As part of the One Thousand Days of Love campaign, Episcopal Relief & Development is offering a simple way for churches and parents to think beyond candy and stickers by adding some empathy and gratitude to this year’s Easter egg hunts. Aligned with the campaign’s “Gifts that Nurture Children,” the conversation prompts on each strip encourage families to think of the abundance in their lives and to foster empathy for anyone who is struggling. And during this busy time, the resource is designed for ease of use– all we need to do is print, cut, and roll the prompts to place them alongside a piece of candy or a sticker in our Easter eggs.
One Thousand Days of Love is a grassroots Church-wide fundraising effort dedicated to expanding Episcopal Relief & Development’s work of improving the lives and futures of children across the globe. The campaign identifies three basic needs that are critical to the nurturing of children during their first 1,000 day of life: access to clean water, food, and quality health care. The Meaningful Easter Egg Hunt identifies three overarching Gifts that Nurture Children – listening, patience, and bond — and within these needs are additional gifts including language, music, prayer, nutrition, and play with both peers and adults. The Meaningful Easter Egg prompts give adults and children concrete ways to talk and think about how those gifts show up in our lives and how we can improve them, as well as asking us to consider children for whom the gifts are lacking.
We can also download, print, and cut out the “Let’s Talk” cards as conversation starters for children and youth at the dinner table or in the car beyond Eastertide. Also focused on the Gifts that Nurture, these cards are designed to promote conversation and storytelling between children of all ages and their adults. They’re a great resource to move us away from the soulless cycle of
“How was your day?”
“What did you learn?”
“What was for lunch?”
“I don’t remember.”
I wrote the conversational prompts in both the Meaningful Easter Egg Hunt and the Let’s Talk cards with multiple goals, including building empathy and a sense of abundance. They are also designed to build relationship between adults and children. When my kids were little, I created a question jar for our dinner table, which I also offered to the families at the church I served. The jar includes questions for kids to ask adults, questions for adults to ask kids, and a third category where everyone answered. Our whole family loved that jar, which brought storytelling, laughter, and so much deep understanding to our dinner table. The Let’s Talk cards I wrote for the One Thousand Days of Love campaign are based on that experience.
Download the Meaningful Easter Egg Hunt and spend time during Eastertide exploring the questions you find there, as a family. You could keep a basket of eggs on the table, as a reminder of the season – maybe add a decorative ALLELUIA! to the display – and open the eggs one at a time, using the prompts to guide conversation for as long as kids stay engaged.
The Let’s Talk cards can be used year-round and repeated as children grow and stories and answers evolve. Families might also find themselves adding to the prompts, as other questions with multiple, story-based answers will arise. I encourage each family to dig into these resources and to make them your own, adding questions, setting goals to improve your time together, and thinking about – and acting on – ways your family might extend the abundance you find in your life to those who are hurting.
Leave a Reply