Wednesday, April 6, 2011

5 books with Easter craft ideas

List by Tosca

"Easter is the demonstration of God that life is essentially spiritual and timeless."
- Charles M. Crowe

Every year my siblings and I put together a day of Easter activities that involves a storytime, a couple of craft projects, a cooking session and then ends with our annual Easter egg hunt using multiple houses, clue cards, incentives, a quiz and a puzzle map. Our Easter day of celebration and remembrance came about accidentally when, a few years back, my nephews asked if they could have an Easter egg hunt. I remembered that mum used to set up egg hunts and craft activities for us as children and I wanted the boys to have that, too. I just wasn't sure if I could pull it off successfully. More importantly, my siblings decided that if we were going to do this we were going to do it well and use it as a chance to teach the boys about the actual meaning of Easter - that it wasn't all about chocolate eggs and hot cross buns. I'm not particularly religious (in spite of dad's family being Mormon and mum's being Anglican) but it didn't seem right to let them celebrate without understanding how it came about. We requested anything and everything containing information about Easter - no matter how small the info - that would, hopefully, give us ideas for how to plan out the day. Somehow or other (and I'm not sure I was there for the vote, in fact, I don't even know if there *was* a vote) it was decided that I would deliver the programme. Each year I review our library resources and try out new crafts, new story versions etc. which is why you have the (somewhat dubious) pleasure of reading this post! (This is the part where you look amazed at my skill and cunning...). This year, thinking things were going ahead as normal, I requested a variety of titles (my apologies to Manukau Library whose request shelves are overflowing with my holds - I'd look shamefaced but we all know I have no shame when it comes to books and this blog) only to learn that we won't be doing anything. Mr 7 and his mother (one of my many siblings) are moving to Wellington indefinitely (I'm desolate - who will I watch Doctor Who re-runs with?) and Mr 12 and Mr 13 have announced that they are too old for Easter, thank you very much. So, there you go. I've been stood up ahead of time. Their loss is (hopefully) your gain! I make no definitive claim that these books are the best of the best - they are, simply, 5 books with Easter craft ideas.

Not so weirdly, I had really been hoping that the books would have explanations for each craft (e.g. the connection between pancakes and Shrove Tuesday - that sort of thing). Weirdly, not all of the books did that and I'd be reluctant to do any activity with the nephews/niece that I couldn't explain the meaning behind. A lot of the crafts are also springtime-themed and you know, wrong end of the world but I know that Miss 7 would go crazy over butterfly napkin rings. (Even though we don't use napkins...).

Easter : fun and festive things to make and do / text by Lois Rock
Including a simple retelling of the Easter story, this activity book provides creative ideas to keep children busy at Easter.

Tosca's comment: No explanation as to how each of the crafts/recipes relates to Easter and some of the games would need to be photocopied if you wanted to mark the pages.

Usborne little book of Easter activities / Rebecca Gilpin and Fiona Watt
This is an activity book specially designed for the Easter period. There are step-by-step instructions on how to dress up as the Easter Bunny, how to cook lots of Easter treats and how to make cards and decorations. Ages 9+

Tosca's comment: A lot of activities in this book involving all kinds of materials (some very fun looking) but, once again, no explanation for how they tie in to Easter. And very yummy looking recipes! Like Easter Truffles and Sticky Easter Cakes.

Easy-to-do holiday crafts from everyday household items / edited by Sharon Dunn Umnik
"Crafts for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas, and Valentine's Day can be found in this comprehensive book, making holiday preparations both easy and fun. Just flip through the pages and choose the craft of the day, with easy-to-follow directions and photographs of finished projects to ensure young craft makers' success. With a variety of projects and crafts for every holiday season, hours of enjoyment are sure to be had with this handy book" -- Global Books In Print.

Tosca's comment: Very creative crafts - some quite elaborate and others simple. Clear instructions. Once again, no explanation for how the activities tie in to Easter (I know, I'm like a broken record with this but it's important to me). As a bonus it also includes crafts for other times of the year (e.g. Valentine's Day, Christmas, Halloween).

Easter things to make and do / Kate Knighton and Leonie Pratt
In this enchanting book you'll find all kinds of exciting Easter activities. Just follow the simple steps to find out how to make pretty decorated eggs, paper flowers and an Easter crown. Other ideas such as fingerprinted bunnies and painted flowers are great for decorating cards for your friends and family not only at Easter, but at other times, too.

Tosca's comment: Lovely big book with big, colourful illustrations and very cool crafts. Also some springtime-themed activities. Unsure how 'Easter butterflies' ties in to Easter...?

Easter / Lois Rock
Book for young people about the meaning and traditions of Easter. Contains craft ideas also. This activity book contains puzzles, crafts, cookery, plus facts about Easter and stories about Jesus and the first Easter. 4-7 years.

Tosca's comment: YAY! Any book that includes pancakes as an activity is a good book :) All kidding aside, though, this book is at #1 for the pancakes. It also has little tidbits about Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and Lent. I did think, though, that the 'Green Hill' craft was a little unusual for kids - growing grass in the shape of a hill and then making crosses to stick on it seemed a little...macabre.

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