Happy Easter! Celebrating Easter in your casita! ¡Felices Pascuas! ¡Celebrando Pascuas en tu casita!

Bilingual is Better
By Irma Vazquez, Educator in Residence at Encantos

As a mother of three children and a bilingual teacher, I know how amazing this time of the year is for familias. Easter for many means spending time together in reflection and eating special meals. It can also inspire shared activities between children and parents. In my home, the Easter bunny brings us baskets full of arts and crafts materials (my personal favorite is a box of new crayons)! 

Some of our family’s Easter traditions were passed down from generation to generation. Others were adopted along the way. One thing that stayed true is that familia time is at the center of all Easter celebrations and activities. Now more than ever, we have the time to spend with our loved ones at home. Here are a few of my favorite indoor Easter activities: 

Music, singing and movement!

The traditional Latin American children’s song “Los Pollitos” and fingerplay is one of my personal favorites. Just ask my three children and students! Every Spring we sing songs about a cherished Mama Hen and her baby chicks. Nothing says Spring and life cycle more than a song about the love and care a mother has for her pollitos. Your little chickies will love singing along… Pío!  Pío! Pío!  Fingerplays are simple movements that you make using your fingers to convey meaning. For example: opening and closing your fingers like a beak mimics little chicks chirping! Chickie coloring pages can spark conversations, creative games, and even role play. Everyone always wants to be the Mamá Gallina! Here is our bilingual song The Little Chickies/ Los Pollitos, and here is an Easter Kit filled with coloring pages and other arts and crafts activities. You can find my lesson on the Little Chickies song with fingerplay here.  

¡Caliente! ¡Frío!  

For as long as I can remember this game has been part of our Easter celebrations. My mother played this with my sister and me, and we in turn played it with our little ones too. I have also incorporated it into every classroom Easter celebration for almost 30 years! The object of the game is to find hidden eggs. My mother would hide the eggs inside the house and my sister and I would run around looking for them as my mom would call out “caliente!” if we were getting closer or “frío” if we were getting farther away. We loved, loved, loved it, and my children did too! Over the years I’ve played this both inside and outside my home and classroom. Now that we’re all inside this is a wonderful opportunity to modify outdoor games for our inside environment. 

Cascarones

My children grew up celebrating both Puerto Rican and Mexican culture. They learned very early on that creating crafts from around the world are opportunities to learn about different traditions and to practice our Spanish. Making cascarones — eggs filled with confetti — is a beloved Mexican Easter tradition. I didn’t grow up making cascarones, but it was an important part of my children’s father’s culture and I wanted my children to experience the same joy! Not only is assembling the cascarones fun, but at the end of the game, you break the egg on someone’s head!  

Here is how you can make this fun festival craft… Cascarones at home in 5 simple steps:

  1. Gather materials: eggs, empty egg carton, soap and water, confetti (or make your own!) and glue or glue stick. 
  2. Crack a small hole at the top of an egg using a toothpick, skewer or something else that’s small and sharp. The hole should be a few centimeters wide so that you can empty the egg contents.  Save the contents to eat for later, and wash the inside and outside of the egg shell with soap and water.
  3. Dry the clean egg shells upside down in the egg carton for 24 hours. 
  4. Fill the clean, dry egg shell with confetti or shredded paper and glue a small sheet of paper over the hole.
  5. Crack one on top of someone's head! Find a willing person and enjoy gently smashing the egg shell and confetti on their head.

As we approach Spring and Easter during this unique time, we can continue to enjoy teachable moments with our children and students. Traditional outdoor egg hunts can be adapted as we adjust to spending more time at home. We hope these ideas inspire you to get creative and start a new Easter tradición, and remind you that time shared as a familia is the most special part of any Easter celebration. 

You can download the Canticos Easter Kit! It includes: 

  • Egg coloring sheets
  • Egg basket cut-outs
  • Jelly bean holder cut-outs
  • Egg garlands
  • Egg hunt arrows, and more!

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