Wednesday

Planning a Simple and Purposeful Community Resurrection Easter Egg Hunt

The weekend before Easter weekend...
...I donned my best Easter Bunny eggs
in preparation for our church's
Community Easter Egg Hunt.

God blessed us with beautiful weather
and a nice little crowd of egg hunting experts.

But in order for an event like this to have
any kind of impact on the community,
there had to be some organization, thought, and prayer
put into it.

Here are some of things I have learned when planning
and event like this one.

***

1.  Have Pre-Event Activities Planned

Our egg hunt was scheduled to start around 10am.

To keep early arrivers entertained
while we waited until about 10:10am to start...
...we had table of simple activities
for the kiddos and their families to participate in.
Our church Preschool Coordinator
had set out three jars with different
Easter candies in them.

The kiddos could each guess
how many pieces were in a jar,
and then place their guesses
in the basket behind the jar.

Later,
the papers were tallied,
and the closet guessers won the jars.
There were also lots of coloring pages
on the table for the kiddos to work on while they waited.

We copied them from a book similar to
 THIS Resurrection Eggs resource book.

***

2.  Gather Up Some Good-Humored Volunteers

My husband...
...is pictured above as
the "Easter Bunny."

He assisted me in the event planning,
not only by leading the kiddos to the hunt site...
...but also by stuffing and hiding countless eggs.

This lovely Mama
lead the craft at our event.

And there were others-
many others.

Others who planned, stuffed, set up, cleaned up,
took pictures, prayed, handed out flyers-
you get the picture.

An event like this CANNOT be put on by one
individual!

***

3.  Ask for Lots and Lots of Candy Donations
Here is what our preschool playground looked like
before the hunt-
it was littered with about 500 eggs.

If our congregation had not stepped up
with candy and prize donations,
this hunt would not have been nearly as fun
for the kiddos!

Now,
our congregation is generous,
but forgetful.

I had to have the help of one of our tech guys
to put together a little candy donations promo video
which was shown two weeks before the hunt.

After it played,
the candy donations came pouring in!

(Ask and you will receive, right?)  ;0)
Our preschool coordinator also donated some
lovely little stuffed animals and books
for bigger prizes.

Again,
if lots of people chip in,
and event like this does NOT have to break
the Children's Ministry budget!

***

4.  Designate Different Egg Hunting Sites
for Different Age Groups
We had a little over 1,000 eggs to be found,
so half of them were hidden on the preschool playground
for Nursery-Preschool
and the other half were hidden for K-5th grade students
behind the Youth House.

This keeps injuries from happening,
and enables ALL kiddos to have a chance at finding eggs.

***

5. Schedule the Creative Chaos
Here is a picture of the kiddos opening their eggs
after the hunt.

But this noisy fun
was all one the "schedule"
for the day...


An event like this CANNOT be planned to the second,
but it can have a schedule.

Here is what ours ended up looking like:

9:45 am-10:05 am
People arrive and work oat the coloring table.

10:05 am-10:20 am
Directions for the hunt are given,
kiddos are led to the hunt site, and the hunt occurs.

10:25 am-10:35 am
Kiddos open their eggs, collect their loot,
and put the empty eggs into the storage box.

10:35 am-10:55 am
Snack and story time

10:55 am until the end  
Craft and Photo Booth time

***

6.  Use the Snack as Part of the Story
Kiddos need to be fed,
so I took this time as an opportunity
to reinforce the
Resurrection Eggs lesson.

The kiddos and their families all got to come up
and make their own mini-bag of
Resurrection Trail Mix.

Each of the ingredients for the mix
symbolized a part
of the Easter story.

You can get the "recipe,"
(along with the scriptures and Resurrection Egg items),
for this trail mix by clicking

***

7.  Have the Kiddos Participate in the Story

The lesson I did with the kiddos
was the Resurrections Eggs.

To include the kiddos
in this lesson,
we hide 12 special eggs that had
numbers in them instead of candy.
I would call the kiddos up
who had a certain number...
...and have them open up the corresponding
Resurrection Egg.

The kiddo would tell everyone
what was in the egg
and then go a claim a prize off of the prize table
while I explained the item further.

***

8.  Have a Simple Craft for All Ages
This can be a challenge.

But our craft guru came up with a simple
activity that all ages could do
(even if the littles required some assistance).
They made simple
...out of clear contact paper and tissue paper.

