3 Alternative Easter Traditions To Start With Your Kids

I can't be the only person hesitant to put together an Easter basket for my 2 year old. Somewhere in the midst of packing up and moving 3 times in 6 months, I realized that I might lose my mind if we accumulate one more "toy" in the name of ceremony. Call me a "mean mom", but there's nothing magical about watching my son tear apart a basket of dollar-store items - or better yet, expensive items - only to forget about them 2 seconds later and go back to playing with a pack of highlighters he found on my bedside table. I know it looks great on social media (doesn't everything these days?) coordinating baskets and all, but I cannot be the only parent who just doesn't see a reason to give gifts for every single holiday year-round. He's got enough stuff he doesn't need...someone back me up on this?

I understand the tradition, and whether you're religious or not, I don't see anything wrong with it as a whole. In fact, my sister and I were raised in a Christian household, and we always received an Easter basket growing up. Easter morning consisted of finding our hidden baskets, followed by a trip to church, it was just what we expected. But now as a parent myself, I realized that I would rather fill the place of the Easter basket with a tradition more meaningful. As a Christian, it's important to us to teach Ezra why we celebrate Easter - it's OK to have fun with it, but for my own sanity, I think I'm going to leave out the gifts. If you're like me and you want to do the same, here are 3 easy ideas for something ELSE to do to celebrate Easter.


The Easter Story Egg - this is the one we've chosen for our family, and I was so excited to find this on Amazon during my search. Similar to the Resurrection Eggs, each nesting egg has a design painted on it that corresponds with a specific part of the biblical Easter story. As you open each nesting egg, you can read along with the Easter Story book (or read straight from the Bible). For Ezra, I think we are going to incorporate this nesting egg into an egg hunt. We are going to hide plastic eggs around the house along with the big wooden egg. Finding it will be part of the fun, and then once he finds it, we can go right into the Easter story!

Easter Story Egg Everyday Kate Blog

Resurrection Egg Hunt - Hide eggs around your home or yard that contain the elements of Resurrection Eggs. Once they find them all, take turns opening them and go through the story. As the years go on and the kids learn the story, give them each a chance to tell part of it as they open the eggs. Here's a fun set I found on Amazon!
Resurrection Eggs Amazon | Everyday Kate Blog


If you aren't religious, another fun option is to put together an Easter tree, similar to a Christmas Tree. This blog has instructions for how to make your own. You could put one ornament on each day of April leading up to Easter. You could treat it similar to an "advent" calendar - each day the kids could put an ornament on, and maybe have one task to do that day, whether it be an act of kindness, serving another person or just an encouraging word for the day. You don't need to wait until November to be thankful! 😉

There is still time to purchase or put together any of the above, or come up with your own! Are you and your family going the Easter basket route, or trying something different?

3 Alternative Easter Traditions To Start With Your Kids | Everyday Kate Blog

Amazon Finds: 9 Christian Books For Kids & Toddlers

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I was browsing Amazon the other day for some Christian-based books to buy for Ezra, and during my search I came across quite a few that caught my eye. As you probably know if you follow me regularly, our Christian faith is very important to us, which is why I was really scouring hard to find some Easter books that don't have a bunny as the main character. Of course all of the bunnies and springtime elements of Easter are fun to incorporate into every celebration, but as a Christian the holiday means so, so much more. I always hope and pray that Jack and I's faith can be an example for Ezra (and our children after him), and that he too can believe and trust in Christ. As his parents, we have the privilege and opportunity to point him in the right direction, even as a toddler.

I haven't purchased all of these books, but after looking through the listing, reading reviews, and hearing word-of-mouth recommendations for several of these books, I wanted to compile a list for those of you who are also trying to incorporate more faith-based books into your toddler or child's library. A fun bonus: some of these are perfect for Easter!


amazon finds christian book list












Will you be picking up any of these books for your child?


Spring Cleaning 101 - What's Your Decluttering Personality?


spring cleaning stock photo fresh and clean
photo by Heather Ford via Unsplash

There's just something about spring that really gets my cleaning motivation into full gear. I think part of it is being able to open doors and windows and let fresh, warm air blow through while I'm tidying and cleaning up. You just don't get the same effect in the winter when you have to keep everything closed up and protected from the bitter cold. Not only am I looking forward to spring cleaning, but also decluttering and organizing. Thankfully, due to our recent move, I've had a chance to really, REALLY sort through our belongings and eliminate things that leave our home cluttered.

I've learned what it takes for ME personally to get myself into gear, and it inspired me to help YOU figure out what type of organizer you are, and how you can benefit from your strengths (and weaknesses) when it comes to eliminating physical, mental and even digital clutter from your home & your life. So, in addition to today's blog post, I wanted to create a fun little quiz, along with some personalized advice for each "type" of personality when it comes to decluttering, cleaning and organizing.

spring cleaning 101 decluttering pinterest image

MY 3 SIMPLE TIPS

1. When trying to decide whether you want to give something away or get rid of it, look at that item in the light of your current lifestyle and be honest with yourself about the value that item has now. 

2. Once you put something into a trash or donation bag - don't take it back out! Don't let yourself second-guess your gut feeling. Most things can be replaced, and for your items that do have significant sentimental value, there is a way to organize and store those things. No one is forcing you to throw away truly meaningful items. But for the things you feel you can part with, don't let yourself go back to them and consider taking them back. Break up with those things for good!

