As you plant the flowers, ask the kids questions about what makes the flowers grow, what do we need to make us grow spiritually, etc. One of the high points of a grandmother's life is to lead one of her grandchildren to Christ. Don't miss that opportunity!
Easter celebrates the very foundation of our faith! It is time to revel in what Jesus Christ did for us. He was crucified, buried, and rose again to buy our salvation. No one will ever love you as Jesus does. And that calls for a celebration.
I am always looking for fresh, new ways to emphasize the importance of Easter to my grandchildren, and I want to share some of the ways we do that – Southerland style.
1. Have an Easter Egg Hunt - but with a twist!
Easter egg hunts have been a part of the Easter celebration in most families for many years – mine included. We began having Easter egg hunts when our kids were able to walk. It was a simple routine. My husband and I hid the eggs, and Jered and Danna found them. As the kids grew older, the hiding places became more difficult.
And then we added a twist. We gave each child an empty egg and asked them to find something outside that reminded them of life. We then had a picnic where each child shared what was in their egg and why they chose that particular item – a conversation that easily led to a discussion about the cross and how Jesus Christ gave us life.
When I told my grandchildren that I was writing an article on fun things to do for Easter, they shared some great ideas. One way, in particular, stood out to me. One of my grandchildren went on an Easter egg hunt at a neighbor's house. Each child was given an egg and told to open it for a clue … literally one hint about where to find their Easter basket, after which they had an Easter egg hunt. What can you put in the eggs besides candy? A small toy - or money! We put quarters, nickels, dimes, and dollar bills in the eggs one year. To say that year was a success is an understatement. One more thought – we always hid a golden egg that had a five-dollar bill in it. Kids. Loved. It.
The point is to be creative.
Find an Easter picture. There are many free Easter pictures online that you can copy and print. Let each child color a different picture. While they are hunting eggs, cut each picture into several pieces, creating a puzzle. Then place the puzzle in an egg, write the child's name who colored it on the outside of the egg, and let the kids put one of them together. (Make sure they don't end up with the picture they colored.)
3. Plant Flowers
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Halfpoint
A great way to celebrate Easter is by celebrating life. Take your grandkids to the nearest nursery and let them pick one flower to plant in your front yard. Driving through MacDonald's and getting an ice cream cone on your way home is always a good idea. The kids need the energy to do some gardening. And so do you! As you plant the flowers, ask the kids questions about what makes the flowers grow, what do we need to make us grow spiritually, etc. One of the high points of a grandmother's life is to lead one of her grandchildren to Christ. Don't miss that opportunity!
4. Potato Sack Races
A fun outdoor activity is a sack race. Stop by your local grocery store to see if they have potato sacks. You can also find very inexpensive bags online. Google "Easter potato sack race," and many options will pop up. Potato sacks can easily be folded down to fit the various heights of your grandchildren. The winner of the race wins a large egg filled with Easter candy, a gift card to Target or Walmart or Barnes and Nobles – whatever your grandchildren love. Another great idea is to buy a gift card from MacDonald's for a large order of french fries. Do you see what I did there? I have never had a grandchild that did not love this idea.
5. Watch a Movie
You look for any opportunity to snuggle with your grandkids if you are like me. My 14-year-old grandkids still love to grab a blanket and snuggle with me on the couch. So, pop some popcorn and watch a movie! Below are a few suggestions for movies that I like.
- Easter Under Wraps
- Veggie Tales T'was the Night Before Easter
- It's the Easter Beagle– Charlie Brown
- The Adventures of Milo and Otis
Here is a list of 10 more Easter movies for the whole family.
6. Decorate Birdhouses to Welcome Spring
Stop by the nearest Michaels or your favorite arts and crafts store and buy a birdhouse for each grandchild. This project can get expensive, but I found birdhouses for 99 cents at Michaels. Check it out online here. Put "birdhouses" in the Search box, and many options will pop up. Michaels always has coupons available on their home page, and I love me some coupons!
Set aside one afternoon or Saturday to invite the grandkids over to decorate their birdhouse. Provide several decorating options: paint, markers, cutouts of bunnies, Easter eggs, etc. I had one grandchild who wanted a cotton ball for his bunny's tail. Anything Easter is awesome!
