I know everyone’s favorite holidays are Thanksgiving and Christmas, (they are mine as well) – but I feel shamed that Easter gets lost along the way.
Is it the bunny? the eggs? the early blooms on trees and the breaks in the dreary sky that gets our hearts going?
Or is it Jesus?
I sure hope it is.
Let’s try and share the light with our families this year, and the following years. Easter is such a joyous occasion, the true reason for the season. It is the event talked about and promised since the beginning of time. The one that all the stories pointed to, Jonah being swallowed by the whale, Goliath being defeated by David, Gideon defeating the Philistines with mere lights and noisemakers, grace being shown through the weak, and the weak conquering the wise.
Mere shadows of Jesus. Jesus. JESUS.
He is Risen. He is Risen indeed.
Let’s celebrate this week, I’ve gathered some fun traditions from friends, family, and from my favorite organization Focus on the Family, and I am hoping that y’all will share even more 🙂
Free Easter Week Activity Kit
Focus on the Family’s free Easter activity kit retraces the events of Jesus’ final days on earth, helping kids learn more about Christ’s sacrifice and victory over death. This free kit includes craft ideas, recipes, puzzles, eight days of faith-based activities and object lessons, and easy-to-follow instructions for an authentic Passover meal.
The Easter Story Scramble
Once my two older kids could read, their grandparents wrote key events from Jesus’ life on 10 slips of paper — from His birth to His ascension — and put them in plastic eggs, along with candy, coins or snack crackers. After the kids found the eggs, they worked together to put the story in order so it could be read. It extended their time of fun and helped them focus on the reason for the celebration. (Find these slips for your Easter egg hunt at FocusOnTheFamily.com/Easter!)
—Sharie Thoelke with Joyce K. Ellis
Resurrection Eggs – Preschool Activity
Retell and celebrate the Resurrection story with your child by creating a preschool version of “Resurrection eggs.” Gather six plastic eggs, each a different color. Place the following items inside, one item per egg: breadcrumb, paper cross, strip of cloth, rock and piece of candy. One egg will remain empty. As you tell the Resurrection story, let your child open the eggs. Explain each item in the following order:
1. Bread crumb: Jesus ate dinner with His friends. (Luke22:14-15)
2. Cross: The next day, Jesus died on the Cross. (John19:17-18)
3. Strip of cloth: He was wrapped in cloth and placed in a tomb.
4. Rock: A stone was placed in front of the tomb. (Matthew27:59-60)
5. Empty egg: Jesus’ friends came to the tomb and saw the stone had been moved. The tomb was empty! (Luke 24:1-3)
6. Candy: Jesus is alive. That’s the sweet surprise of Easter. (Matthew 28:5-6)
Once you’ve finished sharing the Resurrection story with your child, encourage her to use the eggs to tell the story in her own words.
- Free Easter Activities E-book
In the e-book we have activities for 7 weeks complete with Bible verses, crafts, and ideas to get you talking with your kids through the Lenten season and the Resurrection story! Each week includes a Bible verse, summary of the verse, points to talk about, stained glass frame craft idea, activity, and a ‘go further’ section. Templates are included for all the crafts as well!-— Hannah Rand
Freedom Yarn – School-age Activity
Use this activity to help your kids understand that Christ’s resurrection means that we can have eternal life!
Lay a skein of yarn on a table and pull 2 inches of yarn from one end. Ask your child to slowly pull on this piece, and when she has pulled out about an arm’s length of yarn, snip it off with scissors. Tell your kids that this piece of yarn has a beginning and an end, just like our lives here on earth.
Take the snipped piece of yarn and tie it back onto the skein, explaining that, through Christ, we are free to live with God forever. When Jesus died and rose again, He gave us eternal life. Although our time on earth will come to an end, our life with God will go on and on forever. Celebrate the power of the Resurrection by allowing your kids to pull freely on the piece of yarn and run with it as it unravels from the skein. Let them run out of the room! Up the stairs!
Pray together, thanking God for sending His Son and welcoming us into eternal life with Him.
White Tee Demonstration – Tween Activity
To teach your tweens about the forgiving power of Christ’s resurrection, try this activity. First, put on an old, white T-shirt. Then discuss what sin is by asking your tweens to share some examples, such as lying or envy. Invite them to use permanent markers to write their examples on the shirt.
Explain that our sins create a rift in our relationship with God and keep us from experiencing His love. To be reconciled with God, we need to get rid of the sin that separates us. Ask for ideas on how to remove the marker stains from the shirt. If the kids suggest washing it, try scrubbing it in the sink. Let them see that the stains are permanent. Also note how the “sins” can’t be hidden, even if the shirt is turned inside out.
Ask: “If we can’t remove our own sin, who can help us?” Guide your tweens toward understanding that only Jesus, through His death and resurrection, has the power to get rid of our sins. Take the old, dirty shirt and place it in a trash bag near a Bible or a cross, where you’ve also set anew, clean white shirt. As you put on the clean shirt, talk about how Christ takes away our sin and gives us His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Conversation Starter – Time With Your Teen
The thrill of driving, the freedom to ignore homework, the delight of staying on the computer all night long—teens love to assert their independence. They hold tight to a “my way is the best way” attitude that influences the choices they make during these formative years. Sometimes that attitude protects them from peer pressure; other times it drives them to settle for less than God’s best.
Could the power of the Resurrection and the hope of eternity actually make a difference for a teen who is torn between choosing God’s will and doing his own thing?
As parents, we get to be the voice reminding teens that pleasing Christ is better than pleasing self. Living with an eternal perspective can help them see that the joy of living forever in God’s presence far outweighs the momentary satisfaction of getting their own way.
The same power that raised Christ from the dead is available to strengthen our teens to make wise choices today (Romans 8:11-14). Ask your teen about choices she’s watched her friends make that were not pleasing to God. Were there any disappointing consequences? Ask your teen if his friends have shared stories about decisions they regret. Share honestly about your own teenage choices to either choose God’s best or have things your way.
Now remind your teen that God has provided all she needs to live a life pleasing to Him—both now and forever (2 Peter 1:3). Encourage your teen to trust God for the strength to do His will, and pray that the hope of eternity will empower her to choose wisely (Colossians 1:10-12).
Resurrection CookiesYou will need:
1c. whole pecans
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
a pinch salt
Bible1. Preheat oven to 3002. Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, the Roman soldiers beat him. Read John 19:1-3.3. Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.4. Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.5. Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.6. So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1c. sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.7. Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah. 1:18 and John 3:1-3.8. Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matt. 27:57-60.9. Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read Matt.27:65-66.10. GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.11. On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
Not only does this lesson walk you through the Easter story, it focuses on the truth of Jesus’ resurrection and how it gives us hope for the future.
—Lynnette Knoop (my precious Mother-in-law)
I hope you can make Easter a little more special this year, and help others as well! Please comment below with more ideas or conversations to make Easter more dear to our family’s hearts.
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