As March nears its end, winter seems to set off and the promise of Spring is in the air. With the days getting warmer, we look for first signs of spring such as budging juicy plant buds, fresh flower shoots, and beautiful chirping and singing of birds. And, we are especially excited to wait for one special day to signal the start of spring ~ 🐣 Easter, and one animal the brings Easter about ~ the Easter Bunny! So, this themed unit study is all about eggs, bunnies, and spring!
Our learning space is decorated in an Easter Spirit!
Spring is also a time for new life! It is in the spring that plants and flowers begin to grow and baby animals are born. Bunnies are also a symbol of new life. The Easter Bunny, however, brings more than just Spring! What does it bring to you?
The date on which we celebrate Easter depends on when there is a full moon. However, Easter is always on Sunday and is always between March 22 and April 25. Not everyone celebrates Easter though, but it is a major holiday in many countries around the world. And it is not birds who lay eggs for us on Easter, but a very special friend ~ the Easter Bunny who brings children special colored eggs.
The story of the Easter Bunny is very old. A long time ago, people did not know that Spring came every year. Instead, they believed that a goddess called Easter was in charge of bringing Spring. If Easter was mad at people, she wouldn't bring spring and winter would last forever! So, to make sure that Easter was happy, people had a huge party for her and for her favorite animal, the Hare.
A hare is an animal that looks and acts just like a rabbit or bunny. Today, we know that nobody brings spring. It is a season that inevitably comes after winter. So, although we no longer believe in Easter Goddess, we still have the Easter Bunny! What is on our Easter shelfie:
- Books: Celebrate Easter (National Geographic Kids) and The Story of Easter
- we are using wooden egg stickers as counters and quantitative representation of a numeral
- wooden craft stick DIY Easter puzzle (see below)
- Eggs Language work (see below)
- Egg Sound cylinders (see below).
A story about the Easter Bunny and eggs: after the cold dark winter, many birds lay eggs in the bright sunlight of a spring day. The Easter Bunny would collect these eggs and paint them bright colors to celebrate spring. If children were good during the winter, then the Easter Bunny would bring them a whole bunch of colored eggs. To hold all the engs, children would build nests for the Easter Bunny and hide the eggs in their homes and yards. Today, children use Easter baskets to hold all the eggs, and in addition to the eggs, the Easter Bunny might also bring candy, chocolate, and small presents.
Below is our 🐣Easter 🐰Themed activities roundup. I hope you will find them useful and fun to implement in your home.
🐣Easter Inspired Montessori 🔉Sound 🔡Blending Game
This game is one of the Sound Lessons you will do after you have done I spy Games, sandpaper letter, and geometric insets. (Read our Letter Series post here.) This lesson is on how to blend sounds to create words! You will be working with sounds you know the child is very familiar with since sound blending is the first step towards reading, and you would want children to feel as much success as possible and enjoy the lesson. We are using wooden Montessori movable alphabet since it sets apart the vowels as blue and consonants as red, but you may use any letters from a craft store, magnetic or paper printouts.
So, when a child knows enough sounds to blend them together, first ask the child to blend the two "base" sounds, on which you will be building on words. For example, we are blending “a” + “t” = at
Once the child blends "at" ask to find an🐣egg and retrieve a letter/sound that will be the beginning sound and offer to blend all three sounds together, making CVC words (Consonant-Vowel-Consonant): c + at, m + at, b + at. Here, Adrian found the sound h + at making the word "hat "~ I also hid a matching language object inside each egg to make this also a language object matching activity. If the child is successful in blending the sounds to make words; congratulate your child as it is the first true step towards reading!
Other Blending Options:
- “a” + “n” = an ~ add first letters to make: Can, Fan, Man, Dan, Pan. The game: leave just “an” and set all first letters on top. Invite your child: "Would you please, make the work Fan? Can?” etc
- *“e” + “n” ~ Den, Men, Hen, Pen
- *“u” + “m” ~ Plum, Mum, Gum
The process of learning how to read can be as simple and painless as the process of learning how to speak or how to walk. Patience is the key, follow your child and let the learning be a fun experience!
For more on Language lessons, see here Montessori Phonetical Set 1 of 6 (c m a t). For 💗Pink Series Lessons, see here "Montessori 💗 Pink Series 'e' sound (Language 101 🎥 Series 🎇 Curriculum)." For early reading, see here "Montessori CVC Picture Word cards with wooden Clothespins (💗Pink Series 🎥 Early Reading)."
See here 🐣Easter Inspired ♻️DIY Egg 🔠Alphabet 🔡 Matching Activity.
