The Problem With Teaching Your Kids About Easter

The Problem With Teaching Your Kids About Easter

Easter. Quite possibly the cutest holiday of them all.

Fluffy bunnies, baby chicks, little lambs.

Easter baskets, painted eggs, and lots of candy.

Definitely cute. Precious even!

The Problem With Teaching Your Kids About Easter

This, however, is where the problem lies. Because, if we are trying to focus on the true meaning of Easter, what do we find?

Betrayal.

Pain.

Sorrow.

Death.

Yes, on Easter Sunday we celebrate resurrection and new life. But to get there we must travel the heart wrenching path that leads you to the cross. 

The Problem With Teaching Your Kids About Easter

The last few years when Easter rolls around, I’ve found myself dragging my feet when it comes to covering the story with my son. Sure, we talk about the gospel routinely, but there is something about Easter and the nitty gritty aspects of the story that gives me pause.

You see…

We talk about Palm Sunday and I see myself among the crowds who don’t understand Jesus.

We talk about the disciples napping while Jesus prays and fleeing while he is bound and I am confronted with my own weakness. 

We talk about the crowds shouting for Jesus to be crucified and my own hard heart is exposed.

We talk about Jesus hanging from the cross and I am reminded that it is my own sin and rebellion that nailed him there. 

It is messy, painful, and humbling. Decidedly not cute.

The Problem With Teaching Your Kids About Easter

So, what is a parent to do? Skip over the pain and death altogether? Maybe fluff it up a bit? Save the hard truth for later…for when they are more… ready?

The problem with this plan is where the fluffy version of Easter may be light and happy, the way of the cross is the way of depth and meaning. Yes, it is the way of pain, but it is also the way of ultimate joy.

The suffering of the cross is the path to the joy of Resurrection Sunday. The empty tomb. Humanity redeemed.

It is a difficult path. But it is a path forged by our Savior.

So, I face my own sin and I lead my children down that same path.

They may not understand the full depth of the betrayal, the crowds, the thorny crown, and the forsaken Savior. But their small hearts are open wide and ready to know of this God who loved them so.

The Problem With Teaching Your Kids About Easter

Looking for resources on sharing the Easter story with your children? Try Resurrection Eggs or this round up of easy last minute ideas. I also loved this post from ohAmanda on talking to kids about the hard parts of the Easter story.

 

Four Last Minute Ways To Make Easter Meaningful

Four Last Minute Ways To Make Easter Meaningful

In my post on Resurrection Eggs, I shared that somehow Easter always sneaks up on me. I go in with grand intentions of doing all sorts of amazing activities starting at the beginning of Lent. However, every year I find myself scrambling at the last minute, trying to find a way to make Easter meaningful.

The good news is – Easter is already incredibly meaningful. The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ don’t need a lot of fancy hullabaloo to make them more noteworthy. Even if you find yourself scrambling at the last minute, all you need is something simple to keep the focus on Jesus.

Here are some of my favorite ideas I’ve found to make Easter meaningful

1. Resurrection Eggs!

I know that I’ve already shared about these, but I think it bears repeating. They are great. And SO EASY. We have had a super crazy week, but we’ve managed to do two of our eggs still. If you’re a little behind on getting started, no worries. It is super easy to just double up on the eggs each day. In fact, my son would love that – he is always begging to do another one anyway!

DIY Resurrection EggsPlusExstension

2. Printable Book and Flannelgraph

I found these super cute little printables and knew they’d be perfect for K. I think I’m going to print them out and let him have at them tomorrow. He will love coloring the little book and he’ll have a lot of fun playing pretend with the little flannelgraph guys.

4 Last Minute Ways to Make Easter Meaningful

3. UnEaster Baskets

This will be our second year of doing unEaster baskets. I first read about the idea from ohAmanda and immediately fell in love. Leigh Ann from Intentional By Grace has a great post on a similar idea, here.

It was an amazing experience last year and I can’t wait to do it again! I love using simple moments like these to share the gospel with my kiddos.

4. Easter Music Playlist

The week leading up to Easter, I love to play songs that especially highlight Christ’s death and resurrection. I love doing it as a way to keep my own heart focused on the season, but I have also noticed how much my son picks up from the music we listen to. Music is a great way for the whole family to direct their focus to Christ.

