Benjamin's Box was written to use alongside this set of Resurrection Eggs. Benjamin, a young boy living in Jerusalem, collects a number of items in his treasure box as he follows Jesus during his final days. The items in the eggs match the book, and give the child both a tactile way to explore the story and an aide-memoire to recall the events of the first Easter.
The text is fairly simple - fine for preschoolers, though too wordy for toddlers. If I had used it this year I would just have looked at the pictures with my Little Cherub and talked about the items rather than try to read the book to her. Great literature it is not, but it is readable enough. Here is a sample:
One bright spring morning, Benjamin sat outside in the sunshine. In his hands was a wooden box.The option to buy the resurrection eggs ready made make this a very simple way of setting up a hands-on Easter story activity ... one that can be repeated year after year. It would also be quite easy to fill one's own set of eggs, or to put the items into a treasure box filled with straw (shredded yellow tissue paper would do nicely). To make your own set you would need:
"Hi Benjamin," called his friend, Eli. "What's that you've got?"
"It's my treasure box," said Benjamin. "My grandfather gave it to me before he died last year. He said it was very,very special."
Eli opened it and looked in. "There's nothing in it except for some old straw. How can this be a treasure box?"
Benjamin shrugged. "I don't have any real treasures yet. But my grandfather said this straw came from the bed of a baby who was born in a stable. My grandfather was a shepherd then, and he said the baby would grow up to be a king."
- Small toy donkey (or fake fur would also fit with the text)
- Cup or goblet
- Praying hands (a printed picture would do, and a twig would work as an alternative - again, this fits with the text)
- Leather strip
- Crown of thorns (or points broken of cocktail sticks to represent thorns)
- Spear (I would use a Playmobil spear)
- Small piece of white cloth
- A stone
- Nothing! - the twelfth egg is empty to represent the empty tomb