A Basket Full of Ideas

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Easter Dedication
Best for Ages 5 and under
Combine your Easter service with a child dedication for a powerful
time of recommitment. Because of Easter, Christ makes us new
creations and gives us a fresh start. Similarly, a dedication
service is an opportunity for parents to commit to making good
decisions.

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Hold a brief ceremony and allow parents to answer a few simple
statements as their commitment to raise their children to love
Jesus. Afterward, give each family a framed certificate to
commemorate the occasion.
Angela Moore Knightstown, Indiana

Egg- Breaking Ice Breaker
Best for Ages 6 and up
Because church attendance is high on Easter Sunday, help children
get acquainted with one another by playing this Easter-themed
game.

Get Ready: You’ll need small sticky notes, pencils, plastic
eggs, a basket, and some music.

Get Set: Give each child a sticky note, a pencil, and an egg.
Have children each write something on the note about what they’re
wearing, such as a blue watch or red earrings. Then have children
put their notes in their eggs, close them, and place them in a
basket.

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Mix up the eggs, play some music, and have children sit in a
circle. Pass the basket around. When the music stops, have the
child who’s holding the basket pull out an egg. Have him or her
open it and guess who wrote the note. If the child guesses
correctly, have the note-writer stand up and share his or her name
and a fun personal fact. If the guess is incorrect, the egg goes
back in the basket and play continues. Continue until everyone has
a turn.
Jake Engel Seymour, Indiana

Fun Stuff
Best for Ages 6 and up
If you’re hosting a church-wide Easter egg hunt, you’ll have to
fill a lot of plastic eggs with candy. Make it fun for volunteers
by holding an egg-stuffing party. Choose a theme; for example,
invite people to join you for “The Amazing Race to Easter.” Before
volunteers arrive, prepare a bin of Easter eggs and a bin of candy
for each team. Hide three “roadblock challenges” in each team’s egg
bin. Click
here to view a selection of roadblock challenges
.

When the party begins, form table teams and let people come up with
team names. Explain the stuffing procedures, noting that whenever a
team comes to a roadblock, that entire team must stop stuffing and
complete a challenge. Once that team finishes the challenge, team
members can return to stuffing.

Crown the winning team as egg-stuffing champions and present egg
trophies, available at orientaltrading.com.
Jessie Ryan Columbus, Ohio

Hands-On With Easter
Best for Ages 8 and up
This year, help kids experience the Easter message with a hands-on
lesson that appeals to all their senses.

Get Ready: You’ll need a Bible, an audio clip of an angry mob
(available for download at childrensministry.com/webextras), a bowl of
water, some thorns, vinegar mixed with water and a bit of grape
juice (divided into small cups), a clean cloth sprayed with fabric
softener or linen spray, cotton balls sprayed with cologne, and a
room that can be darkened.

Faith Talk: Open your Bible to Matthew 27:11. Say: “Jesus has just been
arrested and is on trial before Pilate. When Jesus is accused of
crimes, he says nothing. Pilate lets the angry crowd choose one
prisoner to go free, and they choose Barabbas, not Jesus. (Play the
audio clip.) Pilate, tired of the ordeal, washes his hands in front
of the people. He wants them to know that Jesus’ death is their
responsibility.” (Wash your hands and pass around the bowl so kids
can do so, too.)

Say: “Then the solders strip Jesus and put a red robe on him. They
twist together a crown of thorns. (Pass around the thorns.) They
mock Jesus and lead him away to be crucified. Jesus stumbles under
the weight of the cross, so the soldiers make Simon, a bystander,
carry it for him. They offer Jesus a drink, but he refuses it.”
(Pass around the drinks for kids to taste.)

Say: “The soldiers nail Jesus to the cross. He suffers because of
physical pain and because he knows he will die on the cross. As
Jesus dies, the temple curtain tears and a great earthquake hits.
Everything is dark.” (Turn off the lights.)

Say: “Joseph, Jesus’ friend, wraps his body in a clean cloth and
lays him in the tomb. (Pass around the cloth.) Women who are
friends with Jesus prepare spices for his body, but they must wait
until after the Sabbath to use them.” (Pass around the cotton
balls.)

