As a sequel to Easter Traditions … I present Easter Fun and Games!
My daughter says I write too much. She just wants to get down to the nitty gritty and skip all the blah, blah, blah. But I like to kind of open the door for you with a nice introduction and kind of ease you into my idea, before I just hit you with it. Maybe some of you like the story part? It’s the story part that knits our hearts to each other, right? Okay, maybe not. So here’s the deal. If you like the blah, blah, blah, keep reading. If not, please skip on down to the nitty gritty (labeled) and we’ll catch up with each other another time, when you’re in less of a hurry and we can chat a while.
So, I kind of questioned myself if I should just add this post to my other Easter post, or make this a whole new and separate one. The thing is, THIS Easter was so far superior to all the others I’ve ever invented over the years, that I felt like it needed its own space. Honestly, it feels almost inspired – like there is no way I could have come up with it on my own. It turned out as a heavyweight title belt winning knockout of Easters. A game four World Series winning home run of Easters. A Super Bowl winning touchdown in overtime of Easters. To think such a hit of a potlatch could have conceived in my frail noggin compelled me to blog about it.
It’s funny; I often wonder, somewhere in the middle of one of my writing fits, that with all the ideas busting a move out here on Pinterest, Google, Etsy, and a millions blogs, if there is really anything new under the sun, and if by chance there might be, how on earth would anyone ever even know? Click, click, click… scroll up, scroll down, under and around, up and over, through the pin hole doors, down yonder a mile down on a psychedelic track with a million switchbacks, whoops, what was that, go back, to this one, lonely, little, secluded post in a random cul-de-sac of lower middle-class cyberspace-ville. Boy! It will make your brain hurt thinking about it, won’t it? I guess this is why I decided that I just couldn’t start its young life buried in another old blog that nobody sees.
Oh well my dear reader, if you’ve happened to stumble upon this blog post today, it’s probably a miracle, and as such, I pray you know that it is my acquisitive aspiration to have a worthy offering for you. Just imagining you and your sweet little family having the same blast in your home that my sweet little family had in mine is the most glorious daydream in the world.
May God shower His kindness upon you and me as we bless our families with fun and feasting, and may He bless our darling babies with dearly cherished memories to last their whole lives through, may He knit all our hearts together, and show us the Father’s extravagant love for His people … through FELLOWSHIP and FEASTING … by our callow human hands!
More blah…blah…blah, but this is important
I keep calling it Easter, but you may call it Resurrection Sunday. It’s the day Christians celebrate the empty tomb and our risen SAVIOR! Why is that a big deal? Well, because by Jesus rising from the dead, He proves that we all shall rise from the dead – some to eternal life, and others to eternal damnation (a second death). The Lord Jesus rose from the grave to go into His heavenly kingdom, and to sprinkle the blood He shed here on earth onto the mercy-seat in heaven – the Holy of Holies. His blood makes atonement for our sins in the Father’s eyes … IF we accept Jesus as our Savior, and allow Him to be the King of our hearts and lives.
Allllllrighty then, finally, the “NITTY GRITTY!”
I like to start our Easter celebration the night before. I have my little kiddos come just before dusk and plant “PROMISE SEEDS” all over in my yard. I usually just use jelly beans as the seeds, but this year I found this crazy perfect candy:
I gave each kid several little bags of this candy, helped them open the packets, and as they were planting told them the Bible story about how when we sow gospel seeds (tell people about Jesus and the Easter story), some of those seeds will fall on rocky soil (which means the person has a hard heart and aren’t interested at all), some falls on the wayside (which could mean the person has friends that are a distracting influence, might tease them and talk them out of listening to us) , some falls among thorns and thistles (which means the person has too many other things on their mind to really pay attention to what we are saying), and some on good soil (which means they are happy to hear what we have to say and want to know more) (Matthew 13:3-8). The seeds are our words and actions, and the types of soils are the conditions of people’s hearts. If the seed falls on good soil, the Bible says we will reap a harvest. We also have to be careful with the words we use, because some of our words are life-giving and some kill. If we sow the wind (which would be slander and gossip), the Bible says we shall reap the whirlwind (which is the same wind returning back on us with fury and without mercy). We reap what we sow.
Once they’ve planted their seeds I let them take a watering can and go around and water each other’s seeds. This is a good object lesson for the scripture that says, “One plants, another waters, but God gives the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6-8).
The next morning when our grandchildren arrived after church, I first took pictures of them in their beautiful Sunday best, and then I handed each child a basket to go gather in their harvests. We walked to the back door, where voila, they discovered what happened to those seeds they sowed:
Their little promise seeds grew into Easter eggs strewn everywhere – Just as little chicks burst forth from their eggs in the spring and leave an empty shell behind, so did Jesus burst forth from the grave, leaving it empty. Eggs are the symbol we’ve chosen to tell the story of the resurrection of Christ. (Of course grandma and grandpa placed those eggs and we are happy to tell them so in a year or two).