I like to use YouTube to create custom playlists for times like this. Here is one I made for Good Friday, but it is great for the whole week too!

Another Easter music tradition we have is going crazy to the Hallelujah Chorus! One year (before kids) we even stayed up all night and played it loud at midnight. I think that would be fun to do again when the kids are older.

What are your favorite Easter traditions?

Resurrection Eggs and Easter Countdown Calendar (Plus FREE Resurrection Eggs Printable!)

Somehow Easter always sneaks up on me.

Every year I go into the season with good intentions of going all out and making Easter really memorable and meaningful. Then, every year, a week or two before Easter I’m left thinking “Whaaaaat? Where did all the time go?!”

This year was no different. However, just because we weren’t able to focus on Lent this year or even countdown the month before Easter doesn’t mean we can’t make this important holiday memorable and meaningful.

This year the main way I’ve chosen to do that is through a simple tradition that I remember doing with my family as a kid – Resurrection Eggs. 

DIY Resurrection EggsPlusExstension

Resurrection Eggs are a really simple idea. Fill twelve Easter eggs with twelve different objects that each symbolize a part of the Easter story. Every day on the twelve days leading up to Easter, open one of the eggs and read a verse or two to go along with it.

If you do a quick Google search for “Resurrection Eggs DIY” you’ll see that they are pretty flexible. Change up the symbols or the verses. Spread out the days you open eggs or even do them all on one day. You can even buy pre-made kits!

Resurrection Eggs plus free printable!

Here’s how I set up our Resurrection Eggs!

Day 1 – Leaf (Mark 11:8-10 / Palm Sunday)
Day 2 – Coins (Matthew 26:14-15 / Judas Betrays Jesus)
Day 3 – Bread (Matthew 26:17-19, 26-28)
Day 4 – Paper Towel (John 13:4-5 / Jesus Washes the Disciples Feet)
Day 5 – Picture of prayer (Matthew 26:39 / Garden of Gethsemane)
Day 6 – Rope (Matthew 27:2, 26 / Jesus is Bound and Beaten)
Day 7 – Thorn (Matthew 27:29 / Jesus is King of the Jews)
Day 8 – Cross (John 19:17 / Jesus Carries His Cross)
Day 9 – Nail (Luke 33:33 / Nailed on the Cross)
Day 10 – Cloth (Matthew 27:59 / Jesus is Wrapped in Cloth)
Day 11 – Stone (Matthew 27:66 / Jesus is Placed in the Tomb)
Day 12 – Empty Egg (Matthew 28:6 / He Has Risen)

I love how the eggs are great for including multiple ages and they provide a tactile experience as you take out the object and handle it while listening to the reading.

DSC_5364

To add a little more to the Resurrection Eggs experience, I created a simple, low to no prep activity to go along with each day. Kids learn so much better when they totally get to experience something – so I love finding ways to extend the learning.

Although it is pretty easy to wander around your house to find objects to put in your eggs, I wanted to make it even easier for you to do Resurrection Eggs this year! If you’re anything like me, you’ve waited until the last minute and you want something you can quickly pull together so you can get started right away.

If that’s the case – never fear! I turned to my favorite place for simple images (www.nounproject.com) and pulled together a set of printable images that you can use to fill your eggs!

DSC_5358

You can get the printable with the images, the activity ideas, and discussion questions (great for journaling!) completely for free!

You don’t even have to subscribe to get it – although you totally should anyway because there are so many more awesome subscriber freebies just waiting for you (you can subscribe by clicking on the “Family Minute Newsletter” in the side bar)!

Just click here to get it ———> Resurrection Eggs Printable

You don’t even need to have Easter eggs to use this printable. I also printed the images, cut them out, and pasted them onto quarters of construction paper to make this simple Easter countdown calendar. Just flip over one a day to reveal the picture. Super easy!

Simple Easter Countdown Calendar + Free Printable

Has your family ever done Resurrection Eggs? How did you do them?

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Holy Week – Play Through The Bible – Week 25

Play Through The Bible

 

Week 25 of Play Through The Bible is our final week! I cannot believe we’ve made it all the way through! For this last week, I decided to combine all the Holy Week stories into one unit. It made it a lot easier for us to get the whole story that way.

Sorry this post ended up being late! I tried to blame it on the busy week we’ve had – warm spring days outside, freezer meal prep for when the baby comes, last visits with grandparents before they leave, fun weekend at an air show, etc. However, if I’m honest with myself I knew that wasn’t really the case.

