getting ready for Easter

Here are some craft and baking ideas to help celebrate Easter with the links to the original posts! This week I will be getting some brand new ideas together too. I can’t believe that we are almost at Easter already when Christmas doesn’t seem all that long ago.

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Easter Nests – recipe is here

Easter Wreath is here

Easter/Spring wreath

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Easter Garden is here

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Salt dough Easter Egg Decorations are here


Palm Sunday craft

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This year Palm Sunday is 29 March.  The story is from Luke 19, Mark 11, John 12 and Matthew 21. It is the beginning of the end of Jesus’ life on the earth. In Mark’s gospel we read that ‘they (Jesus and his disciples and followers) were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who foloowed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was going to happen to him saying, ‘See, we are going to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priestsand the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.’ Mark 10:32-34.

These must have been difficult things for Jesus to talk about. The disciples don’t appear to have really understood  – James and John are bothered about where they will get to sit in heaven!

But despite the fact that Jesus knows he is going to Jerusalem to die he stops to help a man who is calling out to him. Bartimaeus is sitting by the roadside and shouting out for help. And Jesus stops and helps.

And then the group arrive at the outskirts of Jerusalem and Jesus sends two disciples to fetch a donkey. He rides into Jerusalem at a time when the place would have been packed with people there to celebrate Passover. They welcome him – laying clothes on the floor and waving palm branches calling Hosanna.

Ideas for telling the story to children

For young children it would be good to ask them to shout ‘Hosanna’ at the right time in the story and wave palm branches that they have made.

If you use a story bag include a toy/model donkey, a cloak to lay on the floor and a palm branch.

For older children make the connection with Old Testament prophecy as highlighted in Matthew’s account. It’s also useful for older children to have a timeline of the Easter events.

Craft 

A couple of palm leaf crafts – a suncatcher and a collage. Both use paper plates. The sun catcher is a little more tricky and has tacky back and glitter! The palm leaf collage can be cut out and a pipe cleaner attached so it can be waved during the story.

Older children could design a sun catcher and cut out the shape and attach the tacky back etc.

Large+Palm+Leaf  – PDF file

Small+Palm+Leaf – PDF file – template for palm leaf sun catcher

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Easter decorations – eggs and more eggs

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Children of almost any age can decorate these simple egg shapes. We used them at toddler group today, but they would be great for older children who would be able to do more intricate designs or pictures.

To make them you need to start with a salt dough. This is very easy. You need 2 cups plain flour, I cup of salt and I cup of water (add this gradually as you may not need it all). Kneed the dough on a floured surface and roll out to about 4mm thick. As you do this keep making sure it isn’t sticking to the work top. I used a template and cut around it. You could also use an egg shaped biscuit cutter. If you are making hanging decorations you need to make a hole for the thread about 1cm away from the edge. Then leave the shapes to dry. They will air dry, but it will take a long time (48 hours plus) or put them in a low oven, not more than 100C, for up to 4 hours. (they can burn so keep an eye on them). Once dry you can paint them or leave them plain for children to decorate.

We used felt tips to decorate but you could also glue coloured paper on to them and add glitter! A covering of PVA glue at the end will add a shine – but as you can see in the pictures the colours may run a bit.

I loved this craft and my children had a really good time using up the left over eggs.

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Our Easter Story in toddler group focused on people seeing Jesus alive again. We reviewed what we had learnt about our eyes first and then the story was told about Jesus dying but coming back to life again.

At the end of the morning every child received a chocolate egg in a stripey bag. Yum!


Palm Sunday – Palm leaf craft

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Easter is nearly here! In toddler group we have been learning about being ‘Wonderfully made’ and have already talkied about our mouths that shout, whisper and taste’ and our ears that can ‘hear shouts and whispers’. The Bible story that we are using to develop this is the Palm Sunday story that we read in Luke 19:29-40, Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-10, John 12:12-15. In these accounts people shouted ‘Hosanna!’ and everyone heard. The story will be told simply and the children will be encouraged to shout ‘Hosanna’ in the appropiate places!

The above craft is palm leaf shapes for the children to decorate using chalk, felt tip and wax crayons. I prefer wax crayons rather than the plastic variety as they blend and make a better mark on the paper.

The word Hosanna means ‘Save please’ and also ‘Salvation has come.’ Take a look at what John Piper has to say about Hosanna!

 


Jar of perfume craft – mary anoints Jesus

There are Bible stories that tell us what happened just prior to Jesus’ death and ressurection. One of these stories tells us about mary annointing Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume.

As the children had been learning that we are ‘Wonderfully Made’ we started with the familiar – we thanked God for our noses and how they help us to smell (we did the flower craft for this). Then we moved from the familiar to something new – the story of mary and the expensive perfume she used to anoint Jesus. The story is found in John 12: 1-8 where we read that, ‘the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.’ When you tell the story have a bottle of perfume to show.

The craft was very simple – a shelf and an assortment of perfumes bottles to stick onto it. You could spray these with perfume beforehand (before the children arrive). I have shown what the craft would be like using colour printing/photocopying and black and white. I did go around the outlines of the bottles with marker pen so they stand out more and I cut them out in a bubble – but they need a flat bottom to sit on the shelf!!

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