Celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection with these 7 surprising and uplifting Easter activities based on the Bible.
When Jesus conquered the grave, he not only made it possible for us to live in heaven forever with God, but he also gave us hope for our lives here on earth. These seven uplifting activities show kids that Jesus’ resurrection brings us freedom and forgiveness. Kids will experience how Jesus uplifts our lives through the power of the resurrection.
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1. Celebration Launchers
Start your celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.
- paper cups
Using the photos as a guide, show kids how to make these launchers before doing the following activity.
Say: Let’s use these fun launchers to help us think about Jesus’ resurrection. Hold up a pompom. After Jesus died on the cross, they put his body in a tomb. Place a pompom in your launcher, and let kids do the same. They closed the tomb, and guards watched it to make sure no one did anything with Jesus’ body. Cover the top of your cup with your hand. But nothing could keep Jesus in that tomb! Launch the pompom out of your cup by pulling back on the balloon knot and then letting it go. Then read aloud Matthew 28:6. Invite kids to practice using the launchers, each time saying, “Nothing could keep Jesus in that tomb!”
2. Keep Them Up! Game
Remind kids that Jesus is our only hope.
- paper plates
- paint stir sticks
- hot glue
Ahead of time, make a paddle for each child by gluing a paint stir stick to a paper plate.
Have kids help inflate enough balloons so each child gets two. Read aloud Acts 4:12.
Say: When Jesus came back to life, he made it possible for us to have a relationship with God. Let’s play a game to help us think about why we need Jesus.
Form pairs, and give each child a paddle and two balloons. Have pairs spread out as much as possible in your room. Explain that pairs will try to keep all four of their balloons off the ground at all times. Lead kids in playing several rounds.
Ask: What was it like to try to keep your balloons up perfectly? How was this game like trying to be perfect all the time?
Say: None of us can be perfect all the time, kind of like we wouldn’t be able to keep up all of these balloons forever. We might be focusing on one area of our lives, and then another area slips. That’s why Jesus is our hope. When he died and came back to life, he made us perfect in God’s eyes. All we have to do is believe and accept.
Ask: What does it mean to you that through Jesus, you’re free from having to “keep all the balloons up”?
3. Raise the Ball Game
Encourage children to lift up their friends with the truth of Jesus’ resurrection.
- a Bible
- 1 foam cup per child
- 5 wooden skewers per child
- 1 bouncy ball per child
The object of this game is to use the skewers to gradually raise the bouncy ball from the bottom of the cup to the top until it falls out. Kids do this by poking a few skewers through the cup underneath the ball (see photo below). As they continue to move the skewers higher and higher, they’ll gradually raise the ball.
After kids understand the concept, encourage them to try it several times. They can race or they can compete against their previous time.
Read aloud Luke 23:50-56. Ask: • How were the wooden skewers in our game like Jesus’ friends in the Bible?
Say: Jesus is the greatest friend. When he came back to life, he brought us the greatest hope to lift our lives. But if people don’t know about the hope that Jesus brings us, they might not know how to have hope in dark times. Thinking about that, what do you think are the best ways to lift your friends who don’t know about Jesus’ resurrection?
4. Children’s Message: Lifted by Jesus
Give kids some time to reflect on what Jesus did for them personally.
- small stones or pebbles
- 1 plastic coat hanger per child
- 2 paper cups per child
Show kids how to poke three evenly spaced holes through the tops of their cups and use the yarn to hang one cup from each side of their hangers. Give each child a handful of small stones or pebbles.
Read aloud Hebrews 12:1. Say: Let’s see how Jesus lifts us up. We’ll pretend these stones represent sins that weigh us down: telling a lie, for example. Add a stone to one cup on your hanger. Have kids each add a stone to a cup on their own hangers. Lead children through a few other examples of sinful things kids might do, each time having kids add stones to the same cup they started with.
Say: Take time now to talk to Jesus about some things you know you’ve done wrong. Allow time.
After kids’ hangers are weighed down on the side with all the stones, say: When Jesus died on the cross, he took on all of our sin. He took the weight of any lies we’ve told. Lead kids to each take a stone and transfer it to the other cup on their hangers. Take some time now to transfer each of your stones to the other cup, thanking Jesus for taking on each sin when he died on the cross. Allow time.
Say: Notice the weight shifted. All the weight is now in the Jesus cup, and your cup lifts up. When you believe in Jesus, your balance will always look like this. Jesus’ death and resurrection lifts you forever! Allow time for kids to silently pray and reflect on what Jesus did for them.
5. Fizzy Snack
Demonstrate how Jesus brings us life and excitement through his resurrection.