3. If you haven't reached for something in 6 months or more (sometimes less), chances are, you don't need it. The exception to this tip is of course seasonal clothes and decor items such as coats, Christmas ornaments and decor. For example, I recently gave away my Crock-Pot because I hadn't reached for it in over a year. It was a pretty big appliance taking up space in a bin in our closet. Yeah, it's a good appliance to have, but I hadn't used it, so why keep it? I haven't even missed it. 😊


TAKE THE QUIZ
Keep track of your answers, and see below for the results!


1. The current state of your home is...?
a. spotless (mostly)!
b. pretty cluttered...but it's all stuff that I NEED
c. some areas are messier than others.
d. chaos - always chaos

2. When it comes to tidying up, you...
a. feel the need to clean/tidy constantly!
b. attempt, but nothing ever feels organized
c. can never seem to find the time
d. have no idea where to start

3. Which of these stresses you out the most?
a. not being able to keep up with everyday clutter
b. having to part with anything I love
c. not having the time to effectively organize/clean
d. having no method or idea as to what works for me or my family/home

4. Think of the most peaceful area of your home, what makes it that way?
a. it's clean and clutter-free
b. it holds everything I love (sentimental items!)
c. it doesn't demand a lot of attention from me
d. I don't know

5. You are probably most famous for saying:
a. "We don't need ONE more piece of junk in this house..."
b. "Save that! We might need it eventually..."
c. "I'll get it done later."
d. "Who on earth is Marie Kondo??"

RESULTS

mostly A - purger

mostly B - hoarder

mostly C - procrastinator

mostly D - dazed & confused


green cleaning bottles upsplash image
photo by Daiga Ellaby via Unsplash


THE PURGER

       As a purger, you have NO problem getting rid of stuff and eliminating clutter in your life & home. But a problem you often run into, is that ANY type of clutter or mess gets you annoyed and stressed out. As someone who loves things to be tidy, you get bogged down with cleaning up and feel like you spend more time worrying about the state of your home than you do enjoying living in it.

     TRY THIS:

       Keep a cleaning schedule in view, and give yourself grace when it comes to letting things get a little bit messy. Focus on one area of the home, or one cleaning task per day. If there are larger areas of your home that get cluttered more easily, make those a monthly focus. Rome wasn't built in a day; having a healthy rotation of cleaning & decluttering different areas of your home will allow you to get the job done without feeling like it all has to be done RIGHT NOW. 


THE HOARDER

         I'm using this scary term lightheartedly here - surely you're not a true hoarder, but you HATE getting rid of stuff (but you know you need to) - clothes, toys, even things like receipts and kids craft projects or artwork. You're a sentimental person who sees possibility in everything, and hates to throw away stuff that COULD potentially have meaning or purpose. But deep down, you know that this accumulation of "things" doesn't make you any more happy, or make your home feel more peaceful. Something needs to change, but you're unsure of what to do.

       TRY THIS:
       
        Work on one area at a time, starting with the area in your home where you want to feel the most peace - the place where you choose to relax most often. For me, a clean & tidy bedroom means I can relax and sleep peacefully knowing I'm not surrounded by clutter. Then, break it down by section, depending on how much you have stored in that specific room. For example, if your first place is your bedroom, start on your bedroom closet, and then choose one thing to start with (shoes, clothes, or anything else stored in the closet). Follow tip number 1 about being honest with yourself about what is important, then throw it away (or donate) and never look at it again!


THE PROCRASTINATOR

          You know you're living in a bit more clutter than you'd like to, and you have an idea of what needs done around your home, but you just can't seem to find or make the time to get into a solid routine and eliminate that clutter. Whether you're a busy mom, working long hours, or just tired after a long day, you always find excuses - which are valid, by the way! - that hinder you from taking care of some much needed tidying in your home and your life. You lack motivation!

         TRY THIS:
      
         Try to see the end result - the product of your hard work - and how your life might change if you DID take the time to do a little bit per day. It doesn't have to require hours of your time per week, or even per month! Use those "if, then" statements as your motivation. For example, IF you go through the stack of junk mail at the dining room table, THEN you will have more space to all sit down as a family for breakfast/lunch/dinner. IF you go through your child's baby clothes and donate or throw away things that are old or unneeded, THEN there will be more space in their closet, and less items to go through later on as they get older and bigger. Start with small tasks.

THE DAZED & CONFUSED

        All you know is that your life is cluttered, and that's about it. You have no idea what to do about anything, you might not even know that this whole "decluttering" thing is pretty much a trend right now. All you know is that something should probably be done about all of the "stuff" that's taking up space in your home and life. 

         TRY THIS:
     
         Start with what you DO know. What feels most cluttered on a daily basis, and what constantly annoys you? Start there, and then figure out why it bothers you - too cluttered with junk? Important or meaningful things that need organized? Begin in the area of your home that you use the most, or where you find yourself most often getting frustrated. Once you figure out why it bothers you, use the tips above to eliminate trash, donate items that you no longer use, and then find the best way to re-organize. It doesn't have to be a time-consuming or confusing process, all you need to do is take it step by step!


Which personality type are you? Did you find these tips helpful?

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