By Cherie Werner
Enter a store in March and you’re bound to find Easter baskets, candy, and decorations. You may even find a few Easter books, but how many of those truly reflect Easter’s meaning? As a ministry, it is your privilege and responsibility to help parents teach their kids the true purpose of Easter. Here are four fun activities that you can share with parents.
1. Hunt and learn—Turn the traditional egg hunt into a learning activity. In addition to candy or other treats, fill plastic eggs with clues that help children discover what happened on the very first Easter. After finding all the clues, families can look up Bible verses together to match the questions and answers. Enlist older children to read sections of Scripture ahead of time and write clues with answers for younger children (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20). There’s also the Gospel Easter Eggs®, which come stuffed with Gospel encouragements straight out of the box.
Here's a printout sheet you can use to get started with creating your own hunt-and-find activity. (And don’t forget CTA’s brand-new Family Easter Egg Hunt Planning Manual—it’s free!)
2. “Resurrection Rolls” recipe—Talk through the Easter story with your children as you bake these easy treats. Each ingredient represents part of the Resurrection event. You will need: one tube of crescent rolls, one large marshmallow per crescent roll, three tablespoons of melted butter, three tablespoons of sugar, and two teaspoons of cinnamon. Mix the sugar and cinnamon before starting.
Hand a marshmallow to every child and point out that the marshmallows represent Jesus. Each child will dip their marshmallow into the butter and then into the cinnamon- and-sugar mixture. This represents the oil and spices that anointed Jesus’ body before his burial. Next, each child will take a triangle-shaped strip of crescent dough and wrap it around their marshmallow to represent Jesus’ burial cloth. Ensure children pinch the crescent strips tightly around the marshmallows to ensure a snug fit.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Bake the rolls on the baking sheet for eight to ten minutes. As the rolls bake, explain how Jesus was in the grave for three days. Once baking is finished, cut open the crescent rolls to reveal that the marshmallows have disappeared (they’ve melted during baking), just like Jesus was no longer to be found in the tomb after three days.
3. Gift basket—As a family, prepare a gift basket for an elderly friend or neighbor. Let your children retell the Easter story and illustrate it in a homemade book. Include a few treats and helpful items. You could include chore “coupons” for tasks like shopping, yardwork, or housecleaning. Follow up with the coupons as many people will be hesitant to accept your help.
4. Easter countdown—Similar to an Advent calendar for Christmas, an Easter countdown or Lent calendar builds anticipation leading up to Easter. Starting on Ash Wednesday, read a daily portion of Scripture together as a family. (See this free printout for suggested readings.)
Also, consider adding a colored egg to an Easter tree leading up to Easter.
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