God Gave Us You

god-gave-us-youWe are a Christian family so we LOVE any book that talks about God and his love for us in a way that captivates children. If the story feels personal to your child then it really helps them to understand the message. God Gave Us You delivered all that and more. It is a book that captured our (almost) 4 year-old instantly, by seeing her name on the cover and on every page. It beautifully tells about God’s love for His children and how “God had a plan at the very beginning… He had you in mind, when He set the world spinning.” The book reads easily with catchy rhymes…my favorite!

Each beautiful illustration features the child’s name. They’ll love finding the letters of their name hiding in the leaves of a tree, strutting on the feathers of a peacock and shining brightly in the night sky. Even the front, back and spine of this 8.5″ x 8.5″ hardcover book are personalized. Parents can write a narration for their children as well, making it a great option for a gift or any special occasion. This is defintiely a book to add to your collection for a wonderful reminder of how perfectly created your little one is. $29.95, available at marblespark.com.

Candy Alternatives for Your LO’s Easter Basket

Ok, parents it is officially the week of Easter! You have probably been too busy to worry about Easter baskets, but it’s getting down to the wire. When filling baskets for your little ones, candy isn’t always the best option, so we came up with a few other options that are sure to make your youngsters Easter extra fun.

BOOKS

god-gave-us-youBooks really are perfect for every occasion! Since Easter is a Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, books that teach about Him are always important. You can find many wonderful books about the Christian Easter story in almost any store. Grab a simple board book for your youngest kids and one that teaches more facts and details about the resurrection for your older children.

We found another book that, while it’s not about Easter, it does celebrate God’s deep love for each of us, colorfully showing children how “God had a plan at the very beginning… He had you in mind, when He set the world spinning.” Marblespark’s new book God Gave Us You is a cleverly crafted book that is personalized specially for your child, and keeps the message of the Easter holiday, God’s unwavering love for all His children, close at heart. Each beautiful illustration features the child’s name. They’ll love finding the letters of their name hiding in the leaves of a tree, strutting on the feathers of a peacock and shining brightly in the night sky. Even the front, back and spine of this 8.5″ x 8.5″ hardcover book are personalized. Perfect for ages 0 to 6. $32.95 at marblespark.com.

BIBLE COVER

bible coverA Bible cover is a great Easter gift! What a perfect way to get kids excited about their Bible by making it feel special and unique to them. There are many options available for children online or in Christian bookstores. Look for something that has colors, embellishments or features that are fun for your kids. Something with a handle and a heavy duty fabric is great for years of toting to Sunday school! A more delicate Bible cover would be fantastic to for a baby’s first Easter. We found 2 beautiful white Bible covers: a lovely one for a little girl with eyelet fabric, lace edges and a bow on the front and another one that is hand embroidered with polka dots and a cross, appropriate for any gender. $19 & $23 at elegantbaby.com

SPRINGTIME ACTIVITIES

crayola-grab-n-goEaster really welcomes spring so fun activities to do outside are wonderful non-candy options for an Easter basket. This is such an easy way to fill a basket with inexpensive items like a jump rope, bubbles, sidewalk chalk or a kite. I just discovered a wonderful product from Crayola: Crayola Sidewalk Chalk Grab ‘n Go Games. Each game Includes 4 sticks of Washable Sidewalk Chalk, detailed instructions and the final accessory for the game you choose—everything you need to create and play challenging games on sidewalks or driveways. $6.50 at crayola.com

birdhouseWhat screams spring more than bird nests and baby birds?! Birdhouses and birdfeeders are a fun Easter gift. Look for a birdhouse that your child can paint and customize. We also found a super cool birdhouse kids will LOVE. The My Spy Birdhouse has a clear back and suction cups so you can hang it on a window in your house and see everything that goes on inside the birdhouse! It comes with a 3-way mirror so the birds have more privacy but you can still see them. We have ours hanging in a window and we anxiously check it daily for a resident (bird houses are not always inhabited right away so give it time if you get one)! $14.99 at myspybirdhouse.com.

COLORING/ART SUPPLIES

crayola egg crayonsColoring books, crayons, markers, chalk, play-doh all get old and spent. While doing your spring cleaning, throw out all the used up art supplies and replace them with new stuff in their Easter Baskets. Make it Easter-y by giving them an Easter coloring book (you can probably find a Christian one too)! Crayola has adorable egg-shaped crayons, which are made for tiny hands. They are perfect for this holiday but of course are made to use any time of year.

MOVIES

dog who saved easterI know that all parents struggle with the whole screen time thing with their kids, but children love to watch movies and it can be a great activity to do together with your little ones. Holiday-themed movies are extra fun for a holiday gift, too. And don’t worry that your kids won’t want to watch it year-round. If they like a movie they will watch it anytime, no matter the season. My daughter watches her Grinch and Rudolph quite regularly! Our Easter movie pick this year is The Dog Who Saved Easter. It is an adorable story about a yellow lab, Zeus whose family is heading out on a family cruise and sending Zeus to doggie day care. Everything is going according to plan until the daycare’s crosstown rival hires a trio of crooks to sabotage the fledgling business. Zeus will make some new friends and new enemies as he uses all his tricks to save the daycare and Easter! It is a cute movie with a recognizable cast (Beverly Mitchell, Mario Lopez, Dean Cain) that kids of many ages will enjoy. $9.96 at Wal-Mart

Go ahead and put a little candy in your kid’s Easter basket, but use these ideas to get you thinking of alternatives to fill them up with something other than sugar! Remember to teach them about Jesus and the resurrection and have a very happy Easter!

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