Baby Boomers who grew up in the community remember how Lee County celebrated Easter with children and families. My brother, Frank V. Jones, and I were recalling how Mrs. Alma Martin at Northside Elementary School in Opelika celebrated each Easter with an Easter Bonnet Parade. Irving Berlin’s song “In your Easter Bonnet with all the frills upon it …” was the music of choice each year as first through sixth grades proudly marched across the stage with our child-crafted Easter bonnets for girls and hats and caps for boys. Mrs. Martin made each of us feel like we were wearing the most beautiful bonnets and hats. Easter rolls in this year on Sunday, March 31.
I still remember with excitement the 200 hard boiled eggs my grandparents dyed for their grandchildren to hunt each year. We enjoyed helping to dye the eggs, too.
And the Easter lilies my grandmother and I planted when I was 10 years old birthed a tradition in my own family. The lilies burst forth with vibrance and new life of spring. Our community is still very child-friendly in caring for children in letting them know they are loved. Easter Egg hunts at churches, parks, homes, special church services and community activities are abundant and welcome families during this very special time of year. During these weeks of celebration right before Easter, hope and faith come to our spirits.
What was it like around the tomb of our Savior as the world waited on what had been spoken? Faith is mankind’s hope, as the Son of God walked out of the tomb in total victory over death. Why faith at Easter? Why faith now? Hebrews 11:1 says we are encouraged that faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hope is synonymous with Easter as we look at 1 Peter 1:3 “Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In His great mercy, He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Right now, we can be a reflection of God’s love in front of our children as we reach out to neighbors and others in need by giving them a call, text, prayer, and words of encouragement in times of need.
With Spring, why not savor the fun on a picnic? This is a very busy time of the year with baseball, other spring sports, recitals, graduations, and all the Spring traditions. Sometimes family times of togetherness seem to get pushed out. A quick family picnic can be put in the schedule of springtime busyness. A picnic is not hard to plan as you try to keep the family together during these busy times. Our community has many parks, streams, grassy and shaded areas that offer a perfect scene for a quick or prolonged family picnics, whatever fits your schedule. Also, picnics can be enjoyed by grabbing a quick sandwich for family members before heading off to scheduled events.
Picnic baskets, whatever form or size, are not that expensive. Picnic baskets can be made from brown paper bags, vegetable baskets and actual picnic baskets can be purchased very inexpensively.
Ask your child what is needed in the picnic basket. Guide them to respond to the simple necessities of plates, cups, utensils, napkins and wipes to clean hands. Let your child count out the necessities that are needed for your family and friends, this is a math lesson. Have your youngest child place the items in the picnic basket. This teaches young preschoolers about sorting and patterning.
Picnics can take on the form of an inexpensive family activity that can include the youngest to the oldest children in the planning. It is so neat to dine in the Spring evenings under the sky as you listen to nature sounds unfold such as croaking frogs, birds and crickets chirping, soft sounds of the wind as your family observes different shapes of clouds or the beautiful sight of a sunset. Be sure to grab a quilt or blanket for your infant to crawl on, or bring the stroller. One thing children love to bring is their favorite stuffed toy. Also, enjoy free play with your children as they enjoy the beauty of Spring.
I hope this article helps busy families as well as families searching an inexpensive fun way to create family togetherness.
Capture the fun of spring and a picnic through the eyes of a child and simply enjoy the moments together.

Beth Pinyerd has taught many years in the early childhood classroom. She has a master’s degree in early childhood education.