Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Little Peek Inside Our Easter Baskets (hint, it's mostly books) PlusGift Ideas and New Easter Printables

Happy Palm Sunday! Hosanna! Easter is one week away! Just in case you haven't finalized your family's Easter baskets, I thought I'd give you a glimpse of what is going to be in ours' this year (and yes, I pretty much JUST took care of all of this) . . .


I've been working on our collection of Advent and Christmas books over the past couple of years, and I'm really pretty satisfied with it these days. (Also, for whatever reason, I'm much better at planning ahead for Christmas. Lent is just SO long.) But our collection of Lent and Easter books is, well, almost nonexistent.

We are consciously minimizing the bringing of toys into the house, since we are all set in that department. So the kids' Easter baskets this year are going to be new Easter clothes and shoes, candy, books, and sidewalk chalk. That's it. But after a nearly-treatless Lent, they would probably be satisfied with just the candy.

Cultural-type Easter books seem a lot farther away from the true meaning of Easter, somehow, than do cultural Christmas books. You know: "Binky Bunny is sad. With the wheel off of his wagon, he and Chipper Chick will NEVER make it to the big Spring Festival on time!" But then, it is SO HARD to find religious Easter books that aren't poorly illustrated or poorly written, or both.

So, I did a lot of looking. And here's what I found in the way of Easter books (plus a couple not-so-Easter books for the older kids). The kids haven't seen them yet, but I think they all look really great.

- for Lulu, 17 months -

The Easter Story, board book
Oliver, board book

 

 - for Frankie, age 3 -

Richard Scarry's The Bunny Book
I am a Bunny, board book

 

- for Anita, age 5 -

Rechenka's Eggs
The Easter Story

 

- for Gus, age 7 -

The Egg Tree
The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale

 

- for Bobby, age 9 -

The Story of the Easter Robin
Ed Emberley's Big Green Drawing Book 

 

- for Betty, age 11 -

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

 

- for Jack, age 12 -

Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle

Nick and Tesla's Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove
These two are the third and fourth books in the Nick and Tesla series. Here is my review of the first two.

Annnd . . . counting up . . . yep. That's all of them. (For this year at least.)

We gave the kids subscriptions to Kiwi Crate for Christmas and have been really happy with it. We get all four of the available crates. Each month, a sturdy cardboard box arrives in the mail with all the supplies the kids need to do a few projects based on a particular theme.


ALL the supplies. The glue, the scissors, everything. Which is really great for me, because I can mostly mange to keep track of the children, but almost never the scissors.

A Kiwi Crate subscription would make a great Easter gift, except that it just comes when it comes in the mail. So . . . just in case that's what's been holding you back, I made up these certificates, that can be printed and put in an Easter basket.

Koala Crate is geared for ages three to five. The projects cover preschool concepts like colors, and music. Frankie can't do the projects on his own, but the older kids help him.



Kiwi Crate is meant for ages four to eight. Anita, Gus, and Bobby all get Kiwi Crate. Bobby is nine, but he still really enjoys the projects.


Betty gets Doodle Crate, which is for ages nine to sixteen plus. The craft projects are great for older girls, and have been things Betty really can use, like a pencil case, or jewelery. And she's been able to give friends and family-members homemade (but actually useable) gifts!


Finally, Jack gets Tinker Crate, which is for ages nine to fourteen. The projects are science, engineering, and robotics-based, and are challenging, but do-able for him on his own. And the projects have given him ideas for things he does on his own later.



And, while I'm mentioning things . . . I'll put in a quick plug here for my book. It would make a thoughtful gift, if I do say so myself, for anyone who has recently made, or will soon make a First Confession. But it's also helpful for anyone, kids OR grownups, who want to know more about the sacrament, and/or approach it well-prepared each time.

A Little Book about Confession for Children
All links are Affiliate Links, clicking over and shopping through these links helps support this blog at no additional cost to you. Thanks!
And now, some free Easter printables for ya!

As with all my printables, you are welcome to right click on the image and save it to your computer for your own personal use. You may print the images and or upload them and have prints made for your personal use or to give as gifts. (These are sized for 8x10 or square but will print well much bigger.) You may use my images on your blog, just please link back to my blog. If you would like to sell my images, please contact me first. To request a custom printable, visit my Etsy shop here.

For LOTS MORE free printable prayers, check out my Pinterest board.

Here is the JPII Easter quote for kids on white:

and on yellow:


And a little more grown up version on white:


and on yellow:


and square on white:

 Here are last year's Easter basket suggestions, with free things to print that are not of my making:

Last Minute Somewhat Free Easter Baskets

Have a happy Palm Sunday, a fruitful Holy Week, and a joyous Easter.

What We Wore Palm Sunday . . . Me: Anthropologie, Frankie: Gymboree + Old Navy, Lulu: Vintage Knit, Anita: Old Navy, Gus: Gymboree + Old Navy, Betty: Old Navy + new haircut

for more WIWS, visit Fine Linen and Purple

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26 comments:

  1. I'm not the laughing out loud type, but this made me laugh so that my husband looked at me funny:

    "Binky Bunny is sad. With the wheel off of his wagon, he and Chipper Chick will NEVER make it to the big Spring Festival on time!"

    Haaaaa!

    Thanks for the book ideas!

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  2. We have the Tale of Three Trees in board book form and really like it.

