The question was asked on the ABC Jesus Loves Me Facebook Group, “How do I explain Easter to a child?”
Great question because parts of the Easter story are brutal and could be scary if not presented in an age-appropriate manner. The last thing we want is for a child to be scared of a Bible story – especially the story of salvation.
Instead of getting bogged down in the details, for young kids focus on the resurrection. This is the good news! Here are just a few of the ideas to do just that.
For Toddlers & Up:
Available to all Our Out-of-Sync Life subscribers, there is still time to use ideas from the ABCJLM Easter Activity Workbook. (Link in today’s RSS feed or email… More information)
Resurrection Rolls are an excellent illustration of the empty tomb. They show how Jesus was placed in the tomb but He did not stay. Very simple to make and the child can be involved in the process.
A lot of concern has been given toward using eggs as a Christian symbol of Easter, mostly because of the close association with the Easter Bunny. But eggs symbolize new life – the new life that we can have in Christ. I have included several “egg” crafts on the ABCJLM website.
If you are uneasy about these activities, I encourage you to do a Google search on the origin of Easter symbols. But as with any symbol, this is a family decision that should be made after prayer and searching the Scriptures.
For Preschoolers & Up:
Preschoolers love colors! That’s why I enjoy telling the Easter story with the colors of Jelly Beans or M&M’s.
Easter Treasure Hunt – This is the activity that we will be doing Easter Sunday with our kiddos to take them through the Easter story. A free printable is available to do this activity with young children through adults.
For Elementary-aged Children and Up:
Buck Denver Asks: What’s in the Bible? Volume Ten – Jesus is the Good News! For children through adults to enjoy, this DVD explains the Easter story better than I have ever seen. See an excerpt here. (View the entire video with free JellyTelly subscription.)
Also known as the Happy Birthday Cake, use a cake to explain Easter.
The chocolate layer reminds us that our heart is full of sin.
The red layer reminds us that Jesus shed His blood for our sins.
The white frosting reminds us that Jesus will forgive our sins and give us a clean heart.
The green layer reminds us to grow in Christ through praying, reading the Bible, and worshiping.
The yellow decorations remind us of heaven.
The candles remind us Jesus is the Light of the world.
More ideas available on the ABCJLM website – http://www.abcjesuslovesme.com/ideas/easter
Laying a Foundation
When using ideas like these, I want my children to fully grasp the significance of the Bible story. But, I have to remind myself that it takes a lifetime to fully appreciate what Jesus did for us on the cross. So don’t get discouraged if your kiddos don’t grasp all of the meaning. Remember that you are laying a foundation. And a solid foundation will slowly turn into personal understanding.