I was avoiding this week.

Even though we’ve talked about the gospel story before, the significance of it was weighing on me. The emotion, the heaviness of it all. I wanted to make it meaningful. So I kept putting it off. Finally, I realized that I just needed to do what I always do – keep it simple.

We did a simple craft for each part of the story and it ended up going great. I hope you enjoy it too!

If you haven’t read the introduction to this series yet I recommend going here. For all the plans in one place, go here.

 


Week Twenty Five – Holy Week


Focus Point

Jesus loved us so much that he died for us and then He rose from the grave!

Story Time Tips

  • We read “Jesus is Coming” starting on page 234, “Jesus is Alive!” starting on page 244, and “Good-Bye” starting on page 250 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers and “The Day Jesus Died” starting on page 316, “Jesus Is Alive!” starting on page 326, and “Good News!” starting on page 336 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook.
  • We sat down and read each of the stories in a row and then went back through them and talked about what happened. It is a lot for a three year old to grasp, but he tried really hard!
  • Lately K has been very interested in trying to be good. Every night he asks me “was I good today?” While I am grateful for his effort, I have had to remember to remind him that there is only One who is good all the time. We have talked about how everyone (even mommy and daddy!) do bad things, but only God does only good things. This was the beginning of our gospel talk because it is the foundation of understanding why Jesus had to do what he did. He is trying really hard to wrap his mind around God being so good that people who do bad things can’t be with Him, so Jesus came to be good for us. It is a conversation we will continue for all his growing up years!

Activity

Put on some praise music (try this fun song!) and wave your palm branches around (that you make in Day 1’s craft).

Play Through The Bible Week 25 - Holy Week

Discussion

Parent: “What happened to Jesus?”

Child: “He died on the cross.”

Parent: “Then where did they put him?”

Child: “In a tomb.”

Parent: “What happened when they looked in the tomb?”

Child: “He wasn’t there.”

Parent: “Where was he?”

Child: “He was alive!”

Daily Craft

Day One – Palm Branches

 

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

Materials Needed:

  • Green construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Glue
  • Craft sticks (we ended up not using them, but using more paper instead)

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

First, cut out your leaf shapes. Fold the paper in half long-ways and cut it out similar to how you would cut out a heart.

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

Leaving the leaf folded in half, make cuts down the side almost to the middle.

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

Tightly roll a piece of green paper and glue it closed.

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

Glue the rolled up paper onto the middle of your leaf.

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

Make another if you’d like. Perfect for waving around! Hosanna!

 

Day Two – Coloring Page

http://whatsinthebible.com/eight-best-easter-coloring-pages/ 

Day Three – Cross Painting

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

 

Materials needed:

  • Paint
  • Painters or masking tape
  • Paint brushes
  • Paper (not pictured, we used a large piece of lightweight cardboard)

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

Use the tape to outline a cross onto your paper.

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

Paint all over your “canvas.”

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

Let the paint dry and then remove the tape!

Day Four – Empty Grave

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

 

Materials needed:

  • Paper plate, cut in half
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Angel printout (got it here)

The inspiration for this craft was found here.

 

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

Cut an opening in one of the paper plate halves and cut out the angel.

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

Color the paper plates gray.

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

Color the angel.

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

Glue the angel to the paper plate without the hole.

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

Glue the two paper plates together.

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

As an optional little touch, we added a “He is risen!” sign. Of course, the tomb didn’t want to stand up after that, but ah well!

Day Five – Jesus Goes To Heaven

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

 

Materials needed:

  • Jesus printout (here)
  • Cotton balls
  • Glue
  • Blue marker

This craft came from ABC Jesus Loves Me.

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

Color the sky on your printout blue.

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

Glue on the cotton balls for the clouds.

Play Through The Bible - Week 25 - Holy Week

All done! (He colored Jesus too)

Extra Resources

We didn’t use anything else this week!

 

 


I hope you enjoyed week twenty five of Play Through The Bible. I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or use the hashtag #playthroughthebible on Twitter or Instagram! 

This Post is linked up with…
Mom2Mom Monday, The Art of Homemaking Mondays, Mondays Musings, Inspire Me Mondays, Titus 2sDay,

 

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IBG Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum