Lent Easter Basket
Easter is right around the corner, but today is the start of Lent. Lent is the 40 day period leading up to Easter when Catholics and Protestants reflect on Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection. During the 40 days, we actively engage in the three traditions of Lent: Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving. To learn more about Lent, take a look at what the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have to say about Lent.
I wanted to create a fun DIY project that the whole family would enjoy. I came up with the Lent Easter Basket as a way for parents to teach their children why and how to observe Lent. Easter is the most important day for Christians, even above Christmas, so it would make sense to prepare for that day, wouldn’t it? The Lent Easter Basket is similar to the Advent Calendar. Each egg represents one of the 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday. Every morning your child can open and egg and see what is inside. Each item inside the egg represents one of the three Lenten traditions: Prayer, Fasting, or Almsgiving. The parent explains to their child what the item represents and how they can reflect that day on Christ and His sacrifice . For example, the Monopoly iron represents a chore. The child can complete their siblings’ chore that day as an act of charity (Almsgiving). Each basket can be tailored to the child and the items should be age appropriate.
This is a great DIY project that gets the whole family involved. It’s also a great alternative for parents that do not typically have an Easter egg hunt because they feel it takes away from celebrating Christ’s resurrection. Children can still take part in the fun of getting an Easter basket, just in a Christ centered way.
If you have no problem with an Easter basket and having a good old fashioned Easter egg hunt, that is great too! You can still open an egg each day leading up until Easter and then switch out their baskets on Easter with baskets with treats and candy eggs. Parents can explain that their new Easter baskets, filled with treats, represents Christ’s gift of eternal life, John 3:16. Christ died, was buried, and rose again in fulfillment of the scriptures and to give us the opportunity to receive salvation through Christ.
*I geared my Easter basket towards a girl around the age of 7. You can change out the trinkets and toys and tailor it towards a specific gender and age.*
Easter Basket (Currently 50% off at Michael’s)
40 Easter Eggs $1.00-$3.00 a bag, Michael’s)
Easter Grass ($1.00 per bag, Michael’s)
Wooden Cross ($1.00, Michael’s)
Easter Stamps ($1.50 each at Michael’s)
Charms ($1.99 each at Michael’s. At the end of the 40 days you will have enough charms to make a Lent/Easter bracelet)
Saint Toys (I used St. Julia and St. Luke because those are the saints the twins were named after. You can purchase saint toys at www.saintlysilver.etsy.com)
Rosaries (Local Catholic bookstore)
Prayer Bracelet (You can make your own or purchase at a Catholic bookstore)
The Monopoly pieces represent Almsgiving and Fasting. The rocking horse represents how the child can give their favorite toy to another sibling to play with for the day or they can give a toy to a children’s charity. The car represents how the child can give up their turn to sit in the coveted front seat. The Monopoly purse, iron, and house can represent giving money or giving up an earthly possession. The iron can be used as a chore. The child could complete another siblings chore that day. The wooden cow represents giving up meat that day (the same mindset behind Meatless Friday). I won’t go through everything, but you get the correlation.
The candy represents giving up sweets for the day. When they want a sweet, which they will, use the opportunity to explain that sacrificing sweets for the day helps them reflect on Christ’s sacrifice. The charms teach the child how to meditate/reflect upon who is Jesus and what is love, peace, sacrifice, faith, etc? Come up with an activity for that day that would help your child express love, grace, faith, etc. that correlates to their charm. The prayer bracelet and rosary teaches your child how to pray and reflect. As Catholics, we pray the rosary. What a great opportunity to teach your child how and why to pray the rosary.
I chose to have the stamps and wooden letters represent the first letter of someone’s name. The child could either pray for someone whose name starts with the letter found in their egg, write them a letter, or do something nice for them. Again, teaching the child how to pray and how to carry out an act of kindness. I also wanted to teach children guided and intentional prayer. I am using the craft paper to write out specific prayers and specific prayer requests of friends, family, and prayer group. The coins represent giving a portion of their allowance to our parish or a charity. For younger children or those who do not get an allowance, the coins could be money earned from a special chore.
On Good Friday, your child can paint or decorate the cross. Take the opportunity to explain what happened on Good Friday and what Christ’s sacrifice means to them. It is a great way to bond with your child, teach them, and hear their thoughts about Christ’s death and resurrection.
Easter is here! Your child has waited 40 days for today and will be so excited! Here are two stamps that they can use to make a card, picture, etc. to celebrate Christ’s resurrection and fulfillment of God’s plan for the salvation of the world!
Enjoy teaching and raising your children in The Lord with this Lent Easter Basket!