Building a nest for the Easter Bunny

We celebrate Easter as a secular earth-based spring holiday (while also learning a bit about what the holiday is for those of Christian religions, and about other springtime religious holidays such as Passover and Ramadan).

For us it is a time to be grateful for and joyful about the spring and nature’s gifts, and to be together outside. We are out looking at tree buds and new plants coming up green (like our garlic poking up!), tending our seedlings, playing in the snowmelt and rainwater, looking under logs, drinking the sap from sugar maple trees and making syrup, and saying hello to the new arrivals.

We are also in the typical bunny, egg and chocolate mode. Your child will likely be curious about why Easter is called Easter, or why a bunny would ever lay eggs? I think there is much debate about these things, and we should keep in mind that there is usually little primary source material for oral traditions.

The story I tell is the one of the Eostre or Ostara, the goddess of the spring/dawn/rising sun/fertility, who finds a bird freezing to near-death, and who kindly transforms it into a bunny with a nice fur coat so that it will be warm. In happiness and gratitude, the bunny lays colourful eggs.

Here is my daughter’s retelling (I love her drawings):

Each year we build a nest outside for the Easter Bunny to rest and be warm and cozy in (and hopefully lay some eggs in). I have read this might also be a common tradition for kids in Germany.

Here are some of our bunny nests from past Easters:

Happy spring holidays to you and yours, Kate