Several years ago (possibly when Adair was a baby? So maybe 9 years ago?), my mother in law surprised us with an adorable indoor resurrection garden to celebrate Easter, making one little toddler and one tired momma's day. Ever since that year, we've created one about three weeks before Easter, and we've had hundreds of lovely conversations about what happened on the cross and in the tomb on Resurrection Day. Want to make one with us? Let's do this.
Gather your supplies:
Shallow bowl, about 12" in diameter
Potting soil, about a gallon
A handful of sticks, various lengths
Shade mix grass seed (we've used this mix with success)
A bit of sand, gravel, and rocks including one rock large enough to cover the hole of your seed starting container
Spray bottle for planting and watering for the next few weeks (we have this one for misting plants)
A note on these supplies: I've used 5-6 different types of containers and different sizes of seed starting containers every year, it just depends on if I can find the bin I packed everything away in the year before or if I want something new. The best way to go about it is to go to your hardware store and find a terra cotta tray (like you use under a planter pot) the size you want your garden to be, then find a seed starting container in a size that works for your tray. You want it small enough that you can pile dirt over the container and still have a little hill and a valley in front of the tomb. Then go outside and find rocks and sticks in sizes that make sense.
Gather your helpers:
I highly (HIGHLY) recommend trying to do this on a nice day and getting as many tiny humans as you can to help. Maybe make a few gardens and give them to friends or neighbors because it's a project that is quick and too much fun to just do one. We usually create at least two or three.
1. Fill the bottom of your container with sand or gravel if needed, and nestle the seed starting container in the gravel with the opening slightly closer to the outside of the tray than the back of the container, you'll need a bit of room to make your hill.
2. Use a small cup or scoop to fill the dirt in over the hill, avoiding the front of the seed starting container (that will be a pathway). Use a spray bottle to wet the soil so it sticks to the container and stays in a hill. Cover the container so it looks like a little mound with a cave.
3. Sprinkle grass seed over the dirt, avoiding the gravel or you'll end up picking grass out of the gravel for the next several weeks. We put down a pretty heavy coat so it comes in thick.
4. Spray the grass seed with the water spray bottle and hand it to kids to spray each other with.
5. Use scissors or pliers or your husband's wire cutters to cut the branches (or maybe you should probably use pruning shears...) to make three crosses, three of the sticks longer so that you can stick them into the hill, and three shorter to be the cross pieces. Tie the twine around the two sticks (a dot of hot glue helps hold the sticks together while you tie the twine is helpful) to hold them together and stick them in the hill.
The conversations we've had with our kids over the last several years with this as a centerpiece on our dining room table have been incredible. They've had tiny bits of Jesus sprinkled into their day even more just because we have this constant reminder of the season in plain view all the time. When we finished, I read A Liturgy of Praise for Christ Who Conquered Death from Every Moment Holy volume 2, and teared up at this verse...
This year we've added a book that goes along with the advent books we read (Jotham's Journey series) called Amon's Adventure, and it's added so much to our experience. We got started a bit late thanks to a mini home renovation displacing us for two weeks, but we decided it's better to be late than skip it completely so we are charging ahead. We love the nightly snuggles and exciting adventure story-style devotional.