The very first Easter (part 2)

firsteasterSorry for the delay in posting, we’ve had tonsillitis, flu and a sick bug in the last 2 weeks, plus we’re trying to sell the house, so we’re trying to declutter (something I find very hard as junk is so useful) so I’ve been falling back on just dragging out the Easter sensory boxes and cloud dough, instead of making up new activities. Though we did make racing cars out of cardboard boxes, but it wasn’t really bloggable. Anyway, moving on, I wanted to do something else Eastery, but focusing more on the story this time. I don’t actually have this book pictured, so for mine I read selected bits out of “The Beginner’s Bible” again, but I found this version of just the Easter Story, so I thought for people who don’t have The Beginner’s Bible, and want to pick up a copy of the Easter story this seems great, and only 99p. I have read reviews of it, people seem to like it and I am assuming it would contain all of the relevant bits of the Easter story.

Today’s activity is story sequencing. If you want to do this activity and it’s not around Easter, you can use any story with an obvious sequence. Bible stories or traditional tales work well, e.g. Daniel and The Lion’s den, Jonah, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella. You just need to be sure that the elements in the story really only make sense in one order. For example I wouldn’t do this for a story such as “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” as there’s not really any reason for the ordering of grass, mud, water, the idea of the activity is for them to work on following the logical progression. Or in the case of Bible stories, to be learning what happened.

Preparation:

Draw pictures for each of the key points of the story, depending on the age/ability of your children, include some or all of the following (I did 7), I cannot draw, but your kids won’t mind. Just do your best. You will need several copies of each picture, so either photocopy, or redraw them:eastermaze 003

Donkey
Palm leaves
Bread and wine (Last supper)
Garden or Jesus praying (I just drew flowers)
Soldiers
Leaders condemning Jesus
Cross
Empty Tomb
Jesus with his friends (or with holes in his hands)
Jesus ascending to heaven.

eastermaze 011Set up a maze, this will take a long time, I did it the night before while the kids were sleeping, otherwise make sure they’re at preschool, napping etc. I used megablocks as I thought it would make it more fun, brightly coloured and more engaging. The big drawback of it is that it’s easily knocked apart, if you have more bricks you could make it a bit stronger. A more robust way to build a maze would be using masking tape, I’ll try this another time to see if they enjoy it as much.

At each decision point in the maze put a picture, the correct one leading you towards the centre of the maze (where I put chocolate rabbits), the incorrect one taking you the wrong way.

Ensure that you have a full set of the pictures left over (i.e. not in the maze) for retelling the story.

As usual, read the story first. If you’re using the full bible, skip the bits that aren’t relevant to the Easter story. As you are telling the story, show the pictures that you have drawn, to ensure that they understand what each of your pictures represents.eastermaze 012

Take them to the maze, explain that they have to find their way to the chocolate by retelling the story. I gave the option of Jumbles  walking through, or pushing a car through, he chose to walk, if doing with masking tape I’d probably encourage him to drive a car round the maze. This activity was beyond Bean, she got a bit cross when we tried to lead her through the maze, but Jumbles loved it and redid it 6 more times (hiding different things at the end of the maze so that he could find them again) before deciding to destroy the maze, given his love of destroying block constructions, I was amazed it lasted as long as it did. I found that the first couple of times through, he went wrong a few times and was confusing events. However, by the 3rd time he was accurately retelling the story, using the pictures as memory cues.

External Links:

Buy “The Very First Easter”

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The Easter Story (Bible)

bibleEaster fun today. Yes, I know it’s a little early, but I wanted you to have time to set your own activities up. We used “The Beginner’s Bible” p446-458 to tell the Easter story, but any child friendly bible will do. I like this one, because it has great artwork and very simple text. You could also watch a video online such as this one

The Easter story can be a little hard to teach to small children. The concept of death is either alien to them, or quite difficult. However, I like to focus on the positive of Easter, that it shows God’s amazing love for us, because His son came and died for us. Plus of course, the amazing positive, that he didn’t stay dead, he came back to life.

For activities, I used items associated with Easter, then talked about how they link to the story because they symbolise life.

Box 1 – sensory treasure hunt:easter 001

I shredded a load of tissue paper and simply put it in a box with loads of Easter tat from the pound shop: glittery eggs, bunnies, chicks etc.easter 003 Fun exploration, hide and seek game.

Box 2 – Posting:

I put loads of different types of eggs and pom poms in a box with tubes, egg boxes and straws (for blowing the pom poms around on the lid. This box has actually been going strong since last Easter. Every so often Jumbles asks to play with ieastert, it’s our favourite homemade activity. It may not look impressive, but believe me, if your kids are like mine, you will get hours of time out of this box! Though, it does create a lot of tidying up too. I have had to restock it as a lot of the eggs have been damaged over time. The poorer quality pic shows the box last year.

Box 3 – Mark Making:

I recycled the salt tray from the Noah activity, but this time I put coloured breadcrumbs (also reused from Noah) in, along with spoons, scoops and eggs to fill. I wanted the breadcrumbs as they’re colourful, if you don’t want the hassle, just pour salt or sand in instead.

easter 004

External Links:

Watch the Easter Story
Buy The Beginner’s Bible