Easter Before and After
I love preparing Easter baskets every year for my kids. When they were younger, I would fill their baskets with books in the same tradition as my mom always did with my Easter baskets as a kid.
I remember going to the bookstore to find the classics that I read as a kid as well as new to me titles to fill their baskets and their springs. For many years, the books would include great read-aloud-together titles. The older they became, their spring reading collection reflected their emerging independence.
Then a few years ago, when we expected our youngest to move into that reading independence, it just wasn't happening. He's such a bright, inquisitive kid who LOVES stories, yet...reading was hard. Reading books and participating in games and activities that required reading all became exercises in frustration rather than respites from the everyday tasks of the outside world that I hoped they would be. During this time, we found out that his frustrations and struggles are the results of dyslexia. Honestly, I still filled their baskets with books for more years, but the books were tossed aside and piled on the bookshelf until we might get the chance to read the book before bedtime together.
Their Easter basket books weren't their only exposure to great books. Thankfully, we've found great options for audiobooks for ear reading on several different platforms. My kids read in a variety of ways:
- One prefers audio-only.
- One likes to eye read along while ear reading.
- One chooses eye-reading the physical book nine times out of ten.
Honestly, each of them still loves to have physical copies of the books they have read. Books stay with you forever, and I think the physical reminder of books they've read reminds them of meaningful moments that will continue to speak into their lives for years to come.
However, over the last few years, their Easter baskets have begun to fill with different kinds of fun when it comes to Easter fun. One of the things I always include is a fun, minimal reading game. We want to have fun together as a family and make memories without the continual reminder and barriers that reading-heavy games can present. Now I focus on fun items that simply bring them together for some fun, whether it is an outdoor water fight or a fun game or activity they can play together.
Honestly, they like their Easter baskets a lot more now. They all LOVE great stories, but we are finding alternative ways of reading the stories now with the one who still struggles. I'm still learning to lean into their strengths, even when dyslexia seems to sneak into unexpected areas of our family life. I'm embracing that not everything has to be a struggle, and it is good to focus on quality family time that comes from a revamped focus of our kids' Easter baskets.
What are the best things you have found to include in your kids' Easter baskets over the years?