DIY 🐣Easter Eggs 🔉Sound 👂🏻Cylinders
This is an 🐣Easter Inspired DIY version of traditional Montessori Sound Cylinders ~ a material that isolates just one sense - the sense of hearing. Today, instead of six matching pairs, we will be making three matching pairs. As with all Montessori materials, there is a control of error – numbers on the bottom of each egg must match representing a matching pair.
- starting with the loudest ~ pasta (place number 1 sticker on each egg in this pair);
- fill the second matching pair with the cereal (or anything else not too loud and not too soft) and place number 2 sticker on each egg;
- finally, fill the last third pair with rice (which will make the softest sound) and code that pair as 3.
A note: you can vary the level of difficulty by filling the eggs with fillers that we very similar in sound (making it difficult) ~ thus requiring a developed auditory sense in older children, to sounds that drastically vary in degree for smaller children, for example pasta in one pair and pom poms in the other, making it easier for little one to distinguish the sounds, leading to success and confidence.
See the detailed presentation on traditional Montessori sound cylinders here.
👣Feet 🐣Egg Transferring 🌈Color Matching 💪🏻Gross Motor Game
See here a 📽video about this super fun gross motor DIY using recycled Easter eggs (balls work great too) where your kiddo, besides exercising those little feet, will have fun learning colors.
See here 🐰Easter 🐣Egg Bunting Banner Shaving Cream 🎨Marbled Paper ✂️Craft.
🐰Easter ✂️DIY ♻️Recycled 🍡Popsicle Puzzle
- recycled 🍡ice pop/popsicle sticks (or buy wooden craft sticks here),
- Easter stickers (or draw a picture),
- a craft knife,
- and a glue gun.
See detailed instructions on how to make this craft here ☘️Shamrock ✂️DIY ♻️Recycled 🍡Popsicle Puzzle Skip Counting by 🔟.
See here "🐣Easter Decoration Pipe Cleaner Beading Egg Ornament Craft."
See here a 📽video of Adrian making these Easter 🐣Egg Decoration Ornaments at 3 yo.
♻️DIY TIC TAC TOE
Do your children play tic-tac-toe? It's a 🤗fun game and an easy ♻️✂️DIY if you have 💦water bottle caps and 🍡ice pop sticks (any craft sticks will do), and a glue gun.
Our Non-DIY 🐰Easter version.
See here a video post "Soft Shelled 🏐Bouncy Raw 🐣Egg Kids 🔬⚗️⚖️ Science 101 🎥 Series 🎇."
👧🏻Julia and 👦🏼Adrian just made these 🐣Easter Franny's Tatales 🍪 cookies, recipe from CCelebrate Easter book.
Ingredients: (makes 5 dozen cookies ~ cut the ingredients in half if you would like to make less)
- 4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons of baking powder
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter
- 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Our Easter 🐣 Inspired Shelfie 2017 (see more here).
Many countries have different traditions or ways of celebrating Easter. And although the Easter Bunny always brings treats to children, in some countries, he puts the eggs in the children's baskets, and in others, he hides the eggs and the children have to go on an Easter-Day Hunt! The Easter Bunny has different names too, for example in Panam he is called Conejo (in Panama), and in Germany ~ Oschter Haws. However, wherever you go and whatever he is called, he is still the Easter Bunny!
The Egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century. Eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of fasting, and then eat them on Easter as a celebration.
Rabbits (buy Rabbit toy here) are known to be prolific procreators, so since ancient times, rabbits have been a symbol of fertility and new life. According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants, whose children would make nests for the Hare (called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws") to lay its colored eggs. With time, the custom spread across the U.S., and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries would also include chocolate, while decorated baskets replaced the nests. Children would often leave out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.
A nature corner for children to explore is a perfect transition from Winter to Spring.
What is on our nature shelf in 2017 (Adrian three-years-old):
- Easter Nest Wreath handcrafted in the USA from California-grown oakmoss, lavender, pink globes, white ammobium and Santa Cruz oregano (buy here). The wreath fills the entire learning space with a divine smell.
- Our Easter Steiff Bunny is lovingly stuffed and stitched by hand by artisans in Germany of soft, fine mohair and cotton, with an embroidered nose and safety eyes (buy here). Each bunny has an expressive face and one-of-a-kind personality.
- Spring Book (buy here) from Four Seasons Book Set.
- An orchid, which Adrian mists daily. See here 💦Caring for 🌺Orchids at 3 Yo • Montessori 🙌🏻Practical Life Activity.
- An April Month poster to reinforce the concept of the passage of calendar months.
- Celebrating Easter book by National Geographic Kids (buy here) we read for the Easter holiday.
Easter is a time to celebrate new life and baby animals (Adrian is holding this wild rabbit toy).
Happy Easter! Wishing everyone good health, happiness, and peace.