I am always searching for ideas on how to teach all kinds of things to my kids. I especially hang on every word when others begin sharing with me how their parents taught them matters beyond ABC’s and etiquette….the deeper stuff. For Christians around the world the coming days are the foundation of our faith. Easter is when we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior Jesus. Heavy stuff to teach little ones. Last year we did Easter Bread/Resurrection Rolls. We did it again this year, but this time with crescent rolls. They tasted awesome and were fun for the boys to make…and faster. You can read more about it on my post from last year. Littlest Brother was especially fond of the marshmallows.
We also are trying something new: The Easter Hill. I got this idea from the book Treasuring God in our Traditions by Noel Piper (highly recommend the book). One of the ideas she shares for Easter is to basically make a hill out of salt dough. The hill includes a spot for the cross, the tomb, and places to place other people. The idea is to let the kids make the hill and the people (out of pipe cleaners). On Friday morning we will talk about when Jesus died on the cross and then the boys will place ‘Jesus’ in the tomb with the rock covering the opening. We will make some kind of tape thing covering the rock to symbolize the seal of the King. The boys will then check each day to see if the seal is broken…if Jesus is in the tomb. On Sunday morning (Easter Sunday) before they wake up I will roll away the stone and place Jesus on top of the hill (red ‘blood’ tinsel removed) to show He is alive.
This is by far a preschool activity, as Noel notes older kids could get too silly with it. I love this idea because it helps the kids understand the waiting between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. I hope it helps them better understand why Easter is such a big celebration.
Here’s my notes on how we did it. We aren’t done yet. The boys will still be making pipe cleaner people, but I wanted to get this part posted so those of you that want to try it today can.
4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon oil
Shape dough into a hill. Form a small hole/cave at the base. Press a rock into the cave opening to make a more exact fit between the two. Create a cross using small sticks and twine. Stick the cross into the top of the hill to make a hole. The dough will shrink a bit when baking so make sure the hole is just a bit bigger and deep enough to hold the cross. Use toothpicks to make small holes all over the hill. These will hold the ‘people’ made out of tinsel.
Cook at 250 for 4-5 hours. It is okay if the dough get a bit brown. Once fully cooked let cool completely. Once cool you can paint it.
1. Forming everything. Ummmmm….yes….my initial pic looks like a porcupine!
2. Removing everything before cooking.
3. After it is cooked, prior to painting.
Her dress matched our Easter Hill.
Don’t laugh at our creation (well you can laugh I am laughing at it)….remember it is for preschoolers and a 6 year old! The brown on ‘Jesus’ head is his crown of thorns. The red is blood….the older boys insisted that Jesus have blood on him on the cross. I only put Jesus on the cross for this picture, we won’t actually do it until Friday. After we talk through what happened on the cross then we will put ‘Jesus’ in the tomb and cover it with the rock….until Easter. The boys are going to make more people and my oldest wants two more crosses on the hill….
Have a great Thursday!
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