As soon as Thanksgiving rolls out the door, I’m in Christmas preparation mode. For those of us who love the Lord, it’s one of the most important holidays of year. God became flesh and moved into the neighborhood. How cool is that?!
Easter is no different. In a moment that changed all history, the Spirit of God raised Jesus up from the dead. Jesus is alive!
Last weekend I gave you 10 ideas to share God’s love with your friends and neighbors this Easter. This weekend is your chance to show your own kids why the Resurrection matters. Seriously, in Bible times people used to celebrate for days. Why should they have all the fun?
Don’t let the threat of COVID-19 and forced social distancing keep you from celebrating Easter like never before. Here’s everything you need for a family Easter experience that your kids will love.
Your Family Easter Experience
Follow the 3-day sequence where each day builds on the next. OR, use Friday and Sunday as stand-alones.
FRIDAY – A mini Easter world
- Create a hands-on collage of the Easter story, something kids can see and feel.
- Read the story of Palm Sunday, Judas’s betrayal and Jesus’s death.
- Pray together as a family.
The Sad Day
Supplies: twine, twigs to create the cross, coins, a leaf—and don’t forget dirt.
- Make the cross by wrapping twine around the twigs.
- Cover ½ the cookie sheet with dirt and mound up a “hill” where you’ll place the cross.
- Add silver coins and the “palm” leaf.
The Happy Day
Supplies: artificial grass, small plastic cup, stone, fake flowers with wire stems. Optional: blue food coloring, shallow dish for a pool, plastic animals.
- Bend flower stems and put in place, covering them with dirt.
- Place plastic cup “tomb” on its side, cover with dirt, and set stone next to it.
- Add blue food coloring to water in shallow dish for the pool and place in corner.
- Cover everything with grass.
About a king, a betrayal, and death on a mountain in John 12:12-14; Matthew 26:14; John 18:1-8; 19:1-6, 16-18.
Plot summary – When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, people wondered if he was the king they’d been waiting for. They waved palm branches and shouted, “Hosanna!…Blessed is the king of Israel!” The Pharisees and leaders were jealous. They gave Judas silver coins to betray Jesus and help them catch him. Judas was one of Jesus’s closest friends. Soldiers nailed Jesus on a cross where he died.
Thank you for loving the whole world, including me. You sent Jesus to die so I could be free from the power of sin. Amen.
- For older kids, make creating the Easter world a competition and see how how creative they can get. For younger kids who might want to “play” Easter, you might want to use a long shallow plastic bin so it doesn’t get messy.
- Create the “sad day” side of the collage on Friday, and the “happy” day on Sunday.
- Use a children’s storybook to read the stories of Palm Sunday, Judas’s betrayal and Christ’s death.
SATURDAY – ‘Twas the night before Easter
You know the anticipation that comes the night before Christmas? When kids can’t wait to get up and tear open gifts or open Christmas stockings. Today you’re setting the stage for that same kind of anticipation.
- Plan a special family Easter meal for tomorrow.
- Use the enclosed formal invitation for your kids.
- Read about Jesus’s burial and the posting of the guards outside the tomb.
Create – “You’re Invited”
What you’ll need: the enclosed invitation and an envelope. For tomorrow you’ll need candies and a small gift your kids can wear or use at your Easter meal.
About the man who buried Jesus and the soldiers posted outside the tomb in Luke 23:50-54 and Matthew 27:62-66.
Plot summary: When Jesus died, a man named Joseph or Arimathea took the body, wrapped it in clean linen, and placed it in a tomb. The leaders didn’t want anyone to steal the body. So they sealed the tomb’s stone and posted soldiers outside.
Thank you for hope. Even when things look sad or bad, I can trust you and hope. Amen.
SUNDAY – An Easter hunt, a gift and a celebration
- Before your kids wake up, use the tips below to give them a gift.
- If your church has an online service, watch together as a family.
- Before you begin your special meal/celebration, read the story of the two earthquakes and Jesus’s resurrection.
A Different Kind of Easter Hunt
- Before your kids wake up, create a trail of candies that lead from their bed to a gift you’re giving. Use different types or colors of candy for each child so there’s no confusion whose gift is whose.
- The Gift? Something that can be worn at your Easter meal/celebration–new top, necklace, earrings, new shoes.
- Let your kids know you’re having a special dinner and the gift is to use at the meal. Dress up in your best.
About the two unusual earthquakes that happened when Jesus died and then again when he rose from the dead, in Matthew 27:50-53 and 28:1-6
Plot summary: When Jesus died, many holy people who had died were raised to life. After Jesus had been in the tomb three days, a violent earthquake hit and an angel rolled away the stone.
You crushed and defeated death. It didn’t win; you did! You’re a powerful and living God. Amen.
Retell the Easter story using the mini Easter world you created on Friday.
Like these ideas, please share!
2020 © Carol Garborg