Here’s a practical use for all those jelly beans that are about to invade your house this Easter. Count down and then count up through the whole Easter story by using the jelly beans. Just follow along and scoop up or place down the number of jelly beans mentioned.


What you’ll need

Supplies: a bag of jelly beans (or Skittles, etc.), a Bible, this story


Counting down through the Jelly Bean Easter Story

Set up: Pour out two large “streams” of jellybeans with a path in between them. This represents the multitude of people on either side of the road that Jesus rode upon. For ideas for kids under five, see the box at the bottom of the story.

100s OF PEOPLE lined the streets of Jerusalem

What’s going on?” someone asked.

“Jesus is coming,” answered a young boy. “I can’t wait to see him!”

Jesus rode on a donkey through the streets of Jerusalem. [Walk your fingers through the path of jelly beans.]

Moms and dads and kids started shouting, “Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”


Not everyone was happy to see Jesus though. The religious leaders were jealous. They wanted people to follow them NOT Jesus. So they went to Judas, one of Jesus’s disciples.

“We want to arrest Jesus,” they said. “We will give you 30 PIECES OF SILVER [scoop up all the jelly beans except for 30] if you tell us where to find Jesus, somewhere away from all these crowds.”

Judas took the thirty pieces of silver and said, “You’ll be hearing from me soon.”


That night Jesus and his 12 DISCIPLES [scoop up all but 12 jelly beans] celebrated with a Passover meal.

They ate, drank, and sang a hymn to God. When they were almost done, Judas slipped out of the room to tell the religious leaders where Jesus was. [REMOVE 1 jellybean, so only 11 remain.]

Now Jesus and eleven of his disciples went to a garden on a mountain. Jesus began to be very sad. He knew what was going to happen soon. He took 3 OF HIS CLOSEST FRIENDS [scoop up all but 3 jelly beans] with him—Peter, James, and John.

Jesus prayed for an hour then he heard the swishing of swords and marching of feet. “The soldiers are here!” he said.

The soldiers arrested Jesus and everyone ran away, even Jesus’s closest friends.

[Scoop up all the jelly beans so there are 0 JELLY BEANS.]


No one was with Jesus when the soldiers whipped him or pressed a crown of thorns on his heads. No one was with him when they nailed him to a cross. Jesus died all alone, carrying all the sins of the whole world in his body (1 Peter 2:24).


Counting up through the Jelly Bean Easter story

One man named Joseph of Arimathea [Place 1 JELLY BEAN on the table] took Jesus’s body, wrapped it in a clean cloth, and placed it in a tomb. Soldiers rolled a HUGE stone over the front of the tomb and stood guard outside it.

One day went by.

Two days went by [add a 2ND JELLY BEAN].

Three days went by [add a 3rd JELLY BEAN].


Early in the morning several women started going to the tomb [sprinkle a COUPLE MORE JELLY BEANS on the table]. The earth began to shake.

A powerful angel rolled the stone away from the tomb. “Don’t be afraid,” he said to the women. “Jesus isn’t here. He’s not dead anymore! He’s alive!”

The women ran and told the eleven disciples [ADD 11 JELLY BEANS]. “Jesus isn’t dead anymore. He’s alive!” they said.


After that, Jesus visited a lot of people. He walked and talked on the road with them. He ate grilled fish with them. He showed them the scars in his hands. More than 500 people saw Jesus [add ALMOST as many jelly beans as you started out with] before he went up, up, up to heaven (1 Cor. 15:6).

Jesus died on the cross and rose again so ALL the people in the world [add ALL THE JELLY BEANS from the beginning of the story] could have life in him.

Look up and read Matthew 28:5-6 together.

What was your favorite part of the Easter story? Why?

Ideas for kids under 5…
  • Use something concrete to represent Jesus–something besides a jelly bean–like a small cross or a small picture of Jesus.
  • If you’re concerned the story will get too long, start the story at the “Counting Up” point or at Jesus’s death .

Copyright © Carol Garborg 2018

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