A friend stopped me in the hallway at church last Sunday and said, "I remember you talking about getting your boys the book, "The Three Trees" for Easter last year. What other books did you buy them?"
And here we go. The next holiday is coming, just as I tossed my son's valentine's cookies in the trash today (yes, he had been saving them). After two months of celebrating birthdays and half-birthdays, Valentine's days and an anniversary, I'm going to need the next month to get my heart in the right place for Easter.
Because this is the big one..the one holiday that really matters. The reason for Lent makes sense to me now. We all need a time to prepare our hearts to truly grasp the meaning of this holiday. Our kids need help knowing Easter is not just about bunnies, candy, and brightly colored eggs.
So I'm thankful for my friend's question because she helped me be proactive in planning for Easter. Maybe you need help too as you recover from a Valentine's Day coma induced by assembling 200 Pinterest perfect superhero lollipops. Whether you're starting to think about how to talk with your brood about the life of Christ, his death & resurrection or you're wanting to buy books for their Easter baskets, here are some books we're reading...
If you're on the fence on whether or not to "do" Easter baskets...check out this post I wrote last year --> Making Easter Personal for Preschoolers <-- (click this title)
Easter book ideas:
- The Three Trees **must own...three trees are transformed into manger, boat, & cross...but so much more to this story!
- Benjamin's Box **goes along with the Resurrection eggs (see below)
- The Parable of the Lily **simple story illustrating the often undervalued gift of Jesus
- Easter Story (by Brian Wildsmith) **gorgeous illustrations (don't own it though)
Here are a couple of our new favorite Children's Bibles if you want to read the gospels leading up to Easter:
The Children's Story Bible by Catherine Vos
We read a chapter out of this Bible each night (and by "we" I mean, "Bruce & the boys"). Beyond a typical picture Bible, I love the way the stories and historical events are written, not too advanced for my littlest guy (3yo) while still engaging for the oldest (7yo). contains 110 chapters of old testament stories and 92 of new testament stories.
The Children's Illustrated Bible (Selina Hastings, published by New Leaf Press)
For the kids who need more than even the traditional picture Bible...my 5 year old (a tactile & visual learner) always chooses this Bible for our "tea time". What makes this Bible special are the color photographs of real plants, animals, people, artifacts which coincide with the story. As he sees a picture of the Mount of Olives as we read about Jesus praying in the garden, these places become real. The Bible comes alive for him.
For the next couple weeks leading up to Easter if you need some "tools" to help you talk with your kiddos. Here are a couple of ideas:
Basically they are 12 plastic eggs with little surprises inside which become a talking point in the story of Jesus. I know these eggs have been around awhile, but my boys still love them. I find it's best to do this activity before your first real Easter egg hunt. Otherwise the little guys are pretty disappointed to find a little piece of cloth instead of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (who can blame 'em?).
If you don't have time to buy them before Easter or don't want to spend the money here are some links to how to make your own: Homemade Resurrection Eggs (like how she did one a day & hung on an easter tree).
What's In the Bible: Jesus is the Good News (Vol.10)
I don't know if you've gotten any of these videos yet, but I think they are really well made. Silly, yes. But they deliver the Truth of the Bible better than any other video series I've seen. This one specifically tells the story of Jesus' life, death & resurrection from the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John).
What is your favorite Easter book? or favorite children's Bible? (please help me fill some Easter baskets)