I love this time of year. I find children are so enthusiasic about Easter (usually having a lot to do with chocolate) that anything that remotely looks egg or bunny like can turn it a “Easter Activity”
Before everyone rolls out the photcopied cutouts for baskets, take a moment. Children are very skilled at coming up with their own ideas and creating things that we would never dream up…so give them the chance.
Remember the process, skills, ideas and discussions had are the most important part of Easter. What is it all about, what do they, the children, believe, what do their families do at Easter and different cultural traditions are important at this time, not particularly whos Easter basket is coloured in the best.
So much rich learning through language, about number, and definitely about society can all develop through open ended experiences with children. This wonderful discussion just will not develop when a child is worried that their Easter basket isn’t as good as the next persons.
As with all rich cultural, spiritual and religious events that are so often trivialised by shops wanting to make lots of money (how long have the chocolate eggs and Easter bunnies been out in the shops!?) the children understand and want to discuss so much more than we often give them credit for. My children often astound me with the level of their understand.
I am now going to say that I am not one of those educators who believe that doing the odd very structured Easter activity is going to damage a child forever. On the contrary, it’s fun and kids love it. There are also some great craft ideas that show how other cultures celebrate Easter. All I’m saying is don’t fill every moment with an “activity”. Don’t control it so much.
A Easter basket designed by the child, made out of a box, cardboard and decorated may not look as finished as the template/stencil kind, but it usually takes a lot more thought, creativity and true satisfaction to make as it is the child’s creation…start to finish.