After the kids gathered all the eggs that they could find outside, our family sat down to Sunday dinner. The unopened plastic eggs were set to the side and saved for when we were finished eating.
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If you are interested…. every Easter dinner features the same menu: a glazed ham, some sort of potato casserole, a cold, crunchy, sweet pea salad, and dessert. Click this link (Easter Traditions) for the recipes. This year dessert was a white coconut cake. I always make plenty so we can pull out leftovers for later in the day.
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As our meal sat steaming before us, the grandchildren said the blessing, they also sang it, and it is always precious to behold.
“Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” Mark 10:15 KJV
Done Eating, Time for FUN!
Inside each of the plastic eggs were little slips of paper, and each slip was part of a game/activity for the kids and grown-ups to participate in. After sharing our wonderful feast, we all gathered outside on the patio. First we let one kid open one egg and do what their slip of paper instructed. And then it was the next kid’s turn to pick an egg from their basket and do what it said. The kids took turns back and forth opening eggs. Sometimes the slips instructed them to do an activity alone, other times it involved both kids, and often times it involved the whole stinking lot of us.
These are the Games contained in this year’s eggs:
- Resurrection Eggs: Twelve of the eggs contained a little trinket inside that corresponds to a part of the Easter story. They sell these egg sets at Christian stores, and online. Whenever one of these eggs was opened, I read aloud the story from the book that corresponded to the trinket.
- Guess the Picture: Several of the eggs contained a piece of paper folded up with a picture printed on it. The picture was a close up of something familiar to them, but not immediately recognizable (you’ll see these a little further down on this page). First the kids had to work together to figure out what it was a picture of … and then they had to dash off to find the objects hidden at that spot. In each location tokens were hidden (a different colored token for each kid that matched the colors of their Easter Baskets – one kid had green, the other yellow, you could add pink, purple, blue, orange, etc.). (The tokens can be painted poker chips, buttons, play Monopoly money, painted clothespins, etc.). When they found their tokens, and returned with them, they then were told they could use them to purchase one surprise each from grandmas prize bin (I had a stash for each kid of the normal kinds of things what would be featured in an Easter basket: candy, small toys, small games, cookies, coloring books, story books, stuffed animals, jewelry and hair things, etc. and as they gave me their tokens I pulled surprises out of each sack.).
- Binoculars I-Spy: Inside four eggs were tiny plastic binoculars and a sticker of an object (dove, cross, empty tomb, Jesus fish). When they got one of these, they had to use grandma’s binoculars to find the match for that object somewhere in the far parts of the yard. I had the large-sized matching objects tacked up around the yard – a cardboard dove was tacked to a tree trunk in the far end of the yard, a Jesus cross was pinned to the fence on the far other end of the yard, a tomb cut-out was sitting on top of a big stone I have around in my front yard, and a Jesus fish was dangling from a fishing pole down by the river. If they were having a tough time I gave them a hint: Where would you find a bird? Where would you find a fish? What was rolled away from the tomb? What was the cross made out of? My grands love the binoculars soooo any excuse to get to use them makes them happy. Once the child spotted the object, they had to run and get it. On the backside was a little message that told what the special prize was for finding it (ie: coupon for lunch with granny at their school that week, or an ice cream treat to keep or give away).
- Puzzle Pieces: I made two, four-piece puzzles, and placed the eight pieces in the eggs. When a child opened one of these eggs, they needed to set aside the piece until they found all of them, and then tape the pieces together to complete a picture. On the other side of the picture was a clue about the picture and what might be hidden there. (For example, one puzzle was a photograph of the rear tire of my automobile, and the clue on the back of the completed puzzle told the kids they were looking for a key for a lock in that location. Sure enough hidden behind the tire of my car was a box, with a key inside. When they wondered what the key was for, I told them the other puzzle held that clue, and indeed the other puzzle when put together showed a treasure chest at the base of a tree. The kids had to hunt to find the tree with the treasure chest, and then use the key to undo the lock to find out what was inside.
- I-Pad Pictures: Inside some of the eggs were slips of paper that directed the kids to use the tablet camera to take pictures of specific things. For example one slip asked them to take a picture of grandma and grandpa hugging one of the children really tight. Another asked the child to take a picture of mom and dad making silly faces with one of the children. Another asked the child to take a picture of all the grownups blowing bubbles, trying to do the splits in the yard, or showing their muscles, etc. These pictures are a treasured keepsake of the day.
- Silly Dares: These slips of paper instructed the kids or often times the whole group to do some silly task, like doing six somersaults in the yard, or patting our heads and rubbing our tummies at the same time, or breaking a confetti egg on someone’s head, or eating a cracker and trying to whistle, or singing a song in a circle with each person singing just one word of it – we did Jesus Loves Me. Some of the other things were: doing a one-minute crazy dance in the yard, running around front to wave at a car passing by on the road, grabbing water bottles and spraying solo cups down strings, I had set up, in a race with each other, laughing as loud as we could for 30 seconds, snapping our fingers as fast as we could, and so on.
