Easter is coming around the corner and before you know it you have to plan activites for the family. Below are some activites you can do with your family during Holy Week and Easter.
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!)
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.
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.
Good Friday Idea: Wiped Away
Help kids of all ages understand that Jesus’ death wipes away our sins.
- baby wipes,
- trash can,
- candle, and
Have kids form a large circle, and place the newspaper in the center of the circle. Tell kids the newspaper represents the sin in our lives. Have kids grab a piece of newspaper and rub their hands with the newspaper until the ink has transferred to their hands. Read aloud 1 John 1:9. Remind kids that like the stain left by the newspaper, our sins leave stains on our hearts.
Place a baby wipe in front of each child and dim the lights. Have an adult leader light the candle and say: Jesus came into a dark world to be our light. Because of Jesus’ death, we’re forgiven and can live in the light forever! As you focus your eyes on the light, Jesus, use the baby wipe in front of you to clean your hands. Then drop your wipe into the trash can to remind you that when Jesus wipes your sins away, they’re gone for good.
When kids are finished, pray together, thanking Jesus for being a light in our dark world and for dying on the cross for our sins.
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).
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).
I hope and pray that these ideas help with you and your family during Easter.