. For example, we have a plastic donkey to represent the donkey Jesus rode on into Jerusalem. We also have a dime to represent the silver coins paid to Judas for betraying Jesus. A toothpick represents the spear used to pierce the side of Jesus. You can read more about our resurrection eggs in this earlier post.
2. Divine Mercy Novena
This novena, which lasts 9 days, begins on Good Friday and finishes on the Feast of Divine Mercy which is the Sunday after Easter. The Mercy Chaplet is a set of prayers prayed with your rosary beads. There is also an intention for each day of the Novena. It is never too early to introduce your kids to this wonderful prayer! Here’s a link to the Novena and Chaplet prayers.
3. Family Time by Candlelight
Good Friday is a great time to turn the lights off as evening comes, stay off of your computers, phones and devices, and spend the evening playing games by candlelight. We actually did this on Sundays during Lent, and plan to do this when we get home from our church’s Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.
4. Decorate Hard Boiled Eggs for the Egg Cracking Ceremony
We usually boil and decorate our eggs on the Saturday of Easter weekend. There are so many wonderful ideas to be found on Pinterest! Our ceremony takes place at the beginning of our Easter meal. We each take a decorated hard boiled egg and we turn to the person next to us. When everyone is ready, one of the two people exclaims, “He is risen!” and the other answers, “Truly He is risen!” Now we smash those two eggs together. The person whose egg is still intact finds a new partner with an egg still intact and the fun continues until there is only one person left with an intact egg. It’s a lot of fun!
5. Write a Thank You Letter to Jesus
We haven’t done this one yet, but I’m anxious to do it this year. Everyone writes a letter to Jesus, thanking Him for His Love and His Sacrifice. After dinner, we all share what we’ve written. If you haven’t written letters, you can still take time near the end of the meal for everyone to share.
6. Easter Egg Hunt
What do eggs have to do with Easter? The shell represents the tomb where Jesus was laid after His death, and a cracked shell represents the empty tomb after Jesus’ resurrection. Easter is not Easter without chocolate. One or two of our older kids is in charge of hiding small wrapped chocolate eggs around our yard. When they’re all hidden, the younger ones race to find them. The person with the most eggs gets a special treat, while all of the eggs are pooled together and evenly distributed. We usually find the odd chocolate egg here and there for weeks after Easter.
7. Empty Tomb Rolls
We take large marshmallows, roll them first in melted butter, then in a cinnamon/sugar mixture. Now we wrap the marshmallow completely with Pillsbury Crescent roll dough. Sometimes two of the crescent roll triangles are needed to cover one marshmallow. Now we bake them according to the package directions and the result is an empty crescent roll! We serve these at our Easter meal.
8. Hot Cross Buns
Good Friday wouldn’t be the same in our house without hot cross buns! These buns are cut with a cross to represent the crucifixion of Jesus and are spiced to represent the spices used to embalm Him. At the time of Elizabeth I, spiced buns, including hot cross buns, were only allowed to be sold at Christmas, on Good Friday and at funerals. We serve our hot cross buns after the Mercy Chaplet which we pray together at 3pm – the hour of Jesus’ death. Before that hour, we eat nothing. Our church gathers for the Way of the Cross in the evening, and it is led by our youth – including some of our kids. Check out my hot cross bun recipe.