Parenting: Explaining Easter to small kids

The Easter holidays are fast approaching so naturally thoughts are  forming as to how best to celebrate this festival with the kids. As with Christmas, I’ve been concerned that Katie knows a bit too much about chocolate and bunny rabbits, rather than the actual meaning of Easter.

Whilst we’re not a particularly devout family, we do attend church from time to time and I do actually have a degree in Theology. But how on earth do you explain Easter to a three year-old? Especially a three year-old who sobbed her heart out through the entirety of ‘Tangled’ because the bad woman took the baby and tried to hurt people.

Can you imagine how this conversation would go?

“So… do you remember about Jesus?”
“Mary rode on a donkey and had a baby!”
“Yes! That Jesus! He grew up to be a really good man. But then some bad people came to arrest him.”
“The Kings bought him presents!”
“Yes… but he grew up and he was taken away by bad people.”
“Why?”
“Well because they weren’t very nice.”
“Why?”
” I think they were probably jealous. But they were so bad that they killed him and he died.”
“At the hospital?”
“No, he they nailed him to a tree so he died through blood loss, suffocation and exhaustion… oh and he was tortured and mocked along the way.”

For a child fearful of not only Tangled, but Frozen, the Postman Pat movie, and even Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures… I can’t see this going well.

However, that’s not to say that I don’t want to focus on the underlying message of Easter.

The whole tenement of the Christian faith lays upon the idea that Christ died for the sake of humanity – ‘so that they may not perish but have eternal life.’ The focus here is upon LIFE not death.

Right now, at this point in my kids lives I see little need to focus upon the idea of sin, death or anything but love and life.

When I was growing up Easter was probably bigger than Christmas in our household. There were many Church services to attend but each one was so different – from the excitement of waving leaves on Palm Sunday to marching round the town for the ‘walk of witness’ on Good Friday.

I’m not sure how common this is but several streets in the town would be closed to traffic as all the church came together to walk through the streets before attending a single church service forgetting about any division of denomination. It was pretty cool.

As a young child I’m pretty sure the content of the services went over my head entirely, but I can remember the fun of Easter Egg hunts and the buzz on Easter morning far more than anything else. However, all this excitement translated into much more as I became older.

I can also remember decorating the Easter Garden. I can remember creating (and learning about) pictures of the events leading up to Good Friday. I’ll never forget being gobsmacked watching the vicar wash the feet of parishioners.

My point is that Easter is a gradual thing – you don’t have to learn about it all in one go. For non-Christians you may not want to embrace this side of things at all. Either way, I think this year I want to focus on creating an exciting time for my kids that centres on the idea of new life and the hope that it brings.

I have many a craft and activity already forming in my mind (so watch this space) but without a doubt – I want to have a tree!

Why does Christmas have to have a monopoly on trees? I want an Easter tree, celebrating life, decorated with eggs.

But what sort of eggs?

Personalised Classic Ceramic Hanging Easter Egg by KatieIslaThere is no reason an Easter devoid of crucifixes needs to be replaced with foil wrapped, synthetic hideousness when personalised ceramic eggs are on the horizon!

Personalised Classic Ceramic Hanging Easter Egg by KatieIsla on Etsy Crafted by the lovely Gayle MacKinley, I can’t imagine how these would not fail to delight both discerning adults and small children – especially those excited to see there name on special things!

Personalised Classic Ceramic Hanging Easter Egg by KatieIsla on Etsy

Gayle lives in Thornhill near Stirling with her two wee girls, Katie (great name) and Isla, and her husband Grant. I have no idea where she finds the time to craft these eggs but I think she’s succeeded in creating objects of absolute beauty. Please do check them out on Gayle’s Etsy page.

PS. Photos by Anna Moffat Photography – also on Instagram and Facebook.

PPS. This is not a sponsored post – I just think the eggs are really pretty!

Please do pin this for later:

How to explain Easter to small children - Edinburgh Life

Follow:

10 Comments

  1. March 10, 2016 / 2:23 pm

    I’m Catholic (though really more of a non-practicing one much to my mother’s disappointment). We used to go to church every now and then. T knows about Jesus and that Mary is his mum. At the moment, it stops there. When she’s older, maybe I can explain more about Easter to her. Like your daughter, Tangled also had a big effect on my mine. There are still scenes there that just makes her want to hide. Love those eggs by the way 🙂 x

  2. March 10, 2016 / 7:18 pm

    My daughter asked me today ‘What’s Easter’ and I was stuck as to how to answer – she’s also three, and isn’t being brought up Christian, which adds a whole new angle to the dilemma. I like the idea of focusing on new life though, so thank you!

    • March 11, 2016 / 8:57 pm

      I think Easter is inescapable given we still call the holidays Easter and have days off around it etc. But I think new life and hope are things people can talk about Christian or not.

  3. March 10, 2016 / 7:50 pm

    Oh I love the eggs! I think there is plenty of time for Pickle to learn about Easter in school – if he asks me, I will try and explain. I am a Christian but hate the ‘we are all sinners’ part! Kaz x

  4. March 10, 2016 / 8:05 pm

    I love the eggs and they are a far better alternative too chocolate lol I worry about what my children are taught they go to a very religious catholic primary school, only really because its the local catholic school and the one me and there dad went too so its the obvious choice, but a lot of the bible is like horror stories, if it was a film they would prob have at least a rating of 15 yet they teach 5 year olds about crucifixion x

  5. March 10, 2016 / 8:37 pm

    I love these eggs! I agree it’s a difficult one to talk through with a toddler, I know my eldest would just not be able to cope with it and the questions would be endless. x

    • March 11, 2016 / 8:56 pm

      Aren’t they great? Totally affordable as well!

      I’m not even sure how much of it my ten year-old understands – but think my three year-old would just be in shock.

  6. March 10, 2016 / 11:26 pm

    I haven’t even attempted the tackle the Christian elements of Easter with my little ones. Tried to explain the rabbits & eggs to eldest (still under 3), and she wasn’t really sure why I was telling her even that, though she grasped the chocolate aspect! Christmas means more to her. We’re going to a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party over Easter, which she is more clued up on so she currently thinks that’s what Easter is!

    • March 11, 2016 / 8:55 pm

      Sounds like fun! We have an egg hunt and tea party planned too! Not so much new life focused but certainly fun 🙂

  7. March 11, 2016 / 12:21 am

    Lol yes imagine your poor girl would be terrified! I like the personalized ceramic eggs it makes a refreshing change!

Leave a Reply