Holy Week is my favorite time of the year. On Palm Sunday in Zambia, the streets are flooded with groups of people from churches waving palm branches in the air as they make their way to church. Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis taught me what Maundy Thursday services were, which have become an incredibly meaningful occasion. And Easter Sunday has always been such an exciting, joyful day, filled with sunrise breakfasts, joyful singing, choirs, lilies, and (if I’m going to be honest) even colorful eggs and treat-filled-basket hunts.
Having very young kids means that we are at the special place of being able to create traditions that will shape how our kids remember Easter. With Charlie being almost 3, it seemed appropriate to begin tangibly showing him what “Easter” is all about. Thanks to Noël Piper’s idea in her book Treasuring God in Our Traditions, Charlie and I made a play dough mountain and tomb. I couldn’t find pipe cleaners to make the people, so we used Duplo Lego people to recreate the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.
Charlie is a typical toddler, so he liked the hands-on-ness of this project. He also got bored with it pretty quickly during the story times, but he always came back to it later. And after the resurrection, he really thought that someone or something ought to be in the tomb/cave with the stone over it. So, I kept finding different Lego people in there or a donkey or other animal in there. It provided a great opportunity to remind him that the cave is empty, because Jesus came out of it!
I think that, for the first year doing this, he really liked the activity and will look forward to doing this again in years to come.