7 Ways to Teach Kids About Easter
Death is a hard topic to discuss no matter what your age. However, the concept of a limited existence can be especially scary for kids. As Easter Sunday approaches, many parents struggle with how to teach their little ones about the true meaning of this Christian holiday. Thankfully, we have seven simple ways to teach kids about Easter and why it is such a joyful time.
1. Read Kid Friendly Bible Stories
Just like most fairy tales, the Easter story has a wonderful beginning, a scary middle, and a happy ending. When discussing the meaning of Easter, it is important to not skip any parts of the story, but rather, to limit the details about Jesus’ death. Moreover, while reading these truncated tales that are tailored for tots, pause and allow them to ask questions. Explain that it is okay to be sad. Most importantly, emphasize Jesus’ love for us.
2. Use Analogies To Help Them Understand
Sometimes the best way to illustrate a concept is to put it in a context that the person will understand. This is exceptionally important with young children, like preschoolers. Thus, simplify the story of Easter for kids.
For instance, let’s say Jesus is an Easter Lily. This beautiful white flower that graces churches every Spring is a symbol of purity -- a living thing that is free of sin. Then, let's say the Romans are the Winter season. During the coldest months of the year, the exposed part of perennial plants die, while the rest of the flower goes dormant. Just as Jesus died at the hand of the Romans in Jerusalem, the Easter Lily will die from the Winter's cold, but its soul will survive. When Springtime comes, these flowers are reborn, just as Christ did in the resurrection.
Explain that while this is a very sad event, there is a greater purpose behind this sacrifice. Jesus died for our sins so that we can go to heaven. What the Romans did was terrible, but God had a bigger plan and we have to trust in his work.
3. Bake Resurrection Rolls
Speaking of analogies, another fantastic way to showcase the empty tomb and the resurrection of Jesus Christ is to make resurrection rolls. These delicious Easter snacks utilize marshmallows to represent Jesus, cinnamon and sugar to serve as the anointing spices, and crescent rolls to symbolize the tomb.
Once prepared and placed in the oven, explain that after Jesus died for our sins, he was buried in a tomb, and then ascended into heaven. Three days later, Mary found the tomb empty! Jesus had risen from the dead!
Similarly, as the rolls bake in the oven, the marshmallows will disappear, leaving the “tombs” empty! This simple comparison can help young children better understand the resurrection story.
4. Go To Your Church Throughout The Easter Season
Just like at Christmas, it is important to attend church for the entirety of the season and not only on the main holiday. We all like to skip to the end of the story, but when it comes to the massive sacrifice that Jesus made for us, you want your child to understand that this holiday is not just about the Easter bunny and Easter egg hunts.
Therefore, make a point to go to services on Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday! Moreover, Sunday school classes are a great resource for parents who may be timid about discussing the crucifixion portion of the story of Jesus. Members of the clergy can more effectively articulate these lessons and tie in bible verses to help kids better understand these concepts.
5. Find Ways To Emulate The Message Of Easter
Jesus sacrificed to make our lives better. Why can’t we do the same? Teaching our children empathy, compassion, and the importance of service is crucial to molding caring and understanding human beings. One of the best Easter activities is to find ways to give to those less fortunate, just as Jesus gave to every man, woman, and child.
Thus, make Easter baskets to give to sick kids at the hospital. Deliver Easter Lilies to a retirement home. Set up a lemonade stand and give the earnings to a charity. Give old toys and clothes to kids who don’t have the same blessings. These are activities that are great for both a one year old and a sixteen year old! Plus, it ensures that more people have a happy Easter!
6. Celebrate New Life
While we don’t recommend buying your kids chicks and ducks, this can be a good time to consider adding a pet to the family. You can also use this as a moment for kids to learn about the real meaning of Easter. This holiday is a representation of hope, rebirth, and new beginnings. It is also a time of sacrifice.
Similarly, while getting a new puppy, kitten, or fish is a joyful event, having a pet is not always fun. It teaches responsibility and the need to sometimes put others above ourselves. Remember that this is a decision that should not be taken lightly, so make sure that this pet will be coming to their forever home.
However, for those not ready to expand their household, take the time to plant something beautiful in your garden instead! For preschoolers, you can also have them plant Easter grass! It normally only takes a few days for the seeds to sprout so try to do this at the beginning of Holy Week so that there is new life just in time for Easter Sunday!
7. Make A Cross
Out of sight, out of mind. Easter morning is an exciting time focused on the reason for the season. However, once this holiday passes, we often fall back into old habits. It is important for kids to continue to engage in random acts of kindness and sacrifice for others in need throughout the year.
Hence, create a beautiful cross to display year round and serve as a subtle reminder of the need to show love and compassion. This Easter craft can be as simple as drawing a cross on paper or your kids can decorate a wooden cross with beads, stones, paper mâché, or whatever other eggs-cellent supplies that you have lying around the house.
He is risen! AS you enter into your Easter celebrations, make a point to remember that the true meaning of Easter is Jesus’ selfless gift of eternal life. Additionally, on a smaller scale, it is a lesson in the importance of giving back to others and understanding the real value of forgiveness. Teach your kids to give grace, to be kind, and to love one another this holiday. These are lessons that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
For more fun easter activities, make sure to check out our extended list for the whole family!