Non-Religious Easter Traditions
Easter has many religious traditions surrounding it whether you are Christian or Pagan. However, in today's society there are many aspects of Easter that are considered to be secular. Most often it is because they don't realize what the various commercial Easter traditions represent. This is apparent by the marketing done right before Easter.
In fact, Easter has become quite commercialized in the United States. Did you know that each year Americans spend more than $2 billion on Easter candy? From these sales include the 90 million chocolate bunnies produced annually, the 700 million Easter-themed marshmallow peeps, and 16 billion jelly beans consumed every Easter season.
So what do you think when you think Easter? Most kids will mention Easter egg hunts, candy, and the Easter Bunny. With many kids, religion is the furthest from their mind. Even those raised in strict religious families tend to answer religiously because that is what they think you want to hear, but really they are looking forward to the Easter Bunny, Easter eggs, and candy.
Although the origin of Easter egg is steeped in pagan and Christian traditions, Easter eggs are fun. Regardless of their representation, kids just want to get in and be artistic. You can find plenty of Easter egg dye boxes throughout most stores. Sometimes the kids like to use a variety of avenues to decorate that doesn't come in a box. They have used markers, wax, crayons, stickers, paint, and more. Even if we don't use real eggs, the kids love to fill the plastic eggs with candy and sometimes money. It's all about letting out their creativity and looking forward to the hunt.
Easter Egg Hunt
Easter has arrived and the second most important thing on a child's mind is the hunt for Easter eggs. Someone sends the kids off to another room or location while the eggs are being carefully hidden. Anticipation mounts in the young minds of the kids. They are ready to start running to be the one to find the most eggs. As soon as they are given the go ahead, kids scatter in all directions quickly scooping up egg after egg. If the plastic eggs are used, this means more surprises because plastic eggs can be filled with candies, money and other treats.
Also of pagan origins, the Easter Bunny is another iconic symbol of Easter that has given away to commercialism, while the religious belief has taken a back-step in modern Easter traditions. Kids and their parents flock to the mall each year to visit the Easter Bunny much like they do each Christmas to visit Santa Clause. The Easter Bunny is a big part of Easter for kids. He is the one that brings them a basket filled with goodies. Just like leaving cookies and milk for Santa, some families leave carrots out the night before Easter to give the Easter Bunny a treat. In some family traditions, it is the Easter Bunny that hides the eggs for the Easter egg hunts.
Ah, yes. The infamous Easter basket filled with tons of candies and sometimes cheap toys. They clutter the shelves and risers of many stores each year in order for the Easter Bunny to pick them up and take to children everywhere. This is the number one thing most children get excited for at Easter. Easter baskets can either be bought already arranged with candy and toys or you can personalize your child's Easter basket by filling an Easter basket yourself. Some children have Easter baskets that they reuse every year. In some family traditions it isn't just the children who receive baskets. Sometimes mom and dad receive a basket filled with goodies as well.
Some fix a rack of lamb or duck. However, some families prefer ham for the Easter meal. Some side dishes may include a light salad, Catalina carrots, deviled eggs, scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole and fruit. For many people it is just like most holidays, just another excuse to cook up a feast and pull the family together. The Food Network has hundreds of Easter recipes to inspire any menu plan for the family.
Who doesn't like sugar cookies decorated all festive? Children love to help out in the kitchen so this would be a good opportunity to spend time with your child, not to mention it will also have yummy rewards. Martha Stewart has many creative Easter cookie ideas that is sure to satisfy the pallet this Easter.
Many children love to work with their hands and be creative. Any craft project can create or strengthen any family bond. Luckily there hundreds of crafts for children and adults to do around Easter.
- Free Easter Crafts
Hundreds of free Easter crafts, including Easter bunnies, Easter eggs, Easter baskets, and projects for Easter chicks, carrots, snacks and printables.
From bunny sock and finger puppets to marbleized eggs, Spoonful.com has over 100 Easter craft ideas for preschooler to adults.
- Crochet Pattern Central
For teens and adults who love to crochet, Crochet Pattern Central has dozens of free Easter crochet patterns to choose from.
- 15 Beautiful DIY Easter Wreath Ideas
15 great Easter wreath ideas to get your Easter wreath creative juices flowing.
Easter Games for Kids
There are dozens of Easter themed games to make Easter more playful and memorable for children. Spoonful.com also has some great ideas when it comes to games for families with children of all ages. Aside for those, here are a few games that are sure to keep the kiddos entertained this Easter.
Fluffy Needs A Tail - This is just like pin the tail on the donkey except you draw a bunny on a poster board and use cotton balls with tape.
Easter Bunny Says - It is played just like Simon Says only it is Easter Bunny says.
Easter Relay - Separate the kids in to two teams. Provide each team with a spoon and a marshmallow chick or plastic egg. Create a fun, yet simple relay course and the first team back, wins. You can create your own rules depending on the age of the participants, time factor, equipment available, and so on.
Easter Bunny, Where's Your Egg?- Cut out a large paper egg. Decide who will be the Easter Bunny. Have that child close their eyes as the paper egg is placed under another child. Then the children will chant, "Easter Bunny, Easter Bunny, where's your egg? Somebody stole it from your home!" The Easter Bunny has three guesses to guess who has the egg.
No matter what traditions your family holds, Easter can be a fun time for the whole family to celebrate the arrival of Spring and create lasting memories. Easter doesn't have to be bogged down with dogma to just enjoy the company of friends and family.
© 2015 Linda Soaring Eagle Sarhan