- 1 paper bowl
- 1 plastic spoon
- six 3-ounce cups
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar for every 6 kids
- 1 teaspoon citric acid for baking for every 6 kids
- 1 teaspoon baking soda for every 6 kids
- 1 tablespoon presweetened drink mix powder or flavored gelatin powder for every 6 kids
In groups of six, have kids mix together the dry ingredients. After they’re thoroughly combined, let every child take one teaspoon of the mixture and put it in his or her own cup.
Say: Without Jesus, our lives can be kind of dry like this powder. But Jesus called himself the living water. Read aloud John 4:7-14.
Say: Let’s pretend this water represents Jesus, the living water. Let’s see what happens when we add it to the powder, which will represent us. Pour water to fill each child’s cup halfway. Allow time for kids to observe how the water rises and fizzes.
Say: When we add Jesus to our lives, he can lift us up and bring us life. Let kids try their fizzy snack. Have kids describe what they’re thinking and feeling as they try it. It will fizzle and pop in their mouths.
Say: It’s surprising and exciting to eat this snack. In the same way, Jesus did something incredible when he came back to life. He conquered death. No one else can do that. That’s why Jesus is the living water, because he made it so we can live forever with him in heaven. And we can be sure that when we believe in Jesus, he’ll often surprise us and excite us as he does amazing things in our lives.
Want a Healthier Snack?
Have kids drop unpeeled oranges in containers of water and watch as they float to the top every time. Discuss how Jesus’ love and forgiveness can always lift us up. Read aloud John 3:14-21. Have kids remove the orange peels and test again, only to find that the oranges don’t float. Discuss how we can’t be lifted without Jesus.
6. Rise Above Pictures
Encourage kids to have hope in tough circumstances.
- liquid white glue
- card stock
- table salt
- 1 paintbrush per child
Have kids each draw a man shape on the card stock using the white glue. Say: Jesus is a good example for us when we’re going through hard times. Think about what Jesus went through. The Bible tells us in Luke 23 that soldiers beat him. Have kids use glue to draw some marks on the man shape. Then they put a crown of thorns on his head. Have kids add a crown of thorns. They nailed him to a cross. Have kids add a cross around the man shape. He went through the darkest of times, and he carried the weight of all the sin in the world when he died.
Say: After he died, Jesus’ friends wrapped his body in white cloth and put him in a tomb. Have kids pour table salt over the glue.
Say: But death couldn’t keep Jesus down. He came back to life! Have kids use black paint to color the cross and crown of thorns, but let them paint the rest of Jesus’ picture with any other colors they choose. Encourage them to make Jesus look bright.
Say: Jesus rose above the darkness. And he can help us when we’re going through a hard time, too. Invite kids to share about hard times they’ve been going through.
Read aloud Hebrews 2:18. Say: Jesus might not take away the difficult times, but he’ll help you through them. Point out how the paintings they made still include Jesus’ death but that he wouldn’t have come back to life if he’d never died.
7. Hovercraft Object Lesson
Show kids how Jesus can do impossible things in our lives.
- old CDs
- hot glue
- uninflated balloons
- water bottle lids with pop-up caps
Ahead of time, prepare the hovercrafts: Glue a pop-up cap over the hole in a CD with the pop-up part facing outward and the part that would connect with a bottle glued to the surface of the CD. This creates a valve. Make several so kids can take turns playing with them.
Read aloud Luke 24:1-5. Say: The women thought someone had stolen Jesus’ body from the grave. They didn’t think he might be alive until the angel told them he was. That’s because Jesus did something incredible, something no one could even imagine. He came back from the dead and left the grave before the women arrived on Sunday morning. He did the impossible!
Say: Let’s make something to help us think about that. What would you say if I told you we could make our own hovercrafts? It seems impossible, but we can do it. Let’s try now.
Demonstrate how to make the hovercraft work: Make sure the pop-up cap is closed. Inflate a balloon and slide it over the pop-up cap, making sure it’s secure. Set the whole thing on a solid surface, and then without removing the balloon from the pop-up cap, hold down the CD while opening the pop-up cap. The air will push through the opening to make a moving hovercraft. Allow time for kids to play with the hovercrafts.
Ask: What did you like about this experiment? Explain whether you thought it would be impossible before we did it.
Say: Before the women knew Jesus, they thought it was impossible to come back to life after death, but Jesus did it. He even made some other people come back to life, too. Jesus can do the impossible!
Ask: What are some impossible things you need Jesus’ help with? How can Jesus’ resurrection help you trust Jesus to help you?