Say: “At dawn, some women go to the tomb. (Lift a small part of the
window coverings to let in a bit of light.) An angel greets them.
(Turn on all the lights.) The women are afraid, but the angel says
that Jesus has risen. Then the women run to share that good news
with others.”
Lindsey Whitney Erie, Pennsylvania

Resurrection Cookies
Best for Ages 6 and up
Families can use this classic, interactive recipe at home the night
before Easter.

Get Ready: You’ll need one cup whole pecans, a baggie, a wooden
spoon, one teaspoon of vinegar, three egg whites, a pinch of salt,
one cup sugar, a mixer, a greased cookie sheet, tape, and a Bible.
Heat the oven to 300 degrees.

Get Set: Place the pecans in the baggie. Let children beat them
with the wooden spoon to break them into small pieces. Say, “After
Jesus was arrested, soldiers beat him” (John 19:1-3). Next, let children smell and
taste the vinegar. Put one teaspoon in a mixing bowl. Say, “When
Jesus was thirsty on the cross, soldiers gave him vinegar to drink”
(John 19:28-30). Add the egg whites. Say, “An
egg can sometimes have a new life in it, such as a bird. Jesus died
so we can live with him forever” (John 10:10-11).

Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let kids brush it
into the bowl and then taste what’s left. Say: “Salt represents the
tears of Jesus’ friends” (Luke 23:27). Add the sugar. Say: “The sweetest
part of Easter is that Jesus died because he loves us-and then he
came back to life” (Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16).

Beat ingredients with a mixer on high for 12 to 15 minutes, until
stiff peaks form. Say: “The color white represents how we become
pure because Jesus washes away our sins” (Isaiah 1:18). Fold in the broken nuts. Drop by
teaspoonful onto a greased cookie sheet. Say: “Each mound
represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid to rest” (Matthew 27:57-60).

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door, and turn off the
oven. Give each child some tape to seal the door. Say: “When Jesus
was sealed in the tomb, the world was dark” (Matthew 27:65-66). Tell children it’s time to
go to bed and ask how they feel about leaving the cookies in the
oven overnight. Say: “Jesus’ friends were sad to leave him in the
tomb, too” (John 16:20).

Faith Talk: On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a
cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are
hollow! Say: “On the first Easter morning, Jesus’ followers were
amazed, too. The tomb was empty because Jesus came back to life”
(Matthew 28:1-9)!
Jeanne Oliver Castle Rock, Colorado

Allergy Alert: Some children have food allergies that can be
dangerous. Know your children, and consult with parents about
allergies their children may have.

Jesus’ Great Big Gift
Best for Preschoolers
Help kids explore how Jesus washes away our sins.

Get Ready: You’ll need washable red markers, a white bedsheet torn
or cut into 3×3-inch squares, permanent markers, and bowls with
warm, soapy water.

Get Set: Tell preschoolers that Jesus loves us very much-so much
that he forgives the bad things we do. Tell them he died on the
cross so we could live with him forever in heaven.

Help children color their thumbs with a red washable marker so they
can make a thumbprint on a piece of white fabric.

Once each child has made a print, you can draw a heart around it
and write the child’s first name. Tell kids that their prints
represent the things we do that make Jesus sad.

Have kids dip their fabric in a bowl of soapy water and wash it.
When they’re done, the red print will be gone. Explain to kids that
that’s what happens to our sins when we ask Jesus to forgive us. He
takes our sins away. Let kids take home their wet pieces of
fabric.

Faith Talk: Say, “Jesus gave his life so we could live with him
forever in heaven. His big gift to us is that he forgives our sins.
He loves us no matter what! Jesus is alive today and he loves
you!”

Excerpted from Group’s Journey to the Cross-a multisensory event
that guides families along the path Jesus walked during his final
days on earth. Activity stations focus on Jesus’ love and
forgiveness to demonstrate the truth of Easter.

The kit is available at group.com.

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