Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Real Meaning of Easter (in the eyes of a 3 year old)

I was talking to Cash today about Easter and what it means and he quickly responded back with, "candy, the Easter Bunny, toys, and pretty eggs."  Of course this was his response.  Why wouldn't it be.  To a kid, that IS what Easter means.  But it also kind of made me sad.  With Cash not in daycare/school anymore, I feel it's up to me to continue to help him keep his brain moving.  As I once heard, "Spend a few minutes each day investing in your child ... and a lifetime of rewards they will reap!"  And I could not agree more with this.  From the day Cash was born we have always read to him and explained every single little thing to him.  Before he could even talk, if we were walking down the aisle in Walmart I would look down at him sitting in his carseat and say, let's go find some milk.  Now we need eggs.  And I would show him the stuff as I put it in the cart.  He started talking at a very early age and hasn't stopped since.  He is such a smart little boy and I am very proud to say that we probably helped contribute to that.

 Cash - Easter 2010

Topinka monster eggs - Easter 2010

Back to the meaning of Easter.  For the next couple of weeks I've decided I'm going to attempt to talk to Cash about this special day.  So I have posed the question to myself, "How do I effectively teach my three year old about the REAL meaning of Easter without it being too scary."  I don't think we've even so much as talked about death other than telling him it's not nice to kill bugs (unless it's a spider, lol) because they're God's creations.  Sorry, but death is not just something I've had on the to do list to teach my preschooler about.  Let alone rising from the dead.  I can only imagine what is going to go through his curious little head.

So I did some massive Google searches and found a great way to try to better help him understand the real meaning of Easter.

RESURRECTION COOKIES!!  I mean ... what better way to teach a preschooler than with something he can actually touch and relate to!

So here goes ....

These are going to be made the evening before Easter.  In the meantime I have purchased a couple books from Walmart and we've watched some youtube videos as well.

Will need: 1c. whole pecans, 1 tsp. vinegar, 3 egg whites,
pinch salt, 1c. sugar, zipper baggie, wooden spoon, tape, and the Bible.

Preheat oven to 300 BEFORE BEGINNING.

Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces.
Explain that after Jesus was arrested He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. John 19:1-3.Let the child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl.
Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. John 19:28-30.
Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life.
Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. John 10:10-11.
Sprinkle a little salt into the child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.
Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
Luke 23:27.

So far the ingredients are not very appealing, haha.

Add 1 c. sugar.
Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know this and how to belong to Him. Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.
Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet.
Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Matt. 27:57-60.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.

Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.
Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Matt.27:65-66.
Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. John 16:20 and 22.
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie.

Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow!
On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty! Matt. 28:1-9

I can't wait to make these with Cassius.
Everyday I am striving to grow closer to God and it's up to me to help lead my children to Him as well.

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