It’s officially now Spring, and whether the weather entirely agrees with that statement or not, Easter is undoubtedly fast approaching. I have many plans this holiday to spend time in my favourite brunch venue, and we’re definitely going to be making the most of our National Trust for Scotland membership.
I have been giving some thought as to how to mark Easter with kids. Katie is very excited about the concept of the Easter Bunny visiting but I’m keen for in not to become another Christmas! Obviously, we’re going to be attending one of the Cadbury Egg Hunts the National Trust for Scotland are once again hosting. But I’ve also been keen to talk about the wider meaning with the kids too.
Easter was always a big deal when I was growing up and I enjoy marking the occasion with my family. Whilst we may not be frequent church-atendees, I still like to focus on the meaning of Easter. Although that certainly isn’t always straightforward with small children.
I recently shared Katie’s take on Easter over on my Instagram. For anyone who missed it, our conversation went like this:
Me: Why do we celebrate Easter?
Katie: We celebrate Joseph.
Me: Do you mean Jesus?
Katie: Yes! Jesus turned into a big boy!
Me: Oh! What happened to him then?
Katie: He died…. he went into a tunnel to sleep with an angel but came back because he wanted to marry Mary!
Given that I actually teach Religion this was a pretty embarrassing turn of events. I can definitely understand the tunnel thing but I’ve since set out to amend this state of affairs.
I’m still not convinced that young children can really understand Easter. From the Christian perspective, I think it’s more important for them to get the message that God loves them. But from a secular point of view, I don’t think Easter has to be entirely about chocolate. There’s loads of new life around – it’s nice to focus on the positives of that too.
So for Easter this year, I’ve focused on finding some books that have some positive messages…
The Bunny Who Found Easter – Charlotte Zolotow
This book is firmly in the secular camp, but is a very sweet message about family and new life. A bunny who is all alone, hunts through the seasons looking for ‘Easter’ – the time of year that bunnies appear. The overriding message of the book is that happiness and contentment is found in a loving family – whatever that may look like. Whilst I think it’s important to try and help Katie understand what the Christian Easter story is about. I’ve been focusing more on this book as I think the message is much easier to grasp for someone her age.
The Promised One – Antonia Woodward
Aside from being beautifully illustrated, this is a really gentle telling of the first Easter. It’s certainly not gory in any way and I hope has set a few things straight for Katie!
The only difficulty I’ve really found is explaining to her why Jesus could come back from the dead but no one else can. It’s tough because she is acutely aware that both her Grandfathers have now passed away. I’ve tried to explain that it’s because they’re living somewhere else but of course, she then wants to visit or send post!
Can you say it too? Quack! Quack! – Sebastian Braun
Not to neglect Thomas, we’ve also been reading ‘Can you say it too? Quack! Quack!’ This book was a gift from my Mum and Thomas absolutely adores reading it. Katie has never been particularly ‘bookish’ but Thomas will frequently run into a room screaming “Boooook!” whilst waving one wildly above his head.
This book has 5 different ‘lift the flap’ pages of countryside animals to encourage little ones to spot, name and mimic noises. The colours are too garish and the illustration is really nice. I’m quite tempted to get the ‘Roar! Roar!’ addition as I’m sure Thomas would adore that one too!
How do you talk to your kids about Easter? Any ideas how to talk to Katie about death? I’d gladly listen to any advice!
PS – I hope you’ve entered my competition to win National Trust for Scotland Membership (and a Cadbury’s gift hamper) – but also hope that you’ll be heading to one of the events too!