Start a new fun Easter tradition with your family this year. Meaningful Easter traditions for kids and families create memories that last a lifetime. This article includes the origins of common Easter symbols and a list of Easter traditions in America.
Our fondest memories consist of the experiences and traditions that we enjoy with our friends and families. Families that share traditions report a stronger connection and bond than families that do not have established rituals, traditions, and rhythms.
Create memories to cherish with these Easter Tradition ideas for kids and families. Remember, this is not a must-do list, but a can-do list… If it’s not fun for you and your family don’t do it!
Before we begin with our list of Easter Traditions, have you ever wondered about the origins of the symbols commonly associated with Easter in America? If you have ever asked; why is there an Easter Bunny and Eggs, how did the Easter bunny come to be, or why do we have baskets on Easter?
Read on… we have uncovered some interesting theories and facts to share with you.
Why is there an Easter Bunny and Eggs?
Many Americans question how Easter came to be associated with the Easter Eggs and the Easter Bunny.
Some consider the Easter egg to be a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The egg represents the womb from which Christ is reborn. Others believe that eggs came to be associated with Easter because they were forbidden during Lent.
Boiling eggs was a way to keep them through Lent so they wouldn’t go bad while decorating and eating them for Easter was a part of celebrating the completion of penance and fasting.
Others claim that the egg is borrowed from pre-Christian spring equinox celebrations where the egg is said to represent fertility and rebirth. The spring equinox is also called the vernal equinox and has been celebrated as a time of renewal and rebirth since long before Christ was born, or reborn.
As Christianity grew in Western Europe, the Catholic church adopted many pagan customs. As an example, many cultures celebrate spring festivals and holidays–like Easter and Passover–around the spring equinox.
How did the Easter Bunny Come to Be?
The Easter bunny, also known as the Easter Rabbit or Hare is an Easter Tradition that originated in Germany. The Easter bunny would visit children on the evening before Easter to give them their baskets filled with goodies. It was also a common Easter tradition for German children to leave a carrot out for the Easter Hare.
Like the egg, the bunny was also a symbol of fertility for the pre-Christians. The rabbit, or hare, was also associated with Eostre, the goddess of fertility and rebirth in the Pagan tradition. Both the spring equinox and Eostre were celebrated in the early spring to honor rebirth and new beginnings.
Pagans held a huge festival for Eostre on the same day that Easter falls today–on the first Sunday after the first full moon that falls after the spring equinox. I know it’s a mouthful, but it is the date chosen to be “Easter” to this very day.
Why do we have Baskets on Easter?
Easter baskets are also said to stem from Pagan spring rituals and traditions. Esotre was said to carry a basket of eggs as a symbol of fertility, and people would gift baskets of young seedlings as an offering to her. Since eggs and seedlings were considered to be a symbol of rebirth, the baskets came to symbolize new beginnings and fertility.
Since Easter is celebrated on the same day that the pre-Christians celebrated Eostre, Christians reinvented many of the traditions associated with Eostre and the spring equinox and included them in their Easter Traditions.
Related: Easter Basket Ideas for Kids
The Origins of Easter Traditions and Symbols
The early Christian monks believed allowing the pre-Christians to continue to honor their traditions and symbols would encourage more people to convert to Christianity. They feared that people would rebel and hold on to their old beliefs if they were not allowed to carry out the traditions that were important to them.
This is why many of the rituals and customs that are associated with the Spring Equinox have become a part of Easter celebrations today. Easter traditions such as Easter baskets, dyed eggs, and even the Easter Bunny became a way to continue to honor the rituals and traditions that the people found most meaningful.
For more information about Easter symbols and traditions, including more about how the Easter Bunny came to be associated with Easter, pop over to read this article by HISTORY.
Easter Traditions for Kids and Families
Are you ready for an awesome list of fun Easter traditions to start with your family this year? Read on!
1. Make and Decorate an Easter Tree
Easter trees are another tradition that originated in Germany. Easter trees are decorated both inside and outside of the home.
Our family loves decorating seasonal trees to put on our nature table and Easter is no exception. When Easter is over we love to turn our Easter Tree into a butterfly tree for the summer, next we make a Thankful Tree for Thanksgiving with real leaves or marbled clay leaves, and of course, we are big fans of decorating a Christmas Tree every year!
We like to use our Easter Tree as a centerpiece on our spring nature table in the weeks before Easter, and as a centerpiece on the dining table for Easter brunch. It has become an Easter tradition cherished by the whole family.
Learn how to make your own here—>How to Make an Easter Tree
More Seasonal Trees
- How to Make a Butterfly Tree
- Make a Thankful Tree with Real Leaves
- How to Make a Thankful Tree with Clay Gratitude Leaves
- Christmas Ornaments Kids Can Make
2. Get Creative with DIY Easter Ornaments
Making easter ornaments is a fun family tradition for kids and families. Click on the links to see them all!
3. Read Children’s Easter Books with the Kids
Reading seasonal books like Easter books in the spring is an Easter tradition many people enjoy. Our favorite Easter Books are listed below.
You may also enjoy this lovely collection of spring books for kids.
Happy Easter, Mouse! (If You Give…)Llama Llama Easter EggHappy Easter, Pout-Pout Fish (A Pout-Pout Fish Mini Adventure)MarshmallowPete the Cat: Big Easter AdventureGod Gave Us EasterThe Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story: Stickers Included! (Berenstain Bears/Living Lights)The Story of EasterThe Story of the Easter BunnyDuck & Goose, Here Comes the Easter Bunny!Biscuit’s Pet & Play Easter: A Touch & Feel BookOllie’s Easter Eggs (Gossie & Friends)The Easter EggHow to Catch the Easter Bunny
4. Make Easter Crafts and Create Easter Art
Spend some time connecting with the kids this spring making traditional Easter crafts. Click on the links above to see how easy it is to make your own!
