I love all of the silly traditions that surround Easter- egg hunts, the Easter Bunny, Easter baskets, and more. However, it is really important to me that we not get wrapped up in only the commercial side of Easter. I want Raileigh to know the REAL meaning of Easter- the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
She is only two, and it can be hard at times to get a message like this across to her. Since it is important to me, though, I have tried to find ways to get the meaning of Easter onto a level that she can understand. I wanted to share some of these ideas with you, in hopes that they might help you get the message of Easter across to your children.
Even when children are little, I think it is important to share the Bible with them. Yes, I know that they are not going to understand all of the wordy text in a King James Bible. But, there are many Childrens Bibles on the market that are geared more towards little ones. Try choosing one of the readings below that give accounts of what happened to Jesus. Some are longer than others and share things a bit differently since they are written by different people. You might want to look through the readings ahead of time to see which one would be best suited to share with your children. Then, read the passage with your children for several nights before Easter. This will give the information a little while to sink in and allow time for you to talk about the story of Easter with them.. It will also give your children a chance to think about it and come up with any questions they might want to ask.
Matthew 26:14-75, 27:11-66, 28:1-20
Mark 14:10-72, 15:1-47, 16:1-8
Luke 22:1-71, 23:1-56, 24:1-53
John 11:45-57, 12:12-50, and chapters 13-21
This is a fun way to teach your children about the death and resurrection of Jesus. Each ingredient in the cookies represents a portion of the events that led up to the Resurrection. Mommys Idea Book has a wonderful Resurrection Cookies recipe that explains the symbolism behind each of the ingredients.
This is a great way to incorporate the real meaning of Easter with something commercial (Easter eggs). Each egg contains a small token representing something from the Easter story- bread, thorns, rock, and more. In 11 of the eggs, you place one token and a piece of paper with a Bible verse. The 12th only contains a Bible Verse, as it represents the empty tomb. If you choose, you can use the eggs as an Advent calendar, opening one on each of the 12 days leading up to Easter. You can also open them all at once. Neither way is right or wrong. These can be purchased at many Christian bookstores, but it is really simple and much cheaper to make your own. Sweeter than Sweets has a great tutorial to create your own Resurrection Eggs.
Some of you may have already seen this since our lovely host, Amanda, is the one who came up with the idea! Using things found in the yard, a baking dish, and a tomb carved from a potato, you can easily create an Easter garden with a special child in your life. There is even an idea about a lovely surprise that you can leave for your children to find on Easter morning (which sounds like it could overshadow the Easter basket!). Visit Impress Your Kids to get all the details on how to make your own Easter Garden.
This is a very simple, yet seemingly effective way to teach the real meaning of Easter. This is a week long activity, taking place the week leading up to Easter. The first night, you light seven candles. One is blown out each subsequent night. The night before Easter, they are all dark. Then, Easter morning all of the candles are re-lit, symbolizing the resurrection of Jesus Christ. You can find more information on Resurrection candles at Little Llamas.
This is another idea from our host, Amanda. It is also a really fun way to mix a little craft time into snack! It has only a few ingredients and is really an activity that kids can see, which I think helps them to understand the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Visit Impress Your Kids to get instructions on how to create a Jesus’ Death and Resurrection snack time craft.
This is a really fun way to incorporate symbols from the Easter story into the commercial activity of dying eggs. Make each color symbolic of a part of the Easter story.
- Green- nature and the new growth of leaves and grass, renewal that occurs each spring
- Yellow- reminiscent of the glorious sunrise, bringing life to each new day
- Purple- traditional color of royalty and is a perfect shade to represent the divinity of Christ as King
- Red- symbolizes the blood of Christ that was spilled at His crucifixion, blood that He willingly gave to save men.
- Black- symbolizes death, and can be used to represent all sins.
- White- whether dyed a pure white or left uncolored, represent the light and purity of the Savior.
At Christmas, many of us pull out the trusty Nativity set. However, at Easter, we usually don’t do anything like this. So, why not create a set of Resurrection figures- kind of like a Nativity for Easter. This is a great, hands on way for your children to learn about the key people in the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Catholic Icing has a great set of free printable Resurrection Figures that you can use.
Since we love baking so much, this Tomb Cake immediately caught my attention. By using half of a bundt cake and some other fun (and edible!) accessories, you and your little ones can create a scene representing an important part of the Easter story. His Mercy is New has some simple instructions on how to make your own Tomb Cake.
This is a fun way to help tell one part of the Easter story while making something creative. You create paper mache eggs, just as if you’d be making ones for a commercialized celebration. However, you cut a hole in one side and add a paper Jesus figure to the egg. So, you have incorporated something kids normally associated with Easter, but tied it into the Easter story. Cultivated Lives shares great instructions on how to make these Paper Mache Tomb Eggs.