Depending on your religious preference, Easter can mean so many things to so many people. The ringing of a new Spring season or celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Or both! It is absolutely one of my favorite times of the year and I certainly don't need to search my brain for new and fun activities for the kids because Easter is chock full of wonderful events and celebrations in just about every community.
If you are a part of a church community Easter can be such a special time for kids when they go all out with fun activities that they both enjoy and learn from. Sometimes the meaning of Easter can be a hard subject for little kids because it brings up themes like death and well, torture really. Some pretty dark stuff. At the same time, you may not want to keep Easter as something that is all about bunnies either. It certainly can be a complicated conversation but some great tips are to just explore some major themes and connect that with the themes of spring. Death and rebirth, brokenness and healing, sin and salvation. All the new budding flowers and plants coming up are a great way to explain the comings of spring and the true meaning of Easter. The idea of new life is a major theme of Easter and in my opinion, is the easiest to understand for small children.
Before you discount the Easter bunny as being pagan foolishness, the mammal is an ancient symbol of fertility and new life. There it is again, new life. The bunny, new life, spring, it all ties in. What about those Easter eggs the bunny supposedly delivers? Some say Easter eggs represent the emergence from the tomb / resurrection. Decorating eggs also dates back to the 13 century where people would decorate this formerly, Lenten -forboden food during Lent and then eat them on Easter as part of the celebration.
In other cultures, Easter involves some darker and more serious traditions, But the underlying theme seems to still be a welcoming of the spring season and a purification of the body and soul. Sometimes modern culture seems to water down the original traditional celebrations but if you just take some time to meditate on what this holiday really means and represents to you, you can soon find an explanation for your children that can mean more than a basket full of toys and candy.
And if you are not Christian, or not religious at all, spring is still something to celebrate! For us Midwesterners who have been stuck in the winter doldrums, we can finally enjoy the outdoors again and if that isn't a reason to go out and do fun, spring related activities, I don't know what is.
We wish you all a very "Hoppy" Easter and a glorious spring season.