Here are three ideas to celebrate the true meaning of Easter by Debbie Neufeld.
A Basket of Meaning
Bring this basket of Easter goodies to church with you for a “sweet” object lesson that kids will love! Weave the gospel message into your lesson as you tell what each object represents:
- Easter grass — hay in the manger for baby Jesus;
- Bag of gold or silvercovered chocolate coins — betrayal of Jesus by Judas;
- Chocolate rooster — Peter’s three-time denial of Jesus;
- Easter basket woven together like a crown of thorns;
- Hollow plastic egg that opens up — the empty tomb;
- Marshmallow chicks, bunnies-new life and new birth; and
- Chocolate foil-covered Easter eggs — the shiny streets of gold in heaven where Jesus is.
End by sharing your Easter basket goodies with children. Encourage kids to share the good news of Easter with someone they know.
Easter Basket Giveaway
Have children make Easter baskets with notes inside telling the real meaning of Easter. Children can make simple baskets by attaching pipe cleaners to opposite sides of plastic berry baskets. Then have them place coffee filters inside the baskets, and add Easter grass. Have each child write a note about what Easter is all about. Children can copy Bible verses about Christ’s resurrection, make up a poem about Easter, or copy words to an Easter hymn. Younger children can draw pictures of the real Easter story.
After the baskets are made, take children on an Easter egg hunt for candies. Hide enough candy so kids can put some in their baskets to give away and still have some for themselves!
Ask each child to each think of one person who may not know the real meaning of Easter. Encourage children to give their Easter baskets to these people. Form pairs and have children pray for the people with whom they’ll share their baskets.
Here’s an active game for that special Easter Sunday. Remind children that when Jesus was betrayed by Judas, the disciples were frightened for their lives. If they were identified as one of Jesus’ followers, they feared they, too, would be arrested. Play this game to experience what the disciples may’ve felt like.
Form two teams of disciples. Appoint one “soldier” per team. Divide your room in half and designate opposite room corners as “jail cells.”
Each team must stay on its side of the room while the soldier tries to tag team members. Set an egg timer for five minutes. The two soldiers turn away from the disciples, count to 20, and begin. Tagged disciples must go to the jail cell on their side of the room and remain there until the timer goes off. After playing, the soldier on each team can pick someone else to be the soldier and kids can play again.
After this game, ask: How did it feel to be caught and thrown into jail for being a disciple? How do you think the disciples felt after Jesus was arrested? What would you have done if you had been with Jesus then? How is it difficult today to sometimes let people know that we are Jesus’ disciples?
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