Monday, April 18, 2011

Have An Easter Extravaganza and read details about Our BIG Easter Give Away!

Hi Friends~

I hope your weekend was as wonderful as ours!   I have something I would like to share with you today. A while ago, I was a Children's Church Director for a local church that was here in Central Florida.  It was so was a brand new church family...even though we didn't yet have a traditional church building.  After all, the people are the church!  We met in a home that was donated and then we met in an office building that worked beautifully.  We had a separate area for each age group, and a Sanctuary!  We had infants from birth through the 6th grade.  Why am I telling you this?  Because we had such an amazing, fun, and Christ centered Easter Extravaganza!  I wanted to share the details with you.  You could share the information with your church perhaps they would use the ideas next year, or you could even use some of these ideas in your own home with your own children and perhaps their friends.  I do hope that this will be helpful or at least interesting to all! 

Why would we have an Easter Extravaganza at all?  Because we are told...

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."  Matthew 28:18-20

Before I go on, let me remind everyone to please look on the side bar, and read about our BIG Easter Give Away!  You could win everything in the photo, if your real name, user name or initials are randomly chosen from the comment section, midnight on Wednesday night!  The winner will be announced on Thursday!!!!

Now, in our Christ Centered Easter Extravaganza there were a couple of activities that were not-Christ centered, but brought many, many families from the neighborhoods to the celebration.  (We put a large sign in front of our church.) When children (or adults) asked when the Easter Bunny was going to be there, I simply told everyone to respond with a similar answer "Today WE are celebrating Jesus Christ, Our Lord! Come on, let's get started!"  There were no bunny decorations, stickers or activities, except for the Egg Hunt.  I came to the decision that since the other churches were having them for members only, this would be a big draw of people to come...and if they had to look for candy with hear the real story of Jesus and Easter several times, and remember it by hand-on would be worth it!  It was!  We had several new members join, and I believe we had close to 20 new students!
We did have an Easter Egg hunt.  In each egg was candy, and a Scripture about Easter that was done on the computer.  We put 3 of the Jellybean Prayers to a sheet of colored paper, so that the "White" would show up.  We also put the time and location of the event and a phone number to the sides.  We then, along with the youth group (teens) went house to house and we had previously put a hole in the corner of each page and tied a rubber band through it.  We then hung it on their garage door.  DO NOT DO THIS!  The colored paper bled when it rained all over people's doors.  I suggest putting each one in a baggie, and hanging it!

The Jellybean Prayer
An egg full of jellybeans, colorful and sweet,
Reminds me of God’s bounty with this Easter treat!

Red is for the blood Christ gave.
Green is for the palm’s cool shade.
Yellow is for God’s light so bright.
Orange is for prayers at twilight.
Black is for sweet rest at night.
White is for the grace of Christ.
Purple is for His days of sorrow.
Pink is for each new tomorrow.

This was on the opposite side, in bright colors and bold font:

Your Family Is Invited to Bridgeway Church’s 2nd Easter Extravaganza!
Saturday, April 14th---10am-12pm

Easter Egg Hunt (at 10:00 only) † Art Activities † Cupcake Walk
† Face Painting † Hear the Story of Easter † Make a Crown of Thorns & Empty Tomb † † Music †And many other activities!
 Prizes, Goody Bags & Treats! †

Bridgeway Church House (Address Goes Here)
Bring the whole family! Rain or Shine!
Bring a blankett & a camera!

Want more info? Call Traci at ________
An adult must accompany children.

Matthew 28:5 I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.
He is not here! He has risen, just as He said He would!

I asked teachers and some of the other leaders of the church and some of the older teens, and young adults to help out.  We ended up having everything donated from local stores and it did not cost the church a cent!

The event was on a Saturday, and we gave all of the people that came to church a flyer with this information, but colorful and with decorations.  We also hung a huge board in the hall, and wrote in the person's name only as they decided to help out...the more the volunteered...the more others wanted to do the same!

List their names and numbers on the handouts that they would return to you only.
Basically this is what we found we needed, with 1 of the people being in charge of each group, with complete instructions numbered in the order of importance: 

Friday night set-up team: 7-10pm: (5 people wanted) Get everything ready for the next day, so in the morning, all they need to do is put everything outside in the right location.
Set-up Team: 5 people wanted, starting at 8:00am  These people hung signs, (love of Christ, Happy Easter, Class room names with mottos,) signs to rest rooms (made by teens), and put all materials needed for the event in the right area.  We had some activities inside so they could cool off, and some outside.  (We live in Florida, it is in the 90's!)
One Person who can take down posters around the neighborhood, after the event:

A main goal was to get families to join the church or at least get the children to Sunday School...and the parents will usually follow.  So we had everyone fill out a form so we would have their name, phone, address, email, and children's ages.  We would then make it a point to introduce the parents and the children to the teacher's who would lead their child's class.

