Easter Traditions and Plans: Starting a Holy Week study

Our family just finished a low-key spring break at home, and now it is time to prepare for Easter!

This year I have decided to take another step  to make our Easter a little more focused on the Savior. Inspired by this post, we are going to hold our own “Holy Week”. Starting today we will be reading about the events that took place during the last week of the life of Jesus Christ. We are using the summaries and scriptures that were printed in The Friend in April 2011. To do this I printed off the summary for each day on spring colored cardstock, laminated for durability, and then taped the summary for each day on to one of my kitchen cupboards. As we do the readings each day, we will add a corresponding picture from our Gospel Art Kit. We will do our readings during evening dinner time.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has just released a new Easter campaign on mormon.org: Because He Lives.

“Jesus Christ lived. He walked the Holy Land, working miracles and teaching truth. Then He was crucified. But His death was not the end. Because of His Resurrection, we will live again. Because of His sacrifice, we can rise above sin to experience true joy. Because He lives, we can find His help and healing every day of our lives.”

Here is a lovely new video message which I plan to share with my family today as a start to our Holy Week.

The site also contains a brief summary of each day in the last week of the Savior’s life, which I plan to incorporate in our Holy Week study.

On Easter Sunday we will conclude with this Bible Video: He Is Risen.

I have always struggled a little bit with the idea of Easter baskets and how best to incorporate that into our family. I like the idea I have seen around the web of “Secular Saturday and Sacred Sunday”. In the past I have done a family basket and included things like sidewalk chalk, bubbles, coloring books and stickers. This year I don’t feel like we are really in need of any more stuff, and with a birthday and General Conference this week, I am opting to simplify things a bit.

I found this cute Easter Jelly Bean Prayer at The Idea Room, so this small gift is what my children will wake up to on Easter Sunday.

This year I discovered a very nice picture book called In The Garden, by Caralyn Buehner. It appears that the book is out of print, but I was luckily able to snag a copy from my library. It presents the story of the Atonement in a simple way for children to understand with beautiful illustrations.

In between watching General Conference we will decorate our eggs, and do an egg hunt (some with pictures of Jesus Christ cut out of Ensign magazines, some with coins, and some with candy).

Dinner will be our traditional ham, potatoes, green beans, and rolls, with Angel Food Cake and strawberries and cream to finish things off!

We usually do this Easter FHE lesson (with eggs that are filled with items representing significant events in the atonement and resurrection). We will likely do it the day after Easter this year.

Looking for more ideas?

We Talk of Christ, We Rejoice in Christ has a great list of Christ Centered Easter Crafts and Activities. Maybe another year we will try the Easter All Week booklet.

The Chickabug Blog posted a cute bunny and chick fingerprint craft. This would make a fun activity to entertain the little ones as we listen to General Conference.

It’s been awhile since I have prepped any lunchbox notes for my kiddos, and Kiki and Company has a cute Easter Bunny laugh edition.

Books for Spring and Easter

I know that this post is really overdue. I meant to post it back in March, but sometimes this is just how things roll. In any case, maybe it will help some of you for next year.

By now you have probably figured out that I like to read books to my children that tie in with a theme. Whenever we go to the library we always find some of the greats (Mo Willems, Amy Krause Rosenthal, Jan Thomas, Lauren Thompson, etc), and sometimes a few odd picks that my kids grab off the shelves. But if there is a holiday or special event on the calendar, you can bet that I am putting those books on hold to reserve for us.

Here are some of the books we enjoyed during the Easter and spring season. For me, spring is also a time for bunnies and ducklings, so a few of those titles are included.


 Fancy Nancy’s Elegant Easter

Ollie’s Easter Eggs

Pooh’s Easter Egg Hunt

Duck & Goose: Here Comes the Easter Bunny

Bunny’s Easter Egg


My Garden

Chicken’s Aren’t the Only Ones: This is a really fun book about all of the different kinds of animals that come from eggs (dinosaurs  and butterflies and spiders included). We had a really fun preschool day with this book, inspired by Preschool Alphabet.


Have You Seen My Duckling?

Peep and Ducky

Make Way for Ducklings: a favorite in our permanent collection!

Lucky Ducklings: a true story about baby ducklings who fall in a drain and their heroic rescue

Duck & Goose


Mouse’s First Spring: I love this Mouse’s First…series of books by Lauren Thompson

A Book of Seasons

Spring is Here

And then it’s Spring


Runaway Bunny


Home for a Bunny

My Friend Rabbit

Bunny’s Noisy Book by Margaret Wise Brown

The ABC Bunny by Wanda Gag

It’s Spring by Samantha Berger

Frog and Toad all Year by Arnold Lobel: Frog and Toad stories are sweet tales of friendship and everyday adventure that we read often at our house!

Plastic Egg Creative Creatures

“Can we do an Easter craft?” asked the Ant Bug.

“Uhhh…sure. Let’s see…” And I hopped onto makeandtakes.com, hoping for some quick inspiration.

I was thrilled when I found Marie’s Plastic Easter Egg Bunny Craft post. We had plenty of plastic eggs lying around (literally, they were all over the living room floor after the weekend egg hunts!), and so here are the creatures my children came up with. The activity took zero preparation, and kept my children entertained for about 25 minutes. That’s my kind of activity!I love how the first egg they decorated resembled a more typical Easter bunny, but each creature got more creative with multiple googly eyes and colorful pom pom noses and wacky antlers/antennae.

What are you doing with your leftover plastic eggs?

Here are a few books on our Easter reading list (so I can remember them next year!)

Minerva Louise and the Colorful Eggs by Janet Morgan Stoeke

We discovered this chicken at Christmas time (think Amelia Bedelia, but a chicken) and we have been delighted with her adventures.

Happy Easter, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff

We will always be fans of the “If you give a …” series, and this cute little board book was perfect for my toddler.

A lesson for Easter

The theme in Primary for this month is Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. I’ve been preparing my Sharing Time lesson for this Easter Sunday, and I think I will do some variation of using Easter eggs, the Gospel Art picture kit, and symbolic items to teach the children about the Savior’s atonement and resurrection. Hailey shared a great lesson plan at Little LDS Ideas.

To conclude the lesson I plan to share the following film:

But I also really like this newest film:

In our family we traditionally have an Easter themed FHE lesson the week before Easter, to put us in the right frame of mind to remember the real reason behind Easter. This year we followed the lesson plan from A Year of FHE.

FHE quick tip: I have discovered that the best way to keep the attention of my children during FHE is to gather at the table, instead of on the couch. The living room leaves too much space for jumping or running or dancing around, whereas at the table they have to be more contained. Then I usually give them a coloring page to work on while we discuss the lesson. Coloring keeps their hands busy, and their ears (and heart and mind) more receptive to the message.

Our Easter celebrations are simple. We will have a nice family dinner on Sunday (always a baked ham, this year with red potatoes and green beans), followed by an Easter egg hunt outdoors. In my attempt to keep the day focused on the real reason for Easter, many of the eggs that we hide contain a small picture of Jesus Christ. I cut the pictures out of old Ensign magazines, fold them up and save them for future years. I still include small candy/treats in the eggs, but the pictures of the Savior are my little reminders.

How do you celebrate Easter?