There is an age-old debate on how to respond when your child gets hurt. You can tell them that it didn’t really hurt and to brush it off or you can overflow with sympathy about something that really wasn’t that big of a deal. In either case, you are telling for the child how they should feel. That leaves the child completely unable to assess his own mental, emotional, or physical state. He feels instead that he has to look to others to tell him. Our goal as parents should be to teach them to examine the way they feel and then learn how to appropriately respond.
Our family has established a response for when one of our children gets lightly hurt, and we have found it to be fairly effective in giving them the opportunity to evaluate minor mishaps. When we see our child have a small mishap, before they begin to cry, we declare in a sing-song voice, “Doop! Doop!” It doesn’t set out any expectations and conveys without words, “I see you got hurt. That’s a bummer!” The little distraction is just enough to make them smile or giggle a little bit. If they do proceed to cry, then we know that they really were hurt and we give them the hug of reassurance that they need. Otherwise, the simple acknowledgment of the mishap might be all that they need.
Kids squeal about and beg to do egg hunts. There is great anticipation and excitement in the hunt. We must bear in mind, though, that a household can contain only so much candy. But if your kids are still longing to continue the hunt, then by all means encourage this classic activity. They are often happy to simply find eggs without anything in them and they might really enjoy hiding them for each other!
There is another option yet, though! You can do an educational egg hunt! Put a slip of paper into each plastic egg with an educational answer. It might be a math question or a word or a sentence for them to try to sound out. For even younger kids, you can have them say the name of a given shape, color, or letter. If you are feeling generous, you can put a penny into each egg and let them keep it if they get the answer right! You will never see your kids so excited about finding and answering educational questions.
When in doubt, go with the classic holiday activities. Some years we might come to a holiday where we happen to have a creative bug and we go all out with the holiday relevant crafts and activities. But for the rest of the time, it is usually best to stick with the same few activities that you do every year. There is little to no learning curve for you and these are the ones that your kids most strongly reference as a holiday tradition anyway! And as an added bonus, if your simple traditional activities align with the culture’s traditional holiday activities, then society’s marketing does half the work for you as they build it up as something special. Think about your own positive holiday associations – don’t you find yourself getting excited and a little sentimental when you see the first display of Easter baskets or Easter Egg Dye packets? Don’t underestimate the significance of the smallest tradition.
So my suggestion is simple: Dye a few Easter Eggs this year. Your kids will think it is one of the most magical and wonderful crafts ever.
Resurrection Rolls are a fun and easy way to incorporate the real meaning of Easter into the holiday, while simultaneously introducing an easy and yummy family tradition. These sweet rolls begin by wrapping a dipped marshmallow in biscuit dough. When they bake, the biscuit holds it’s shape, but the marshmallow disappears leaving an empty “tomb”.
1 can refrigerated biscuit dough (10 biscuits)
10 large marshmallows
4 T butter
4 T sugar
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1. Melt butter in a small bowl. Mix cinnamon and sugar in another small bowl. Set aside.
2. Pat each biscuit into a flat circle.
3. Roll a marshmallow in the melted butter and then roll it in the cinnamon and sugar mix. Set dipped marshmallow in the center of the flattened biscuit and wrap it by pulling the edges of the biscuit all towards the top. Thoroughly pinch closed and place seam side down in a paper lined muffin cup. Repeat with all marshmallows.
4. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.
*Optional – Top with a small amount of a powdered sugar glaze.
*Tip - Be sure to use fresh marshmallows. If the marshmallows are older and have started to harden, they will not fully melt.
You could just hand your kids their Easter baskets….or you could send them on a scavenger hunt for them!
Write clues on a small slip of paper and put them into plastic Easter eggs. The difficulty of this activity can be tailored to kids of all ages. For really small kids, you might tell them exactly where to look next (i.e. “Under the couch”) whereas you might make it a more challenging for the older kids (i.e. “Look under a place where you sit.”). If you are the creative type, then you might have fun making them into a poem format. Each clue should give them a hint on where to find the next clue, until they reach the final “prize”.
There are a couple of optional twists you can put on the activity:
First of all, you can give them an empty Easter basket at the beginning of the hunt and each clue can lead them to a treat that they can add to their basket.
A second idea is to have an Easter Bible verse on each clue. As they work their way through the clues, they will read the whole Easter story. The “Resurrection Rolls” can be the treasure at the of the hunt, thus making the empty tomb the final celebration point!
You think of the cost of filling Easter baskets as minor. Afterall, the baskets are small and you are filling it with small items….right? These small items can add up, though, especially if you are filling multiple baskets.
Before you spend too much, try visiting your local dollar store. Their Easter section will supply you with everything from Easter baskets to grass filling and plastic Easter eggs to candy. Then browse their isles for non-candy basket fillers. They have small real tools (a little boy’s dream!), hair bows and clips, coloring books, flash cards, pencils, calculators, little handbags, stickers, etc. You’ll be surprised at what you can buy for a dollar! And before you know it, you will have filled your baskets without breaking the budget.
All this week I will be posting ideas that you can use to enrich your celebration of Easter this year and to maybe even begin some traditions that your family will use for years to come. I hope you enjoy them. And as always, I would love to hear about your favorite activities and traditions for the holiday!
If you are like me, you and your family are probably somewhat programed to finish off your meal with a bit of something sweet. When we are used to having desserts, our body is faithful in reminding us of that fact. But sweet doesn’t have to mean a lot of sugar.
At the end of dinner, bring out a bowl of fruit salad or even just an open a can of fruit (in fruit juice, not corn syrup). This sweet ending to your meal can help curb the sugar cravings and possibly help eliminate a couple of desserts a week.
When we interact closely with our children, we can often overlook a special way that our children look at or respond to us. You know, those moments that tell us we are doing something right. Parenting is hard and we get relatively little feedback, so somebody pointing out one of those moments can be really encouraging.
Watch for those little moments to come up when your spouse is interacting with your children. Make note of it and point it out to him later when you the two of you alone. Tell him how you saw the child’s face light up when your spouse complimented them on the way they completed a task or how you noticed their mood completely change after your spouse took a moment to ask them why they seemed to be having a hard day. These little moments in the life of our children are so significant, but we often don’t give them enough credit. Just a little bit of affirmation on our parenting efforts can really lighten our step and make a difference in our energy and motivation to push forward. It is a little, but great gift that you can give to both your spouse and to your children.
As spring arrives, we often find ourselves being showered with lots of mommy-flowers from our little ones. Somehow, in the grubby little hands of our child, these weeds magically become lavish and priceless bouquets.
Dedicate a small vase for this special variety of flowers. Having a special place to display the gift sends the message to your child that what they offer is precious and it will be a memento that the two of you can always cherish.