Monday, April 10, 2017

In Your Easter Bonnet



As Easter approaches this month, nature is putting on new “clothes” with the coming of spring.  What nature does, humans tend to follow.  The donning of new clothes for Easter symbolizes the coming of spring.  Not only is the donning of new clothes customary, in Northern Europe it was considered rude and bad luck to the goddess of spring, then known as Eastre, to be seen in anything but fresh and new clothing.  The custom of the Easter Parade comes from this.  The wearing of three new things at Easter assures good luck in the coming year.  The Easter bonnet got its start as a wreath of flowers and/or leaves, the circle as an expression of the roundness of the sun and its travel through the heavens which brought it back for the return of spring.  You and your child can make lovely Easter bonnets from things around the house—then parade through the neighborhood for everyone to see.  Be creative and have fun!

OH! YOU BEAUTIFUL BABE         (Toddlers and Twos)

Making hats out of paper, poster board or paper plates isn’t as hard as it sounds.  They won’t last forever, but they are great fun to make and wear.  Little boys will enjoy this activity as well as girls.  A simple hat to make is using a paper plate.  Cut a slit from one edge of the circle to the center.  Pull the two edges together so they overlap—this will make the hat pointed.  Staple the edges in place (you may want to protect your child by placing a piece of masking tape covering the staples—less pulling of hair).  Make two holes opposite each other near the edges of the hat and thread elastic through them to make a chinstrap knotting each end.  Decorate your hat by drawing on it with crayons or markers, gluing on squares of tissue paper in pastel colors, and using Easter stickers.  Here’s a finger play to recite as you and your child parade with his/her new hat.

NEW CLOTHES AND HATS OF PINK AND BLUE.  (point to clothes and head)
BABY ANIMALS AT THE ZOO.
FLOWERS BLOOM AND ROBINS COO.  (raise hands above head, form wings with arms)
EASTER WELCOMES SPRING ANEW!


HOW DO I LOOK?    (Preschool +)

The best part of making an Easter hat is the decorating.  Your child will be so proud of his/her creation.  You might allow your youngster to wear the hat to church or to a family gathering.  The hat can be made as feminine or masculine as you wish.  Boys may enjoy a crown instead.  Help your child in this hat construction by cutting the center out of a paper plate and stapling a paper bowl over the hole.  Make sure the bowl fits the child’s head.  Punch two holes on opposite sides and attach ribbons to use as ties.  Set out glue and collage materials such as Easter grass, Easter stickers, paper or silk flowers, fabric scraps, rickrack, buttons, sequins and glitter.  Invite your child to glue on the materials any way they wish.  Together sing this fun song as your child parades around the house.
(Tune:  “The Mulberry Bush”)

TODAY WE’LL MARCH IN THE EASTER PARADE,
EASTER PARADE, EASTER PARADE.
TODAY WE’LL MARCH IN THE EASTER PARADE,
SO EARLY SUNDAY MORNING.

WE’LL WEAR OUT HATS IN THE EASTER PARADE,
EASTER PARADE, EASTER PARADE.
WE’LL WEAR OUR HATS IN THE EASTER PARADE,
PLEASE TELL ME HOW I LOOK!

THE FASHION SHOWDOWN  (School Age)

Here is a hat that both girls and boys can decorate.  Bring out the recycle box and get creative this Easter. Use a purchased straw hat, cowboy hat or even a sports helmet.  With a glue gun attach all kinds of materials along with some purchased Easter decors.  Think of silk flowers, ribbons, bows, faux jewels, pastel cotton balls, pipe cleaners, Easter grass; the list can go on and on.  But did you ever think of gluing on marshmallow peeps and bunnies and what about a few colorful jellybeans?  Make this a contest with other family members.  Model your hat, be proud as you walk down your hallway or should I say “runway”.

Bonnets aren’t always for your head.  Here is a recipe to make Easter bonnet cookies.  Make your favorite sugar cookie recipe or store-bought dough.  Divide the dough and roll it into two logs—one about 10 inches long and 2 inches in diameter.  The other roll about 10 inches long and 1 inch in diameter.  Wrap these in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least three hours.  Preheat your oven according to your recipe.   Cut the logs into ¼-inch slices and bake on cookie sheets.  Stack the small cookies on top of the larger ones, gluing them in place with a dab of frosting.  Frost the bonnets, then decorate them with gel icing, sprinkles, and even fruit leather ribbons.

For more Easter crafts, check out my article on Bright Hub Education

Have a wonderful holiday and Happy Parenting,
Tania


Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com