Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Celebrations

Easter in Autumn is, in the words of Collette Leenman (from Easter in Autumn), "both a challenge and a gift...we are called to consciousness." In the southern hemisphere we need to find new ways to make Easter meaningful and relevant to what we are experiencing around us. I had a fascinating time coming to my own understandings of creating a meaningful easter for me, and reworking the symbology of traditional Easter experiences. For the children at playgroup this is all done in a 'pictorial' form, through the beautiful experiences and stories we provide (and once you get going there are so many ideas to expand on - so hard to choose!)


This year I chose the simple story of The Easter Hunt, based on the one in Colleen Leenmans book. I loved it's simplicity and the idea that "the hunt for the eggs is a pictorial form of 'seek and ye shall find'. Although the children aren't aware of it, there is the element of spiritual seeking, of looking for new life in the egg, of searching out its golden light." This was also repeated in our own Easter hunt at our celebration.

The Easter Blessing Tree

I wet painted one card for each child...

and then potted up a fallen branch, painted some of it's leaves gold, and hung the blessing cards on the tree. Each child took one card home to write/draw an Easter blessing on. These were then brought back to playgroup and hung on the Blessing Tree for someone else to choose at our Easter celebration, and recieve a lovely message on Easter morning.

Wet Felted Easter Eggs

I wanted to create the experience of a hunt, without the focus on chocolate or sweets. Felted eggs can also be used over and over again as children recreate their own Easter hunts.

Lots of yummy colours of fleece were roughly dry felted into egg shapes, ready for playgroup...

The children then had a wonderful time wet felting them, to make the eggs for our treasure hunt

Fleece Knot Hares

The hare was portrayed as the bringer of Easter eggs. The hares ears are much longer than the rabbits, and with these it listens, is perceptive and wakeful. The hare will also sacrifice its life for that of another hare, and is seen as steadfast in its intentions.

12 little fleece hares were also made.

For instructions see

Easter Celebration Day

This year wAlign Centere held our Easter celebration at Daisy Hill Reserve. Although the weather was looking a little uncertain, there is a wonderful undercover BBQ area which we set up in.

Autumn Crowns...

The children stuck leaves, petals and bark onto strips of cardboard to make some autumn crowns.

They looked like Autumn forest fairies!

The Treasure Hunt...

With much excitement, everyone set off on our Easter treasure hunt...

There were baskets of all colours, shapes and sizes...

I love that our beautiful mums really get into the spirit of things too...

Treasures were found, each one lighting a spark of excitement to hold within us over Easter ...Easter hares, felted eggs, and little bags of wheat grass seeds, all to create our own Easter gardens at home.

Dying Easter Eggs...

Whilst the Easter egg can be seen as a symbol of new life and beginnings, it is also holding a secret. The golden yolk within can be seen as a representation of the golden sun, its light which we carry within us over the darker, colder months.

We used coloured crepe paper and water to dye some hard boiled eggs. The water holds the paper to the eggs and makes the colours run. Leave the paper on for a while until not quite dry then peel off and the colours should remain.

The Easter BBQ...

After a rocky start the BBQ's fired up, and we cooked up eggs, organic sausages, sliced eggplant, pumpkin, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes...and of course home made hot cross buns were also waiting for us.

Waiting for lunch (the birds too, gathered round the BBQ)

Finally food! What a feast and it was delicious! And what a lovely experience it is to share good food with our friends.

Beautiful Birthdays...

We also had two magical birthdays to celebrate! The girls recieved rainbow birthday gnomes, which I hope they love.

We all took an Easter Blessing card from the tree to adorn our own Easter tables. There were some beautiful verses.

With our eyes we see the beauty of Easter.., hues of red, gold, brown as the Earth prepares to rest.
With our ears we hear the birdsong drifting of the breeze.., sweet, echoing, calling.

With our hands we gather our Autumn harvest.., and taste the sweet fruits of our summers work...

And with our hears we feel Joy and Love


May you always walk in sunshine, may you never want for m ore

May the angels of peace and contentment, rest their wings beside your door.

Light and love


The bright colours of summer fade fast in the dawn of Autumn

The joy of Easters promise delivers sweet reason to sing.


And finally one last visitor... not quite the Easter Hare, but just as exciting!

Wishing everyone a beautiful easter to treasure with your loved ones.