When my kids were young, we tried to plan a few nice quiet activities for them to engage in with us in anticipation of Orthodox Pascha (Easter), between the church services we attended during the day on Holy Friday and Saturday. I perused my Pinterest boards yesterday, and I think I found some pretty good resources to share with you.
Make an Easter Story in an Egg Carton - go here to learn how to make this easy project.
Read Bible stories with them. There are so many great illustrated Bibles for children. One of my favorites is the Children's Bible Reader, available here.
Craft beeswax candles out of eggshells to give as gifts - step-by-step instructions here.
Or decorate candles for Pascha - source here.
Bake! Make a cake for your Pascha (Easter) basket. Lots of traditional recipes out there, but I'm going to try this Lemon/Ricotta/Almond/Flourless Cake because it's gluten free!
Decorate Eggs - I love these beautiful Easter Eggs dyed with lace...
These last days leading up to Easter are a good time to decorate your Easter Egg Tree - we let our children choose a glass or handblown egg from our collection to hang on our "tree" each day of Holy Week, so by Pascha it was full.
Easter Egg Symbolism and Trivia:
- The dyeing of Easter eggs comes from the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic tradition of coloring eggs red to represent the blood of Christ. The egg's shell represents the tomb of Christ, and after the Paschal liturgy parishioners crack their eggs against each other's proclaiming, "Christ is Risen!"
- Historically, as part of the Lenten Fast, eating eggs was forbidden. But this didn't stop chickens from laying, so households hard-boiled the eggs to keep them from spoiling and ate them quickly after Easter arrived.
- In the Ukraine, during Holy week, women traditionally blew out the egg insides, and decorated the empty shells with dyes and wax, a beautiful folk art known as "Pysanky".
- Started by Dolley Madison in 1814, the annual "Easter Egg Roll" on the White House's South Lawn is a race in which children push an Easter egg across the grass with a spoon. However, rolling Easter eggs traces its origins to Europe as a symbol of the rolling away of the boulder from Jesus' tomb before the Resurrection.
- The famous Fabergé eggs were intricately jeweled and gilded pieces created for Russian royalty before the 1917 revolution. The House of Fabergé crafted the first in 1885 by request from Tsar Alexander III as an Easter gift for his wife, Empress Maria. The tradition was famously continued by the Romanov family, most notably, Nicholas II and Alexandra. [source]