Monday, March 31, 2014

Resurection eggs

This school year I have taught Sunday school once a month. It has been very interesting. Because of the small congregation often my class (3-7 year olds) is combined with another older class (up through 4th or 5th grade I believe) so I can sometimes have a *wide* range of ages. I also never know how many kids to prepare for.

I wanted to make resurrection eggs with the kids for our Sunday together in April. However most tutorials online expected you to make them for one child, or one family, not several. I also didn't want to break the bank.

My total was around $18. I bought as much as I could at Dollar Tree. I did buy crackers laters (but unless you're on dietary restrictions like my family I think cutting up a piece of bread would work) and we had "silver coins" and glue on hand. So mayyyybe $20 - $25 if you have nothing at home.

First I made a list of what I wanted and then as I surfed the store I matched things to what I needed.  Here's what I came up with:

Picture shows super glue, which didn't end up working. Also shows the coins I had on hand. But you get the idea.

1) Palm branch - buy a loop of faux vine, make sure it has at least 12 leaves on it.
2) Bread - use bread or crackers from home. I splurged and bought oyster crackers at another store.
3) Silver Coins - Dollar Tree did have sets of play money with silver coins in the toy section but I had something else on hand.
4) Rope - this is to represent the whip. Check near household supplies and pick up some clothesline. 
5) Purple Cloth and Thorns - we'll reuse some of the vine and pick up purple birthday streamer. (I had some on hand.)
6) Cross - wooden toothpicks. Make sure you have locatable nail clippers at home. Maybe no one in your family plays a musical instrument and you *don't* need to pick up another pair. Also get some industrial glue like E-6000. 
7) Nails - Dollar Tree has picture hanging kits in the automotive/household section . Grab one of those.
8) Sign - use printer paper or handwrite.
9) Sponge and Spear - near paper plates and kitchen stuff they should have plastic cocktail picks. Get those and a pack of sponges. Take your time on that 2nd item. It took me a while to find one without a scrubby side.
10) Spices - if your store has some grab them! Mine didn't so I'm using some hand grown thyme. 
11) Stone - in the decorating section near stationary Dollar Tree has bags of rocks. Or if you don't live in the great white north check your driveway. 
12) Easter Eggs - I checked unit price and Dollar Tree where I live is just as cheap per egg as Oriental Trading so I bought eggs there. 

So let's start working on what will go in each egg! I just stacked my stuff to the side and later bagged it to make it easy to take so the children can take one item from each "pile" and put it in their eggs. Note: some of the stuff is *not* safe for little hands. Adjust as you need based on the ages you're working with. I only have 2 really little children who come so they will sit directly in front of me and pick out items while I put them in the eggs for them.

 First the vine/leaves:

First cut off all the leaves. Cut as close to the vine as you can. Then flip them and gently peel off the plastic supports under the leaves. I know this sounds crazy but just hang with me here. 

Put those support pieces in a pile. We'll come back to them. Now we need to make the leaves more palm like. I found that cutting mine into this shape got them closer:

And then quickly snipping some feathering gave it more palm appeal. Oh and feel free to hold two leaves stacked during this step to make it go faster.


Second was the crackers which you can probably figure out. Open package, put in second egg.

Now for the coins. I have to say I lucked out here. Look what my husband had laying around from a gaming session he ran last year:

Yep pretty perfect. So I just counted out enough (plus a few extra in case a few escape) and put it to the side. If you desperately want *these* coins I know he ordered them from Fire Mountain Gems.

Onto rope for the fourth egg!

 Open up the clothes line just a little. I picked one that had a white strand.

Cut a piece off and unwind the white from the other colors. Then cut into smaller pieces that will easily fit into the easter eggs.

For purple cloth and thorns I just used birthday streamer. With a little extra time I probably could have found purple cloth and honestly wouldn't be upset if parents later "upgrade" their set to include it. Cut a long piece into 12 little pieces.

Now we're going to use those plastic support pieces from the leaves. Grab that pile.

And while I didn't get a picture you're just going to have to trust me on this. If you leave a rather long stem during the cutting process you can now tie this piece into a loose knot, which will totally look like a crown of thorns.

Awesome right! I didn't have to glue mine but you might if you leaves were small or the plastic is particularly slick. 

Next up: crosses. Get your toothpicks and nail clippers. Also cover a surface with something because you're about to make a mess.

WARNING: This part is kinda dangerous. You want to wear eye protection! Or do like I did and cover the clippers with your opposite hand. When you pop the toothpick apart pieces are going to go FLYING. You'll just have to take my word for it. 

Thankfully you don't have to do many. Also clip off the sharp ends just to make them slightly safer for kiddos. I clipped the ends and then about a third off the end to make the cross bar on each cross.

Now make a bubble of glue in the end of your E-6000 and roll the longer side of the toothpick through the bubble of glue. Also give me a little applause for taking this shot without a tripod and while holding the glue with my knees? ::bows::

Next gently squish the middle of the shorter stick across the longer bar and lay somewhere to dry. I moved mine about a minute later to make sure they weren't stick to the "press n seal" wrap I'd laid out.

Awesome! Next up: nails. This one is easy peasy. Get out your picture hanging kit. 

Dig out sets of three of the little nails. DONE.

The eighth egg will have a little sign in it. "This is the King of the Jews". I picked a really small font and copied and pasted a few times and then printed this out. Quick and easy.

Sponge and spear is up next and you're gonna have a lot of leftovers. First cut up one sponge into little cubes. I only used a half sponge to make 12 little cubes. Many websites say soak the sponge in vinegar which we'll do when we're in class. I already have a mini container of vinegar waiting. 

For the spears just break off the ends with the hearts (I tried putting one in an egg just to see how short they needed to be) and if it doesn't break clean use the nail clippers to clean it up a little. Again, consider eye protection or at least cover the clippers as you make each cut. 

For your 10th egg I don't have a picture. I'm not sure why. But here's what I did: dig through your pantry and find a spice that is safe but fragrant. I actually had some dried thyme that was rather large leafed. I snipped a few pieces and put it in a bag. Overtime it will escape but again, I'm betting if parents keep the sets they will upgrade them. For next time I'm going to try to find small mesh bags. Maybe if you live in a bigger city you'll have better luck than I did.

The 11th egg has a rock! Just open up your "Accent Stones" and pick out some of the biggest. Take extras because someone will have a favorite. Trust me.

And egg 12 is empty! Now to place eggs and number them.

Then in class you can fill them. Mine here is sans cracker.

Finally I made a list of which verses the eggs go with. I thought about typing it all out but I wanted everything to be very portable and easy to print out. The list only takes up a third of a sheet of paper, which should be easy to include. I've also seen strips of paper printed and included in each egg but I was worried it might make the eggs harder to open/handle. A copy of my print out is here.

Morning of I'll let the children decorate the tops of the egg cartons and we'll talk about the story of the resurrection. 

I hope this encourages anyone else who has wanted to do this project for a lesson for multiple children but wasn't sure how to do it frugally!

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