    Off topic: do you wear your maternity wear year round? I know you've talked before about not wearing maternity clothes. I prefer the fitted look, pencil skirts and such, which means that in the past I haven't been able to wear pretty much any of it once I've got a bump. The flowy dresses you wear aren't necessarily my style, but I would be willing to try it if I thought I could wear those pieces all the time. Breastfeeding really thins me down to nothing, so I wonder if those dresses wouldn't fit me right any between pregnancies. So I guess the short version of the question is: Do your 2nd/early 3rd trimester dresses fit you when you're at your thinnest? Or do you need to buy a size up for the clothes you intend to wear for pregnancy?

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    1. I prefer empire waist dresses and a tight-pants, loose top silhouette all the time, so I'd say maybe half of my clothes work for all the time, and then a quarter is specifically for third trimester and a quarter for especially thin.

      But really, I think you've got to go with what you like best in "regular time." I see women in fitted maternity dresses or maxi dresses and I think they look so cute, but then that's not what I wear normally, so I just don't end up wearing them hardly at all.

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  3. Good book suggestions, definitely keeping this in mind for next year.

    Love the family outfits for Palm Sunday, the boys look super sharp in red!

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  4. I love The Easter Story by Brian Wildsmith, but I was so confused when he says, Mary, the mother of Jesus was at the empty tomb, I thought, hmmm, I never knew that. Well, I did a bit of searching and it turns out it was the "3 Marys", but none of them Our Lady. I just tell my kids the author is wrong when we read that part!

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    1. Yes, that's a good point. The illustrations are SO amazing, but it's surprising an error like that could get through editors and whatnot.

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    2. We have a few children's books with little mistakes like that (not necessarily religious, sometimes grammar, sometimes something else), and I'm tempted to take a permanent to them. Does anyone else do that?

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    3. I would! I have, actually, on at least one occasion, when there was an error I felt was too egregious to overlook, and that I wanted to make sure my children recognized as such. I used to always keep all my books in pristine condition, but finally have decided that I buy them so they are USEful to us, which means we should USE them! :-) And when things get used, they don't stay in pristine condition, and I am finally beginning to be ok with that.

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    4. Absolutely Elizabeth! My husband has even been know to improve some of our sillier picture books with unexpected speech bubbles.

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  5. Great book suggestions! I also am trying to do less toys and get rid of the toys we don't use that are just taking up space. I love to do Easter baskets and books are a great gift. Can't have too many good books laying around for young minds to soak up! This year I filled their baskets with consumable things that will go away once they are done with them. A few crafty kits (that were $1), bubbles, chalk, crayons, chocolate, and for the older three, "prayer note book s". I bought $1 notebooks, then printed the shining saint pictures off the computer to glue to the front of the notebooks. Thanks for that great idea!! Have you ever read the Max Lucdo books for kids? We have a couple and they are among our favorites!

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    1. These are all great ideas. I'm a big fan of things that get used up or go outside!

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  6. Have you read, Zita the Spacegirl, by Ben Hatke? I think you and your kids would love the Zita series! Thank you for this wonderful lineup.

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    1. No I haven't, but Bonnie at a Knotted Life recommended them a while back and I keep meaning to check them out!

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    2. You definitely should; my children LOVE them! (Full disclosure: the author's sister was my sponsor.) They are really great books. I actually really enjoy them myself.

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  7. Love the baskets you are preparing for your kids! We love Tomie DaPaola's books. He has many that focus on Saints and Holy Days. A favourite that comes out at Easter is The Clown of God.

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  8. The Koala crate looks like an awesome idea! I have a 3 and 2 yr old, and a newborn, and I'm wondering if it would be worth it to do an extended subscription, or if I should just buy one crate?

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  9. Beautiful red outfits on everyone. I know the colors but keep forgetting about it when I dress for mass. Need to leave a reminder in my closet.
    Here's a big plug for Kendra's Little Book About Confession for Kids.....it's not just for kids.Lots of my adult friends have read it and think it's helps them also and then get a copy for their grandkids. I highly recommend it for kids of all ages.

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    1. I used it to prepare for my first confession earlier this year.

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  10. I didn't know 'I am a Bunny' was still available! That was one of MY very first books and it's getting a little worn. Good ideas. I'm checking some of them out. I just had to hide a giant box holding a basketball hoop that was delivered while we were gone, which will be all the kids' Easter gift. It's big, but I sometimes use Easter to get a bigger, group outdoorsy gift, since we actually have winter around here and it's a bummer to get something like that for Christmas and not be able to use it for 4 months!

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    1. That is such a fabulous idea!

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    2. I love, love, love outdoor gifts. Less stuff in the house AND more motivation for the kids to play outside? Perfect.

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  11. Great book suggestions! We love books here, especially with our emerging reader. I got Kiwi Crate for our 6yo for Christmas. He loves it, but I am not a fan.mwe never get scissors in our box, but we've gotten paint 2 months in a row, which is a no-no around here. Maybe if we lived in a climate where outdoors is a possibility in February & March I wouldn't mind so much, but paint + cabin fever + mommy walking away to change a diaper = needing to replace flooring. So just no.

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  12. Books are such a great gift! I love that books invite sharing and reading together as well as discussions. We also do the outside toys for Easter like a new bIke or skates. Have a grace filled holy week.

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  13. Oh my gracious look at you all! I just love when you link up and show us your awesome liturgical style! :)

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