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With Easter upon us in a few short days and all our normal Easter festivities cancelled, I wanted to share a few ideas you can use with your kids to focus on Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, the true meaning of Easter.
It’s so important to us to make sure we’re planting the seeds of truth in their little hearts and minds during a time when the world around us is spinning from all the uncertainty. We can remind them about the most important truth that IS certain — Jesus is RISEN!
While it can feel overwhelming to explain Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection to a child, these resources will give you lots of ideas that you can use or adjust based on the developmental needs of your child and their level of understanding.
10 Ways to Teach Kids About Easter (COVID-19 Edition)
These are by far our kids’ favorite Easter activity. They remind me every year when it’s time to make these sweet treats!
Supplies Needed: crescent rolls, marshmallows, cinnamon & sugar (or red sprinkles), melted butter, Bible
Biblical Truth Shared: Jesus went into the tomb and then rose again. Jesus is alive!
- For this activity, start with reading the Easter story from the Bible. Our favorite Bible for preschoolers is the Jesus Storybook Bible. As you work through the steps of the activity, remind your child about what you just read.
- Spread out the crescent roll triangles individually on a baking sheet. These represent Jesus’ tomb.
- Next roll one marshmallow first in butter and then in the sugar/cinnamon mixture. This represents Jesus’ body being prepared for burial with oil and spices. If your child is like mine (not okay with cinnamon), then try using red sprinkles to represent blood.
- Place the spiced marshmallow in the center of the crescent roll, wrap it up, and press the edges together so the crescent roll seals. This represents the tomb being sealed with the stone.
- Bake the crescent rolls according to the directions on the package.
- After they cool a bit, let your child open up one of the rolls. The marshmallow is gone – Jesus is alive!
Teach With Music
Music is one way I process things and reflect when my heart and head just can’t seem to get on the same page. The melodies melt my anxiety and the words speak truth into the weary places.
Let these songs play this week around the house and allow your own worries to be transformed by truth.
Or create your own family Easter playlist with your family’s favorites. You can come back to these year after year.
Read from a Children’s Bible
Our favorite children’s Bible is the Jesus Storybook Bible, but use what you have at home and read the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection this week with your kids.
It’s a simple way to remind them of what happened this week so many years ago that makes the difference between despair and hope to us as Christians.Back to Top ↑
Sin Rocks & a Jesus Basket – a twist on the Easter Basket
Every year for many years now, the kids have what we call a “Jesus Basket” instead of the traditional Easter basket.
The night before Easter, we take large rocks, use a permanent marker to write sins that we’ve been struggling with on the rocks, and take turns reading them to one another. The rocks are heavy and we discuss how our sins can hurt one another, just as throwing heavy rocks can hurt one another.
This time of recognition and confession is both sweet and difficult, as we have to take the time to really consider the sin in our life. You’ll find as your kids get older, this can be a very impactful time together if you’re willing to lead the way and share vulnerably.
After the rocks are in the basket, we cover them with a red cloth to symbolize Jesus’ blood covering our sins. This basket is then set where our Easter baskets usually appear. In the morning, the sin rocks and the red covering are gone, and simple Easter baskets with treats appear for each child.
We remind the kids that Jesus’ sacrifice was a gift and that he has taken all our sins away with that gift.
When we first started this tradition, I felt like this was the first time our kids really “got” the concept of Jesus paying for our sins. I know personally I learn better with object lessons and this one was impactful to my adult-heart too!Back to Top ↑
Watch an Easter Video Designed for Kids
There are so many great videos to watch at home that share the true message of Easter with our kids.
I’d encourage you to find one, sit down and watch it WITH your kids (it’s so easy for us to just put it on in the background and go on with our tasks), and then use the time afterward as a time of reflection.
Ask the kids questions that get them talking about the message. I’m always surprised at what they notice or what impacts them the most.
Right now, Minno Kids is offering free content for families “doing church” at home because of COVID-19. You can find videos about Palm Sunday and Easter topics to watch this week to jump start your conversations.Back to Top ↑
Wash Each Other’s Feet
Supplies Needed: warm water, a large bowl or basin, washcloths
Biblical Truth Shared: Jesus taught us to serve one another
Read the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet in John 13:1-17.
Ask your children what they think that would be like to be the one washing another person’s feet or to be the one receiving the washing. Take them to another room where you have prepared warm basins of water and washcloths.
Play soft music in the background and encourage them to quietly take turns washing one another’s feet.
As a parent, you can participate in this process, potentially going first to visually show your children what to do and how it feels to be served in this way.
Afterwards, talk about how Jesus taught his disciples to serve one another before he was arrested and crucified and the powerful impact that made on them as they took on the job of spreading the gospel to the world.
Remind them that God calls us to serve just as Jesus did. Have them write down one way they can intentionally choose to serve someone else in the next week.Back to Top ↑
Supplies Needed: Set of Resurrection Eggs or make your own set
Biblical Truth Shared: Overview of the entire Easter story and the gospel message
Resurrection eggs are a visual way to walk your children through the Easter story. Each egg contains a small trinket that provides a reminder of a portion of the story. Use the pre-made resurrection eggs set or make your own using an egg carton, plastic eggs, and small items you can find around your house.
Number the eggs with a marker so they will be in the correct order when you’re ready to talk about the contents.
You can hide the eggs around your home for a mini Easter egg hunt, then have your child put them in the egg carton in number order.
Egg #1: Oyster cracker (or bread) – Matthew 26:26
Egg #2: Silver coins – Matthew 26:14-16
Egg #3: Purple cloth – Matthew 27:28
Egg #4: Thorns – Matthew 27:29
Egg #5: Rope – Mark 15:15
Egg #6: Cross – John 19:16-17
Egg #7: Nail – John 19:18
Egg #8: Sign that says, “This is the king of the Jews.” – Luke 23:38
Egg #9: Sponge (with vinegar) – Matthew 27:48
Egg #10: Cloves or spices – Luke 23:5-6
Egg #11: Rock – Matthew 27:59-60
Egg #12: EMPTY! – Matthew 28:55-56
Annette from This Simple Home shares these scriptures and a free printable you can use to have all the scriptures quickly on hand while you’re doing this activity.Back to Top ↑
Decorate Your Yard
One simple way to celebrate Easter and share the message of resurrection with your neighbors while we’re all at home is to put up a homemade cross in your yard the week before Easter.
You can use whatever you can find around your house or yard — sticks work great! Have your kids participate in finding the materials and put up the cross as a visual reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice.
Then, on Easter Sunday, remove the cross and replace it with a homemade sign that says “HE IS RISEN” to share the reason for our hope.Back to Top ↑
Sidewalk Chalk Encouragement
If you have a sidewalk in front of your house or even just your driveway, use that stash of sidewalk chalk you’ve been saving to create a mosaic of encouragement for your neighborhood.
For younger kids, draw out an outline of a cross or a dove and let them color them in. Write PEACE HOPE LOVE or HE IS RISEN or other encouraging words underneath.
Older kids can design their creations on paper first and make them come to life on the sidewalk to encourage others as they walk by.Back to Top ↑
Give a Gift to a Neighbor or Essential Worker
Take time this week to remember those who either are isolated or who are essential workers.
Often, this week is typically Spring Break and families are taking time to enjoy family and friends. However, as we’re all staying home right now, you may have neighbors who are feeling isolated and forgotten. Or you may have friends who are healthcare professionals, delivery people, grocery store clerks, or drive-thru workers who are experiencing high levels of stress.
While you’re out on your weekly essential trip to the grocery store, pick up one of the small potted plants or flowers and deliver it to a neighbor or friend with an encouraging note from you and your kids.
It’s one way we can share the love of Jesus after the incredible love He has shown us.Back to Top ↑
If you find these ideas helpful, share this post to let others know about these practical ideas to share the message of Jesus with our kids. You can find more parenting resources on my blog here.
I truly hope you are able to use this extra time at home with your family to sink deep spiritual roots into your children, reminding them that when all else is uncertain, our hope in Jesus IS certain.
With you on the journey,