- Pencil puzzles: if your kids are older you can add in some pencil puzzles for them to figure out (secret codes, word searches, Jr. Jumble, connect the dots, etc.)
It could not have worked out more perfect for us that the last slip of paper to be gotten from an egg was the last piece to the puzzle that led the kids to the treasure chest hidden at the foot of one of the trees in our yard. Once they found it, they needed the key that they had found by my car tire to open the lock on the treasure box. Inside they found some pretty jewelry and hair things to wear, and tokens to purchase the final grand prizes in grandmas prize bin – which were bunny mums that we planted in the yard after Easter.
Here are the FREE PRINTABLE paper slips and puzzles. Just print them out (the puzzles should be printed front and back on one sheet of paper, and then cut into four pieces with a part of the picture on one side and a number or letter on the other), cut everything apart, fold everything up, and tuck each slip into your own set of plastic eggs.
Click this link: Easter Egg games 2017.
Below are the pictures I took for the Guess the Picture game. They are of objects around my house, so of course they wont work for you, but I thought you might like them for to give you ideas of what to photograph around your house. Some, you’ll notice, were indoors, some were outdoors, and some were in my garage.
(L to R starting at top left: shower wall, bath mat, cow rug, wood stove, ash bucket by fireplace, inside dryer, bedside table, elliptical step, houseplant, water dispenser, fire pit, truck bumper, car wheel, garbage can, mailbox, spitoon, outside rock wishing well, target pallet, big rock, outside hosebib faucet, rock pile, oak tree, fig tree, flower-pot, and chiminea).
It will take the kids quite a while to open all of their eggs and complete all the little tasks, so plan on it killing most of the afternoon. But believe me, everyone will have such a blast, and kind of not want it all to end. Making memories.
I think the most memorable part of our fun was when one of the kids drew the slip that instructed everyone to run around front and wave at a car driving by. There was absolutely no traffic at that moment. We had to actually stand there for several minutes and just wait. But then, finally, to our delight, here came a mini-van towards us. We all started waving like the Beverly Hillbillies on moonshine, and I’ll never forget the guy’s face as he drove by. He had his passenger window down, and smiled, and waved back at us like he knew us, but he didn’t, and then just drove on by without even slowing down. I will wonder forever what he was thinking. Bless his heart for playing along though and making our day!!!!
After we were all done with the plastic eggs and all those little activities, we refilled our beverages and the kids had their choice of either doing crafts or watching a movie. They opted for the movie, which was nice. It gave us grown-ups a chance to relax for a bit. The choice for the kids was Lion of Judah animated movie (I’ve included the trailer below, in case you’ve never seen it). I offered Son of God for the grown-ups, but it was my son-in-law’s childhood tradition to watch Charlton Heston’s Moses – The Ten Commandments every year at Easter. I think it was on TV this last year too.
Marshmallows & Toothpicks: After the movie, I dumped a big bag of colored miniature marshmallows and a box of toothpicks out on the dining room table and just let the kids create whatever they wanted. We made crosses, and houses, and weird little hooked together things. Ha! We got more snacks and beverages, and this kept us entertained for a good long time.
Decorating Eggs: We pushed the marshmallows aside and pulled out the eggs. Wal-Mart this year had faux eggs in their Easter section that were perfect for decorating. They were white and felt just like real eggs, without being real. They even sold them by the dozen in paper egg cartons. All the egg decorating kits worked perfectly on them.
Nail Cross Necklaces: This craft was a little too difficult for the little kids to do by themselves, but their mother and I helped, and we had a lot of fun with it. Using regular construction nails and thin colored jute, we made “God’s Eye” crosses, and then attached a long string for a necklace.
Wooooo…. is it bed time? I’m pooped. Praise the Lord!
These are the things you will need to purchase for this celebration:
Large bag of Jelly Beans
2 dozen Colorful Confetti Eggs (these are colored eggs shells with confetti inside)
1 or 2 dozen faux eggs, plus some decorating kits of your choice
About 50 plastic Easter Eggs (unless you have them leftover from a previous year)
1 Resurrection Eggs kit with booklet
Prizes, approximately 25 small somethings per child (candy, toys, games, cookies, story books, stuffed animals, kid jewelry, hair clips, nail polish, lip balm, etc.) and then one big something for a grand prize per child
Nails (one longer type and two shorter type for each cross)
Yarn or colored string/jute
colored mini marshmallows (1 or 2 large bags)
toothpicks (a couple boxes)
Bubbles for each adult
groceries for the feast
movies (if you don’t already have them)
These are the things you will probably find around the house, to use for this celebration:
An I-pad or other Tablet that can take pictures with
a tool or tackle box to use as a treasure chest
a pad lock or combination lock, and chain
water guns, solo cups, and string
And these are the things you will need to make:
Cardboard cutouts of a dove, a cross, a tomb, and a fish
I hope you have as much fun with this celebration as I and my family did.
The Lord liveth, and blessed be the Rock, and let the God of our Salvation be exhaulted!!!