One of the things I wrestled with when my kids were growing up was how to make the true story of Easter the most important part of Easter while participating in all the fun around us. I loved watching my kids dig through their baskets and run through the grass looking for hidden eggs. I mean, how cute is a toddler walking off-balance carrying a basket that’s bigger than he is? And I’ll confess, I have eaten my share of Peeps and Cadbury Crème Eggs in my van after buying groceries . . . several weeks before Easter!
But even more than all that cuteness and yumminess, I had a sincere desire for my kids to know how much God loves them and what Jesus did for us so we can be with God forever. This is why we celebrate Easter.
So how did our family make Jesus the most important part of Easter? I’ll be honest; it wasn’t always easy. There were many Easters when I felt like my kids were way more excited about chocolate than Jesus. My husband and I tried our best to use the age-appropriate resources that were available 20 years ago, but there just wasn’t much out there. The one thing I did that I believe helped more than anything was waking my kids up Easter morning saying, “Jesus is alive!” My kids are now 21, 19, and 16, and they expect the first words of Easter to be “Jesus is alive!”
You may have Easter traditions as well, perhaps ones you’ve enjoyed since your own childhood.
Here are a few other simple, but meaningful, ways to celebrate the true story of Easter that your kids may one day want to enjoy with their own.
- Plan a special meal with neighbors, friends, or family. As you prepare the meal, talk about how Jesus had a special meal with His friends before He went away and then breakfast with His friends after He came back.
- Plant an herb garden. Herb seeds grow quickly and can be grown indoors or out. After you bury the seeds, talk about how Jesus was buried but He came back, just like He promised.
- Decorate “Good News” cards. Create handmade cards using construction paper, crayons, markers, and stickers. Write (or guide your child to write) “Good News! Jesus is alive!” on the card. Talk about who they will share the Good News with and then help them deliver the cards to those people.
- Go on an egg hunt. Egg hunts are a lot of fun, but the Easter story can get lost quickly in the mad dash. Put Easter story-related pictures in some of the plastic eggs as you hide them. Later, when your kids open the eggs, use the pictures to help retell the story. (We created a printable of Easter story pictures just for this purpose.
Easter is a wonderful opportunity to teach kids about Jesus and God’s story of love for us. We just have to look for ways that will connect with our children in each phase of their lives. Any of the above ideas can become your own Easter traditions that help you and your children celebrate Jesus in a meaningful way they will understand, all while having a little fun.
Right now, you can receive a free printable to use with an egg hunt (and other Easter activities) when you order The Easter Story, a board book written just for preschoolers.
This printable includes seven illustrations from the book that can be placed inside plastic eggs. Visit OrangeBooksforPreschoolers.com for details.