Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Step by Step Easter Garden

We mangaged to make a quick Easter Garden today! The dog was fascinated - surely this was something for her? You can make these explicitly Christian, or you can just stick to bunnies, chicks and flowers, or of course you can make them a mixture. So, Stage 1 is to put a bit of gravel into the bottom of your container, to improve drainage.
Then put soil or planting compost over the gravel, but not up to the top of the container.Next, find a nice mossy bit of the garden! You can plant grass seed, but of course that takes much longer.Pick up the moss in large 'mats' and use it to cover the soil, fitting it together like a jigsaw. Keep a plant spray nearby to keep misting the moss while it's indoors. If you're using this to tell the Christian Easter Story, make some kind of cave out of stones... ... or a piece of pot...
... or even a plastic plant pot, although that will need covering with moss!
The cave represents the tomb of Jesus, so it can stay open for now, because nothing's happened yet!
Now come the changes you can make over the next week or so. If you feel a bit shaky on your 'Easter Story', you can get loads of nice children's books which tell the story well. This donkey is trotting round 'Jerusalem', and you can put a donkey in the garden this Sunday, which is Palm Sunday. If you go to a church, you often get palm crosses given out on Palm Sunday, and you can use those crosses in your Easter Garden.
If you don't get a palm cross (we don't in our churches here), you can make a cross out of sticks, of course. Older children can practice their hammering or their knotting techniques!One cross is fine, because it represents the cross where Jesus was crucified. But sometimes my boys like to go the whole way and make three, because two thieves were crucified on either side of Jesus, and the story of one of them is very moving - they like to remember him, as well as Jesus.You can decorate the crosses any way you like.Now, on Good Friday (one week tomorrow), things really get going, because this is the day Christians remember Jesus' death on the cross. You can go into that as little or as much as you like, depending on the age and inclination of your children - no need to go heavy on it! But I always think it's helpful for them to understand a little bit of the symbolism of Easter, even if they're not in a Christian family.
The big thing on Good Friday is to 'seal the tomb' - roll a big stone across it so that the 'cave' is locked up with poor Jesus inside. (OK, symbolically.)Several years ago Son 1 made some Roman soldiers to guard the tomb - very authentic.
If you have Playmobil, of course, it can get very realistic!
Nothing's gonna get past these two!
The symbolism of the tomb staying sealed from Friday to Sunday is quite powerful, because of what happens next!
HE'S ALIVE!
Easter Day is when Christians celebrate Jesus' triumphant return to life, so let's go wild! Son 1's Roman soldiers have fallen over with shock, presumably at the sight of the stone, which needs to be rolled away, and at the appearance of this charming yellow angel.
Traditionally, though, this is when the garden can be planted with flowers, and the empty tomb can have a particularly beautiful flower to symbolise the new life and wonder of the Easter season.

3 comments:

juanitatortilla said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your storytelling of making an Easter Garden. And you know what, this is the very first time I have ever heard of an Easter Garden!

I bet the dog likes what your boys put together for her. :) Oh, those Playmobil soldiers were great props!

Elizabethd said...

Beautiful!

Lace hearts said...

What a lovely post. We love making mini gardens in this house, and just made some a week or so ago.
The crochet book isn't for beginners, because it doesn't have any instructions about how to crochet, which I think they always should. But it is a lovely book. Thanks so much for dropping by. x