***

9.  Bring on the Fun With a Photo Booth
We were very blessed to have a pretty fabulous
amateur photographer
come and take pictures at the event.

(All of the photos in this blog post are from her,
in case you are in need of a photographer
for your next event!) 
To set up the photo booth,
we strung a white shower curtain
on our entry coat rack
and added a string of Easter eggs.
I then purchased several fun items
from The Dollar Tree,
like bunny glasses, hats, and garland
for the kiddos to dress up in
during their pictures.





The pictures were bunny-tastic,
if you ask me!

To gain access to the pictures,
I created an event Facebook page.

I passed out the information in a flyer
at the photo booth table
so that visitors could pick
the pictures they like and print them at home
if they so desired.

Our photographer also linked up a
Walgreens photo page for families
to print pictures off of.

***

There ya have it!

My tips for a simple and purposeful
community Resurrection Easter Egg Hunt.

If you all have any tips
that help with the planning of an event like this,
feel free to mention them in the comments section below!

Friday

Expecting Easter: Sounds of the Crucifixion

Matthew 27:45-54

45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.
46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
(which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

47 When some of those standing there heard this,
they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge.
He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink.

49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone.
Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice,
he gave up his spirit.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open.
The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.
53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection
and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

54 When the centurion and those with him
who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened,
they were terrified, and exclaimed,
“Surely he was the Son of God!”

***

There are so many dramatic sounds
that surround the death
of our Savior.

After reading the Bible passage above
with the kiddos,
we made maracas,
per the instructions from our
A Sense of the Resurrection
lesson for the day.


 (Don't ask- she is in her goofball phase...)

We made the maracas
so that every time we played them
we would be reminded 
of the sounds surrounding
Jesus' death...
Make a joyful noise, right?

:0)

***

On Good Friday,
we continued to dwell on Jesus' death
by reading about his burial:

Matthew 27: 57-61

57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea,
named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus.
58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body,
and Pilate ordered that it be given to him.
59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock.
He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb
and went away.
61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
were sitting there opposite the tomb.

To honor Jesus' burial,
we made ourselves a little snack
inspired by Catholic Icing's
Using graham crackers as the base...
...the kiddos covered them with
green icing.

Next...
...the kiddos cut a small section
off of the bottom of a chocolate covered
doughnut...
...and placed it on the icing.

Finally,
using a mini Oreo...
...the kiddos sealed their "tombs" shut.

A simple sweet reminder
of bigger events to come...

***

Thursday

Expecting Easter: Taste of Sin

Well,
today's
was a little bit tricksey of me.

But sinse I also planned some fun 
AFTER the meanness,
I felt OK about what I did...

;0)

First,
I read the following scripture passage
to the kiddos:

Luke 19:28-30

28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished,
and so that Scripture would be fulfilled,
Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”
29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it,
put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant,
and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.
30 When he had received the drink,
Jesus said, “It is finished.”
With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

***
After we read the scriptures,
I asked if any of the kiddos...
...wanted to try some Rice Vinegar.

Here's what happened...


Yep-
they were not fans!

(I also took a spoonful to set an example for the kiddos-
YUCK!)

Now,
there is significance in why Jesus did not
drink the vinegar,
involving the fulfillment of scripture,
but we did not go into that.

We focused on the NASTINESS of the vinegar.

Yes-
it was gross to drink.

Our sins are also nasty.

Jesus took all of our sin with him
to his grave,
so that we could be free from it.

After this lesson,
I hope the kiddos remember the taste and smell
of vinegar
and associate it with
the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for our sins.

***

To get that nasty taste out of our mouths...
...I had prepared a little eggs-tra special snack
for the kiddos to eat!
All the eggs were filled with either
Goldfish crackers, mini-marshmallows,
or Honey Nut Cheerios.
I am pretty such this snack...
...left a much better taste in their mouths
than the vinegar did!

While they ate, I read...
by
Jan Brett.

Since the bunnies in the book
were decorating eggs,
we had to decorate some eggs too!

Guess what we used IN our decorating?
 Vinegar!
When you add vinegar to the color tablet
it makes the egg colors more vibrant.





Our final fun activity happened
while our eggs were drying.
 The older kiddos went out
and hid some Easter Eggs 
for the littles to find...








***

Next up on Expecting Easter:
Sounds and Sights of the Tomb