7. Have a Picnic
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/GMVozd
It is exciting to take your usual Easter dinner on the road. Ask each adult child to bring one or two of the dishes you usually prepare. Choose a beautiful spot to have your Easter lunch. Have one indoors if the weather doesn't permit you to have an outside picnic.
8. Dye Eggsp
Dying Easter eggs has been a tradition in our family for years – a fact that reminds me just how old I am. Ugh! But dying Easter eggs is so much fun. Dye kits of every kind line the shelves at almost every store where you shop. Before dying them, be sure to boil the eggs, avoiding a possible broken egg disaster. You do not want to go there. It is not pretty! Oh, the ways to dye an Easter egg. Here are a few ideas.
Mix 1/2 cup boiling water, one teaspoon vinegar, and 10 to 20 drops of food color in a cup to create the colors you want. Place each egg in the dye for about four minutes. Carefully remove each egg. Use a slotted spoon, wire egg holder, or tongs to add and remove eggs from the dye.
After your eggs are boiled, soak them in vinegar. Then fill a pan with shaving cream until it is about one inch thick. Drip food coloring all over the shaving cream. Pour the food coloring. The more you use, the more beautiful the eggs will be.
Place each hard-boiled egg on the surface of the shaving cream. Slowly roll the egg, coating the egg's shell. Then place each egg on a paper towel and let it dry for 15-20 minutes. Submerge each egg in cold water to remove any excess shaving cream. The water will remove any extra shaving cream but leave the colored design on the egg's shell. Next, clean each egg by gently patting the egg with a paper towel. Eggs dyed in shaving cream are not edible, but whipped cream-dyed eggs are safe to eat as long as they are stored in the refrigerator.
9. Play Easter Games
Pin the Tail on the Bunny
This idea is a simple but fun spinoff of "Pin the Tail on the Donkey." Cut out a bunny picture and attach it to a door, wall, etc. Instead of using a pin, try double-sided tape. You can also use several cotton balls glued together to make the bunny's tail. Blindfold each child. Turn them around three times and see where that bunny tail ends up.
Hot Easter Egg
A great way to celebrate Easter is by playing a "hot potato" game with an Easter egg! First, you have to play some Easter music in the background while kids pass the egg around like a hot potato. The aim is for them only to stop passing it when the music stops! Then, when the music stops, the person holding the egg does a funny dance.
A spoon-egg race is an activity in which your grandkids have to balance an egg on a spoon and race with it to the finishing line. You can divide the children into teams creating a relay race, or the children can race individually. If the egg falls off the spoon, the child has to start over. You can also change this rule to allow the child to stop, put the egg back on the utensil and continue the race. Other options include having the racers tie their hands behind their backs.
10. Guess the Number of Jellybeans
A simple but fun idea. Fill a jar with jellybeans and ask each grandchild to guess how many there are in the jar. They then write their guess on a piece of paper and their name and place it in a basket. The winner gets a prize of some kind, like a bag of jellybeans or a jar filled with jellybeans.
11. Who Am I?
Put names of persons, places, animals, or songs in an easter egg. Then, divide into two teams and have the kids pick an egg. Each child draws an egg is inside one of the eggs. In sixty seconds, the team with the most correct guesses receives a prize of a candy bar, a bag of mixed chocolates, whatever your grandchildren will love.
And that's it! I hope you have found at least one new idea to include in your Easter celebration with your grandkids. But remember - keep the resurrection at the forefront of your celebration this year!
He is risen!
He is risen indeed!
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/DGLimages
Mary Southerland is also the Co-founder of Girlfriends in God, a conference and devotion ministry for women. Mary’s books include, Hope in the Midst of Depression, Sandpaper People, Escaping the Stress Trap, Experiencing God’s Power in Your Ministry, 10-Day Trust Adventure, You Make Me So Angry, How to Study the Bible, Fit for Life, Joy for the Journey, and Life Is So Daily. Mary relishes her ministry as a wife, a mother to their two children, Jered and Danna, and Mimi to her six grandchildren – Jaydan, Lelia, Justus, Hudson, Mo, and Nori.