When teaching preschool and kindergarten, I loved to do Easter activities with my students, welcoming spring and celebrating new beginnings.
More Ways to Celebrate Than Coloring Eggs
When we think of Easter activities for preschoolers, our minds immediately go to coloring eggs. While it’s indeed a treasured tradition that many of us cherish from our own childhoods, it’s only one pastime that can bring joy to parents and youngsters this time of year.
While Christians recognize Easter as the day Jesus rose from the dead, others mark it in a non-secular way by celebrating the arrival of spring, new life, fresh beginnings, and revived hope. Regardless of your perspective, the Easter season presents a marvelous opportunity to try some fresh ideas and make memories that will last a lifetime.
7 Easter-Season Crafts and Activities for Children and Parents
- Grow a grass basket
- Create a cotton-ball rabbit
- Make bunny ears
- Sing songs
- Learn a poem about a bunny
- Read books about bunnies
- Plan a treasure hunt
1. Grow a Grass Basket
Spring is a period of new life and new growth that delivers sunshine after months of darkness. As such, it's a terrific time to plant something. Kids delight in making these baskets, especially since they see almost immediate results, as the grass grows fast and tall.
- Line a strawberry basket with Saran Wrap.
- Fill it halfway with a mixture of soil and vermiculite.
- Sprinkle it with lots of grass seed.
- Water the seed.
- Cover the basket with Saran Wrap and place it in a sunny spot.
- When the grass has grown, remove the Saran Wrap and water it again.
- If you wish, add a pipe cleaner for a handle.
- Put some hard-boiled or plastic eggs in the grass basket and use it as a centerpiece for your table. If you prefer, place some candies in the basket and give it as a gift.
2. Create a Cotton-Ball Rabbit
It can be difficult to find craft projects that are age-appropriate for preschoolers. Making a cotton-ball rabbit, though, is an ideal one. It's fun, simple, and creative. Moreover, it gives kids an opportunity to strengthen their pincer grasp (the ability to pick up small objects between their thumb and pointer finger). This is valuable because the pincer grasp is a prerequisite for holding a pencil correctly and comfortably upon starting school.
- Draw a basic rabbit shape on a piece of poster-board or cardboard. Make a large circle for the body and a smaller one for the head. Draw two long ears and a small circle for the tail.
- Cut out the rabbit shape.
- Have your child spread glue all over the rabbit shape with an old paintbrush.
- Let your child pick up cotton balls and place them on the rabbit shape.
- Help your child cut out eyes, a nose, and a bow tie or hair bow from construction paper or felt. Let your youngster glue them to the rabbit.
- Have your child glue real buttons to the body and add black yarn for the mouth.
- If you want, add a short string to the top of the rabbit so you can hang it on a doorknob. Or, if you prefer, mount it to a piece of construction paper.
- Encourage your child to be creative and make their rabbit unique by adding a vest, a bonnet, a carrot, shoes, a dress, a basket, etc.
3. Make Bunny Ears
Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Sadly, in today’s technology-saturated world, some preschoolers are losing their imaginations and their ability to play. Making these rabbit ears, though, will help stimulate their creativity as they pretend to munch on carrots, hop through the meadow, and deliver Easter eggs.
- Cut a 2” strip off the long side of a large piece of construction paper.
- Cut another 2” strip off of the short side.
- Staple together into one long strip.
- Fold the remaining piece of paper in half lengthwise.
- Draw a large rabbit ear shape on it.
- Keeping the paper folded, cut it out.
- Staple the rabbit ears to the strip about 4” apart.
- Wrap it around your child's head and staple to fit.
- Draw whiskers and a pink nose on your child's face with makeup or paint.
4. Sing Easter Songs
Singing Easter songs is a wonderful way for children to learn about rhyme. Doing so is a fun and easy way to promote their phonological awareness, a crucial foundational skill for reading. Here are two short and sweet songs that preschoolers love.
"Easter Bunny Hop" (Melody: "Shortnin' Bread")
Look over here and look over there
Little candy Easter eggs are ev'ry where
Who's the one who hides them there?
Little Easter bunny hides them everywhere
Little Easter bunny goes hopping, hopping
Little Easter bunny goes hop, hop, hop
Little Easter bunny goes hopping, hopping
Little Easter bunny goes hop, hop, hop
"I'm a Little Bunny" (Melody: "I'm a Little Teapot")
I'm a little bunny—furry and brown
I like to hop around the town
Early Easter morning, you will see
Some colored eggs for you from me!
5. Learn a Poem About a Bunny
Poetry is another powerful way to promote a child's phonological awareness. This poem is a favorite that some parents may remember from their own childhoods. Add gestures to make it even more fun to recite and easier to memorize.
"There Was a Little Bunny"
There was a little bunny who lived in the wood
He wiggled his ears as a good bunny should.
He hopped by a squirrel.
He wiggled by a tree.
He hopped by a duck.
And he wiggled by me.
He stared at the squirrel.
He peeked round the tree.
He stared at the duck.
But he winked at me!
6. Read Books About Bunnies
Reading to their children is one of the most powerful things that parents can do to better their lives. To have optimal impact, they should stop at various points in the book and help their kids draw connections between the experiences of the characters and their own. This is a great technique to improve their comprehension.
Another way to enhance their understanding of a book is for parents to have their kids predict what will happen next in the story. They should also ask them about the characters: What is she feeling? What is he doing? Would you feel and do the same? To make storytime more enjoyable, parents should choose classic literature and not the low-quality selections that are sold at supermarkets and drugstores. Here are a few classics for Easter:
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter: This tale is a must-have for every child's home library. Youngsters will relate to the mischievous Peter who disobeys his mother, sneaks into the garden, gets chased by Mr. McGregor, and almost gets caught. It opens the door for conversations about the importance of listening to one’s parents, following rules, and resisting temptation.
- The Tale of Benjamin Bunny by Beatrix Potter: This is the delightful sequel to The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Peter, accompanied by his cousin Benjamin Bunny, returns to Mr. McGregor's garden to retrieve his lost clothes. While Benjamin dawdles, the pair are captured by Mr. McGregor's cat. Once again, young children connect with the relatable characters and their familiar predicaments. The story lays the groundwork for a critical discussion about being punished but receiving forgiveness. In the video below, children can listen to The Tale of Benjamin Bunny by Beatrix Potter.
- The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams: This gentle, beloved story is another one that belongs on every child's bookshelf. A stuffed rabbit becomes real through the love of a boy. Most children connect with this sentimental tale, as they too have wondered if their stuffed animals have feelings. It gives parents and youngsters an opportunity to discuss issues about the power of love, imagination, and redemption.
7. Plan a Treasure Hunt
Children love the adventure of going on a treasure hunt, and spring is a great time to plan one since the weather is warmer and the days longer. Write clues on slips of paper and put them inside plastic Easter eggs.
Create the clues in rhyme if you want. For instance, if the hiding spot is the refrigerator, you might write: “This is where our food is kept cold/There's a clue inside I've been told.” At the end of the treasure hunt, have your child find a prize such as a basket full of candy, an Easter book, or a stuffed bunny.
© 2016 McKenna Meyers