In previous posts, I have confessed my weakness for all things Advent related. Christmas is still nine months away, however…
March 6th was the first day of Lent for 2019, and although our family doesn’t celebrate Lent in the traditional sense, I’ve decided to use this season as an opportunity to teach my kids more about the importance of Easter. As usual, we’ll be learning through some (hopefully) fun family activities.
We’re calling it… Ad-Lent!
For those of you who celebrate Festivus (if you aren’t already familiar with this unusual holiday, check out this quick Seinfeld clip on YouTube), you may prefer to call it “Lent-ivus”.
For Ad-Lent today, I surprised my kids with a new Easter activity when they came home from school: Jelly Belly Easter Bingo.
We had a blast, and it was well worth the prep effort, which wasn’t much.
First, I borrowed a cute book from our local library called Easter Is… For Me! It was sweet and funny, and many of the pictures corresponded nicely with the bingo card graphics, which was quite convenient. (Why does that matter? I’ll get to that in just a minute.)
Second, I printed these simple Easter Bingo sheets from www.coffeewithus3.com (you can find them here: https://www.coffeewithus3.com/printable-easter-bingo/).
Third, I bought a pack of Jelly Belly jelly beans from Superstore.
Fourth, and last, I added my own Easter twist:
- ONLY for the first round of Bingo, I read the book Easter Is… For Me! to the kids. While I read, I revealed bingo cards at corresponding points in the story. (See picture below.) Each time a bingo card was revealed, the children placed a Jelly Belly on the matching picture on their Bingo sheet. It was fun to play, and we successfully reviewed the importance of Easter at the same time.
- For the second round of Bingo, I didn’t read the book. I did, however, ask trivia questions for some of the Bingo cards that I drew from our “hat”. For example, if I pulled out the card with the cross on it, I asked, “Why is the symbol of the cross important to us?” Then, the kids would shout the answers, along with how many squares they still needed until they had Bingo, of course.
- For the third and subsequent rounds, we just played and had fun.
We also came up with a few rules along the way:
The kids were super excited about rule #3 — until they ate their first “ick” flavored jelly bean. I laughed at their sour faces as they sprinted to the kitchen garbage to spit out Buttered Popcorn, Cappuccino, and Birthday Cake. The children did not think it was funny, however, so we’ve agreed to disagree.
So, there you have it. The beginnings of a new tradition. Ad-Lent.
If you try this activity at home with your own kids, I’d love to hear about it in the comment section below.
Sara Jane Kehler