5. Decorate Easter Eggs
To Paint and Decorate eggs is one of the most common Family Easter Traditions celebrated today. Decorate both real Easter eggs and wooden Easter eggs with the kids for Easter Baskets and Easter Egg hunts. Children love to decorate eggs as much as they love to hunt for them.
DIY Wooden Easter eggs have the advantage of being stored away in the easter box and used year after year. You can even make keepsake heirlooms to pass down from one generation to the next.
We use our Easter Chicks in Easter baskets and egg hunts every year and they are still as wonderful as the first year we made them. My daughter loves finding them in the backyard. Their cute little faces peeking out at her when she finds them make her squeal with joy!
We have also found a way to color natural brown eggs for Easter. Click the link to learn how we did it! For more decorating ideas using real eggs pop over to Growing a Jeweled Rose to check out their awesome collection of egg decorating ideas for kids.
Don’t forget to pop over to have a look at this amazing collection of wooden egg craft ideas!
6. Make Upcycled Easter Baskets with Recycled Materials
Turn trash into a treasure that the kids will LOVE with DIY upcycled Easter Baskets! Making upcycled Easter baskets is a fun eco-friendly Easter tradition for kids and families.
Use recycled materials such as paper, fabric, sweaters, T-shirts, milk jugs, juice cartons, cans, bottles, plastic bags, and even stuffed animals to make your own recycled eco-friendly Easter baskets.
7. Take a Picture with the Easter Bunny
Another common Family Easter tradition is to take a picture with the Easter bunny. Many families head out to stores, malls and Easter Parties in order to check this family tradition off the list. Convince someone in your family to dress up this Easter, or find an Easter Bunny event near you.
California Costumes Men’s Deluxe Easter Bunny Costume, White/Blue, Small/MediumRubie’s Costume Adult Deluxe Bunny Costume With Mascot Head,White,One SizeForum Deluxe Plush Bunny Rabbit Mascot Costume – Pick Size (Large, White)Forum Novelties Men’s Plush Bunny Mascot Costume, Pink/White, StandardDeluxe Easter Bunny Adult Costume – White – One-SizeNewborn Baby Photography Prop Boy Girl Photo Shoot Outfits Crochet Knit Cute Christmas Bunny Hat Photo Props Easter CostumeWinsummer Baby Boy Girl Rabbit Romper Newborn Knitted Bunny Jumpsuit Outfit Easter Clothes Props Costume (3-6M, Brown)Noah’s Boytique Baby Boys Easter Shirt With Mint Suspenders and Easter Bunny Tie Outfit 12-18 MonthsRubie’s Costume Baby Bunting Vanilla Bunny Costume, Vanilla, 6-12 MonthsBaby Boys Girls Easter Bunny Long Sleeve Bodysuit Cartoon Animal Rabbit Hooded Romper With Fur Ball(0-6M, Grey)Soft-Touch Bunny Ears (white & pink) Party Accessory (1 count) (1/Pkg)Child Medium 8-10 for 6-8 Yrs – ECONOMY Bunny Costume (Ears do NOT stand up as pictured. Socks and f
8. Leave a Carrot out for the Easter Bunny
Another Family Easter tradition that is super fun for the kids is to leave a carrot out for the Easter bunny. It’s so much fun to wake up to a half-eaten carrot and Easter Baskets. Don’t forget to have your kids leave a carrot out!
9. Give and Enjoy Easter Baskets, Chocolate Bunnies, and Chocolate Eggs
It is a common family Easter tradition is to give Easter baskets, chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs for Easter. After chocolate bunnies and eggs, jelly beans and peeps are next on the list for favorite traditional candies to put in a child’s Easter basket.
Our family likes to put one large chocolate bunny or cream egg and some jelly beans in each basket with a few quality Easter toys to fill up most of the basket so the kids don’t go into sugar shock on Easter morning. For more easy Easter baskets ideas try these tips to make Easter baskets children love!
11. Go on an Easter Egg Hunt
An Easter egg hunt is another fun Easter Tradition the kids love. Easter egg hunts rank right up there with Easter Baskets when it comes to what children enjoy the most.
All you need to do is hide decorated real eggs, wooden Easter eggs, or plastic eggs filled with toys and treats for the kids to find. Backyards, parks, and wild spaces are all great places to have an Easter egg hunt.
12. Enjoy an Easter Parade
Many towns and cities put on an Easter Parade. Check your local listings to see if there is a parade in your area or make a plan to travel to one this year.
12. Have an Easter Brunch or Dinner with Your Family
Enjoy a feast filled with the foods your family loves to eat for Easter.
Christ-Centered Easter Traditions for Kids and Families
1. Wake with “He is Risen”
In some households, a traditional Easter greeting is the first thing said on Easter morning. The head of the household speaks the words “He is Risen” or “Christ is Risen” to which everyone else replies, “He is Risen, Indeed!”
This traditional Easter greeting is also used by churches and their congregations.
2. Bake Resurrection Rolls
Make and bake resurrection rolls as a fun way to share the story of Easter and the resurrection of Christ with your children. Learn how over at Yummy Healthy Easy
3. Tell Children the Story of Easter with Resurrection Eggs
4. Go to Church on Easter Sunday
Take your family to join your community at your local church on Easter Sunday.
Family Easter Traditions
Start a new fun Easter tradition this year with your kids and family. Family Easter Traditions create memories that last a lifetime.
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