Many people celebrate Easter without giving a thought to the religious meaning. While kids often associate Easter with the Easter Bunny bringing delicious treats, Christians around the world observe Easter as a time of rejoicing over Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Numerous activities exist that can help children understand the religious aspect of Easter, and lifetime memories, as well.
Significance of Easter
Christians celebrate Easter annually in the spring. Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday is based on the belief that Jesus rose from the dead, three days later on Easter Sunday. Many Christians begin the Easter season 40 days before Easter with the observance of Lent. The seven days before Easter, known as Holy Week, gives Christians the opportunity to remember the Biblical events leading to Jesus’ resurrection. It is important to help kids understand why Easter is important. Explain the religious significance of Easter by reading about Jesus in a children’s version of the Bible. Younger children will enjoy Jan and Mike Berenstain’s explanation in “Living Lights: The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story” or “God gave us Easter” by Lisa Tawn Bergren.
Attend a Church Service
While it may be a given that part of a child’s Easter religious experience will be attending church, Easter is also an opportune time to invite non-churched family, friends or neighbors to Easter service. Since many people enjoy receiving invitations in the mail, ask kiddos to help make written invites, addressed specifically from them. Discuss how Christians like to come together worshipping, learning and celebrating together Easter service. Plan a small lunch or picnic for guests after services. At least once in a child’s life, he should experience the thrill of getting up before dawn and attending a sunrise Easter service. Many sunrise services include different Christian churches, not just the one a child usually attends. Find out ahead of time where your town or city’s service will be, and plan for weather, traffic and crowds.
Easter Egg Hunt
Create a twist on the traditional Easter egg hunt. Use a white crayon numbering 12 hard-boiled eggs from 1 to 12 and color. Inside colored plastic egg containers, insert a clue about the Easter story, such as “Jesus rides on a donkey.” Hide both set of eggs around the yard or house. When children are finished collecting eggs, instruct children to line up eggs in numerical order pairing colors together. Watch kids open each egg and read the contents together. Play a game where you line up the events in sequential order, beginning with the “triumphal entry” and ending with the “resurrection.”
Easter Basket Craft
Design Easter baskets using cardboard egg cartons. Cut out 12 individual holders from an egg carton, which contained a dozen eggs. Dip each holder in leftover Easter egg dye. Paint or draw with a washable marker, a religious symbol on each basket, such as a fish, cross, heart or palm branch. Cut out 1-by-5-inch strips of construction paper to create the handles. Help kids learn scripture by writing a biblical reference pertaining to the symbol. For instance, draw a red heart on a basket and write “John 3:16” on the paper strip. Staple handles to holders. Fill each basket with a red, green, yellow, orange, black, white, purple and pink jelly bean. Make a scroll by rolling up a copy of the Jelly Bean Prayer poem by Charlene Dickerson. Tie with a red ribbon. Place a scroll in each basket and give to others.