With Easter upon us in a few short days, I wanted to share a few ideas we’re using this year with our kids to make sure we’re focusing on Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, the true meaning of Easter.
But first, here’s a glimpse into our reality right now with three kids ages 6 and under. This was our attempt at teaching them to share last weekend. I’ll let you guess how long that lasted…
Sharing or not sharing, we still attempt to teach them, right?
It’s the same with Easter. While I know my kiddos won’t understand everything about Jesus’ death and resurrection while they’re still so young, I can still begin to teach them at an age appropriate level.
Now don’t get me wrong; we still enjoy our church’s Easter egg hunt too, complete with bounce houses and face painting because my 6 yr old thinks getting her face painted is truly the best thing ever and who am I to deprive her of that joy?
But 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 already recognizes that there’s something special going on.
We started this with Salem, our oldest, when she was tiny, just 2 years old, by reading the simple board book What is Easter? (thank you Noni!), a book that acknowledges the bunnies and eggs kids see during this time of year while at the same time introducing the concept that it’s really Jesus that we celebrate. This year it’ll help Kai, our 3 year old, remember that Easter isn’t just about candy and eggs.
I’m trying something new with him this year too. It’s a simple activity called All Wrapped Up Like Jesus. Now, you need to know that I will never, ever, ever call myself a “crafty mom” but this is the kind of activity that only requires supplies you already have on hand. Okay, are you ready, fellow non-crafty moms? This activity’s supply list is….toilet paper. That’s it! Here’s the drill, and I promise, your young kids will love this “active” activity!
- Read Matthew 27:57-61.
- Take the toilet paper and wrap your child up in “grave clothes”. If you have more than one child, have your kids take turns playing the part of Jesus and wrapping one another up.
- After each child is wrapped up, have them try to break loose from the toilet paper. Talk about how Jesus’ followers must have felt when they found out that Jesus was alive.
My older daughter’s favorite Easter activity is to make Resurrection Rolls. These little treats are baking-challenged (that’s me!) mom approved…just 4 ingredients…crescent roll dough (from a can!), marshmallows, sugar and cinnamon.
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!
We also use some of the activities from the e-book A Sense of the Resurrection to help bring the sights, smells, and tastes of the Easter story to life. The author, Amanda White, has been a children’s pastor and is fabulous at breaking down complicated concepts into tangible activities that impress God’s Word on our kids’ hearts! She very generously has offered us a discount – use the code MOSAICLIFE for 20% off. This is also great curriculum to use in churches with kids at Easter!
Finally, one of our favorite traditions we started last year is to have what Amanda calls an “UnEaster Basket” or what we call a “Jesus Basket” instead of the traditional Easter basket.
I felt like this was the first time they 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!
I just love it when we can use what’s happening in our world around us to teach biblical principles to our kids and Easter is the perfect time for it!
Whatever you decide to do, I pray you are able to sow seeds of truth into your little ones’ hearts this Easter!