Of course, I made sure everyone met the Pastor and his wife.  I played hostess, and kept circulating from activity to activity to make sure they didn't need help, a break or more materials, cleaned the bathrooms, made sure people had sunscreen if wanted, and a blanket if they wanted, some chairs outside...not everyone can get up and down.

Registration: Have all guests fill out a registration form. Give name tags. Determine age and give the right color name tag to show the child’s age. Also, give children leaving a goody bag for each child, as well as a big thank you! Try to find a student of the same age as the visiting child to be a "buddy."  (Colored name tags come in handy in several ways.)  Have clipboards, many pens, colored tags for children, so you can put them in different groups for the egg hunt so the little ones don't get knocked over!  Outgoing people for this!  First impressions are everything.  (2 People)

After the event, I sent every family a handwritten thank you note, and an invitation for Sunday School that week, and that the parents could enjoy the service or sit in on the class and be a helper that week, or just leave the children there, and go get a cup of long as they left their cell number, signed an emergency release form, and kept their phone on!  (So they could see how things were run, and what the teachers did with the kids.)

One thing we didn't realize we needed until all of the volunteers showed up was a parking crew.  We didn't have a paved parking lot..and cars were parking every which way in the field.  Someone could get hurt, cars could get blocked in, and we wanted to make sure every one's day started out on the right foot.  This was imperative!  Hostess:  Keep bringing drinks to the people working in the field and any outside activity.

Group Leaders: Each group of about 10 children in the same age group will be lead by a “Group Leader.” The Group Leaders will be given a “Route” to take the children/parents.  (Telling them which activity to go to next...all activities 10 minutes.) Every group will go to a different booth at different times…no traffic jams. We wanted the teachers to try to do this, since they knew many of the children. Parents were more than welcome.  Many of them learned things they didn't realize during the event also. (6 Group Leaders):
I know that many people learn by hearing, seeing or feeling/doing.  We wanted them to hear about Jesus and the Easter story several times.  We wanted them to use all of their senses through-out the morning/day.

Make the Announcements for the Egg Hunt:1 person
Plastic eggs were pre-stuffed over coffee and cake earlier that week. 
Have egg hiders: 6 people wanted
Empty Egg Table: The children will bring the empty eggs they found here.  (We wanted to reuse them each year.)

Face painting: THESE volunteers know how to face paint with Christian symbols...or happy bunnies!Use different q-tips for each child.  Ask parent first....allergies? (2 people)

Tell about the miracle of Easter: 1 Person with a super large book...tell the story...not read it...keep the pictures facing the audience.  Can use puppet.

"The angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; He has risen just as He said."  Matthew 28:5-6

Volunteer to work at our Coloring Book Table: Each person will receive a handmade coloring book about Jesus. (I xeroxed some pages I put together...about 5 pages and a cover and blank page for notes if wanted.) They can start to color the cover. (You will talk about the different pages of the book. (The Easter Story) 1 volunteer needed.  This person re-tells the Easter Story while coloring with the children.  Do not read it, or just gab, please.

The Empty Tomb Table: each child will make an empty tomb out of clay. The volunteer leading this group, will tell the about the Easter Miracle: (1 person)
Have paper and spray bottle of water, or a hose.  Put their cave and rock on paper plate with their name to retrieve later.  Home made play-doh may be better?  Clay is hard to mold especially for little hands...and it is so messy!

"Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock.  He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.  Matthew 27:59-60

The Table with the Crown of Thorns: The volunteer here will show the children the real thorn of thorns. (made of rose vines.) They will be allowed to touch the thorns.  I had started to weave crowns of thorns out of brown pipe cleaners...there were no sharp edges, but their were pointed corners. They would add more pipe cleaners with the help of the volunteer and group leader that leads the people from activity to activity.  The volunteer at the table will talk about Jesus and His crown of thorns, and tell them in an age appropriate way how Jesus was treated as he had to carry His own cross, and how the guards treated Him. (1 person)  Parents requested to join this activity.
"They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on hin, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on His head." Matthew 27:28

Unique Cupcake/Cookie Walk: This person will have the children each stand on a paper Easter Symbol they learned about. The music will play from the CD on the table. When the music is stopped every child stops on an Easter symbol. The volunteer plays the music as the children stand on the laminated shapes and moves from one to another.  The music stops...they land on a shape...the volunteer takes a picture of the symbol out of a bag, asks the children what it is...and the person on that shape wins a  (1) cookie or a cup cake!   Not in the sun!!!  (1 person)

Hospitality Table: An adult area to meet members of the Bridgeway Family.  Also, literature on the Sunday School and church.  As well as a lot of the children's art showing.  Get them some lemonade, make them comfortable while children go through the activities...and make sure they know we would love to have them join the children.

Youth Group: Members of the Vintage Youth (teen youth)will be holding a bake sale! They will also have a poster with interesting facts about our youth group.

Prayer Person: After the children in a group finish the other activities they will be brought to you. (Parents, also, if possible). The prayer person will be comfortable praying at a child’s vocabulary level. This volunteer will have the boldness to ask the children & the adults, if they have made the decision to ask our Lord Jesus into their hearts and to be their Lord and Savior.

Follow Up Person: When the guests (adults and children) leave the prayer session…we would like to follow up with people who have made the decision to follow Jesus.  Let them know where they can go for leadership…and to get their name so we can continue to pray for them as well as minister to them.  Also ask if they have any other prayer needs at this time. (2 people)

Music: Members of the Praise Team sung with microphone and speaker system...organized by Director of Praise Team.  Live music on and off....CD's in between.

Clean-up group: As many people as possible!_____________

After the event...the church members had brought a pot luck.  Anyone was invited.

GOALS: Bring the Gospel to families who live in the area of the Bridgeway House!

Introduce families in the area of the Bridgeway House to Bridgeway!

Have a day of fun and togetherness for our Bridgeway Family!

Well, that is a lot of information.  I hope you found some fun but educational ways to share with your child, grandchild, niece, nephew...maybe let your child have an Easter Party.  Maybe share the ideas with your church.  It was so much fun, and one of the best days I have ever had.  So many people REALLY learned about Jesus and Easter.  Every child could tell me in pretty good detail what happened to Jesus and why!  We were all so blessed!  It was worth every bit of preparation, and 2 very difficult conversations with people with bright red paper dripping onto their white garage doors.  They were quite understanding!  However you celebrate Easter, I pray that everyone makes it a Christ centered holiday, and enjoys the day with loved, friends, or other people.  If you try any of these ideas, please consider letting us know how it went.  May you truly be blessed.

He IS Able,
Traci Starkweather


  1. What a great Easter celebration your church hosted. We all need to be reminded of the true meaning of Easter. Christ dies for us and rose from the dead to save us.

  2. Sounds like such a great event!! So much going on, Praise God. I really like this blog there is so much information and it is just beautiful! I still do want to be entered for the Easter Giveaway! It is just a fantastic giveaway! Thank you so very much!
    Debra D, NY

  3. Traci, what a wonderful idea for outreach. Our church is praying for our own building so that we can do things like this. Until last year, our church does a festival in the summer and it is open to the community with everything free - from food to activities. Unfortunately the church we rent from won't let us hold it while we are renting their building, but we are believing that God is going to open a building so that we can do outreach. I will definitely keep this in mind and pass it along! Great ideas that you shared!! What a blessing your giveaway will be for someone.

    Blessings~ Catherine

  4. Traci, you are indeed blessed for your service and I certainly appreciate your visits to brighten my day with your kind and sweet comments and words of inspiration! I have your son in my thoughts and prayers daily!! Sending big hugs your way...Jacque Beddingfield

  5. Traci,
    Thanks so much for sharing the information about what you and your church did, sounds like some great ideas. :) YOur such a very inspiration to me all the time. I always come here to read but i sometimes forget to post anything but just wanted you to know that I do come here often. Hope that your doing good. and Best wishes for you and your fmaily on ths special easter day.

    nikki1578, Nichole Ringer

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I forgot to add my real name to my email here's a repeat of my post that I deleted above. Sorry for any confusion!

    Traci, you are a wonderful to get The Word out easily to those who still live in the dark. I am blessed to know you and be a follower of your blog!
    Linda Weber

  8. Sounds like you had a wonderful event Traci!


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