Easter has been over-run with fluffy bunnies, jelly beans, colored eggs and Easter baskets. All of this can so easily distort the true meaning of Easter making it easy for our children to miss the true meaning of Easter. Over the years I have done different activities with my children to help guide their focus onto the importance of Easter and its true meaning. Below are two that we will be doing this year.
Make a mini garden- For the past five or more years we have done this project. This project is one that needs to be done on Good Friday, so have your supplies ready before hand. I searched high and low for a picture, but could not locate one, so I will try to explain this as clearly as I can.
Supplies: A large plastic bowl, planter or pot (you will be planting flowers in this so make sure you have one that is big enough for the number of plants you wish to pot), potting soil, empty toilet paper tube, stone, flowering plants (I let my kids pick out violas or pansies at the store, something we can plant in the garden later), a clothes-pin decorated and wrapped in cloth to represent Jesus.
Place potting soil in planter (don't fill it all the way up). Lay the toilet paper tube on top and place the flowers around the tube in any way you wish. Cover your flowers and the tube with soil, making sure to leave one end of the tube open. Place your clothes-pin Jesus in the tomb and roll across your stone to seal it up. After everyone has washed their hands talk about Jesus' sacrifice for all people and his great love for us.
On Sunday morning before your kids get up. Remove Jesus from the tomb and place him among the flowers. Talk with your children about Jesus' rising from the dead just as He said it would happen.
Resurrection Cookies- This was given to me several years ago. I haven't done it yet with my boys, because I was waiting for them to get a bit older so that this activity would go smoothly. This is the year we will be making these cookies, I think it is a wonderful activity and it will help us focus on Jesus and his sacrifice for us.
This is meant to be done on Saturday evening...
You will need:
Wooden spoon, zipper baggie, Bible, tape and mixing bowl
1 cup whole pecans
3 eggs whites
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vinegar
pinch of salt
preheat oven to 300 degrees
Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them into pieces with a wooden spoon. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3
Let children smell and taste the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. into a mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30
Add egg whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11
Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it, then put a pinch into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27
Mention to your children that so far most of the ingredients have not been very appetizing.
Next add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 11-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3
Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoon onto waxed paper-covered cookie sheet.
Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matthew 27:65-66
Put cookie sheet in the oven. Close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66
Talk about how your children may be concerned over leaving the cookies in the oven overnight. Explain that Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 & 22
GO TO BED!
On Resurrection morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Resurrection Day, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 18:1-9
HE HAS RISEN!
For more Easter stories and ideas visit Becoming Me.