Easter egg hunts, visits to the Easter Bunny and baskets dripping with jelly beans are a big part of Easter for many families. But those traditions do little to teach children about the true meaning of the holiday. Faith-based games can help kids understand the significance of Easter and lead them to greater comprehension of their Christianity. Adding a new twist to time-tested children's games helps kids learn while having a blast.
Resurrection Egg Pass
Play a game similar to "Hot Potato," using resurrection eggs instead of a potato. Fill five to 10 plastic Easter eggs with symbols of the resurrection. Use a small piece of soap to symbolize Jesus washing the disciples' feet, twigs formed into a "Crown of Thorns," sack of spices, nail, stone, small piece of yarn to symbolize the rope that Jesus was tied with, and a piece of a cracker to symbolize the Last Supper. Use four or five eggs for younger children, adding more for older kids. Give a plastic egg to three or four kids. The number of eggs used will depend on the size of the group. About one-third of the kids should hold an egg. Play music and ask the kids to pass the eggs to the right. When the music stops, anyone holding an egg must open it and tell what the symbol means. Recirculate the same eggs or add new eggs each round.
Feet Washing Relay
During the Last Supper, Jesus washed the feet of all of his disciples. A fast-paced relay is a kid-friendly way to teach children about this important act that symbolizes Jesus' love for us. If possible, set the relay up outside on a grassy lawn. Divide children into even teams and ask each team to stand in a vertical line. Place a bowl of soapy water and a towel about 20 feet from the first person in each line. On, "Go!" the first person on each team runs to the water, takes off their shoes and socks, washes and dries their feet and runs to the back of their line, leaving their shoes behind. The first team to finish wins. Make the relay easier for younger kids by having them take their shoes off before the game begins.
An old-fashioned scavenger hunt lets the children take the lead in searching for items specific to the story of Easter. Give the kids a list of items to find around the church or outside, give them a camera to take pictures of a list of specified items, or plant clues that lead them to several significant areas in and around the church or your home. Scavenger hunt items could include sticks to form a wooden cross; a large rock to symbolize the boulder placed in front Jesus' tomb; soap, bread or fruit from the Last Supper; spices and cloth to symbolize how Jesus' body was preserved; sticks to symbolize the crown of thorns He wore; something red to symbolize His blood or something white to symbolize His pure heart.
Black and White Tag
Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world. Let the color black represent sin and white represent a pure heart in a game of tag where players must run from sin and seek a pure heart. Pin a black piece of paper to half of the players' backs and a white piece of paper to the other half. White players begin in couples, linking their arms with another person of the same color. Black players scatter around the playing area, without linking arms. On, "Go!" white players must try to link up with another white player, but there can only be two people linked together at one time. When a player links with a couple, the person on the end must leave the link and find another couple to link with. Black players will try to tag white players as they run from group to group. White players are safe if they are linked with another white player. If tagged, white players are out until the next round.