Plant seeds of fun and learning for Easter

The arrival of Easter heralds new life, baby animals, and snippets of green. What a beautiful holiday to help kids rejoice in spring by learning and making things.

Just how big can the party get? According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest chocolate Easter egg, made in Tosca, Italy, measured just over 34 feet tall and weighed 15,873 pounds. The record book also says, “The largest Easter egg hunt consisted of 501,000 eggs that were searched for by 9,753 children accompanied by their parents at the Cypress Gardens Adventure Park in Winter Haven, Florida” on April 1, 2007.

You and your little chicks may not be out to break records, but this is definitely a great season for creating. Free Kids Crafts offers several pages of nifty kids’ crafts related to the holiday. For example, try making not-for-eating, decoration-only, nail polish-colored Stained Glass Eggs as a fun way to use up old polish or experiment with bargain-bin rainbow colors. Or make adorable lamb placecards for the Easter dinner table from cotton swabs and clothespins.

Dr. Anthony Witham, oft-quoted co-author of the book, ABCs of Parenting, said, “Children spell love…T-I-M-E.” One of the sweetest ways to spend time with a child is to make something together. Gabrielle Blair, designer and mother of six, posted to the Design Mom blog, “8 Tips for Doing Arts & Crafts with Kids.” One of them is: “If you really enjoy crafting yourself, set aside a portion of the craft that is just for you to make. I find when I don’t do this, I hover and am tempted to control what my kids are making. If I know there are some craft materials reserved for me then it’s easier to allow the kids to do their thing. For example, every year at Easter, I set aside a dozen eggs that are just for me to decorate.”

It will definitely be tempting to try your own hand with another adorable project from Free Kids Crafts, which is to roll, shape, and glue together Quilled Ducks (or Chicks). Quilling, also called paper filigree, uses strips of paper to make forms ranging from really basic to extremely ornate. It’s a craft that can grow right along with kids, even into adulthood. Or put together more than one Pine Cone-Shaped Easter Ornament made of colorful ribbon in pastel shades. With a little yellow poster paint (or finger paint), combined with “willing hands” and a bit of help, even the youngest child can make an entire flock of adorable Thumb Print Chicks (from The Guardian). Pretty Yarn Crosses, made of craft sticks, gemstones, and yarn, are yet another idea

Thinking about Easter basket gifts? Consider the Inspired Learning series. It includes the skill-based Bible Alphabet Fun!, Counting Fun!, Printing Fun!, and Colors & Shapes Fun! workbook collection and the activity-based Bible Dot-to-Dots ABCs, Dot-to-Dots 1-25, Mazes, and Hidden Pictures workbook collection. Drawing on Scripture, they are wonderful resources for parents, Sunday school instructors, and home and Christian educators. Both collections are geared toward preschool and kindergarten, and the workbooks can also be purchased separately.

This Easter season create unique learning opportunities and special memories!