Easter is a wonderful time of year to share even more stories with our children about all that God has done for us. These Easter activities may even turn into special Easter traditions because they are so inspiring for the kids that they want to do them again and again.
Here are some of our favorite Easter activities that we have done throughout the years – some from my own childhood, some I did with my daughter when she was little, and some we are participating in with my grandkids now. Pick and choose the ones you think would be most valuable for your family.
Easter Activities with Kids
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Just a reminder that it’s really important not to get overwhelmed with too many activities. If you try to add too much to your probably already busy schedule, it can take away from the special family time sharing your faith and turn it into yet another chore to complete. Time spent talking about God should be joyful, not stressful.
Start with Reading the Story of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection
If your children are younger, like my grandkids are, it’s a good idea to use a children’s Bible or even some Bible storybooks for this. The events taking place during Jesus’ Passion are not easy to hear about, especially for children.
Keep it simple and be prepared to answer their questions. Ask questions and encourage conversations about what the story means to each person and allow everyone to share their feelings.
You might want to break down the story into parts and do only one small part at a time. However, I have found through my years of raising a family and teaching in a Catholic school, that it’s important to end things on a positive note.
If you’re reading a section where it speaks of some of the horrors that Jesus went through, be sure to always bring it back to His resurrection. You can also build anticipation for the next part of the story. “Tomorrow, we are going to learn about some amazing things that happened at Jesus’ tomb! What do you think it could be?”
For older kids, one really powerful reflection that we have done is to buy some large nails. Give each person one to hold onto while reading the story of the Lord’s Passion. After the activity, each person can keep their nails as reminders of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. We place some on our home altar (a prayer table of sorts) throughout the Lenten season as well.
Here is a list of Lent and Easter children’s books you might want to look at.
Consider Using Resurrection Eggs to Help the Kids Remember the Key Elements of the Story
Kids love helping to put together resurrection eggs and if they’re anything like my grandson, he went to his box of eggs every day to go through them and tell the story of Jesus again and again. If you want to extend the activity, you can have the kids decorate the eggs or an egg carton to keep the eggs in.
Instead of using three-dimensional symbols for each event, you could also have the kids draw symbols to go in each egg. Or print some out and let the kids color them. We have some more information as well as a free printable about what to put in each egg and Bible verses to go with them here: Resurrection Eggs Free Printable
Other Creative Ways to Extend the Story
Make an Easter tree. This is similar to making a Jesse Tree during Advent, but all the symbols are related to the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Have the kids make paper ornaments depicting the various events or print some out and let them color them in.
Use our Easter story spinner. It’s a fun way to review some of the main events.
Grab some popsicle sticks from the dollar store and make a popsicle stick cross. Or give the kids some play dough and let them create crosses from that. Gather small stones and pebbles outside and glue them to a piece of cardboard in a cross shape. This is a good reminder of the cross and the stone that covered the tomb.
These free Easter printables include some coloring sheets depicting parts of the story of Jesus’ Passion.
Sing Easter songs or create your own songs about Easter. One of our favorites was always God’s Not Dead, He is Alive.
Make palm crosses.
On Palm Sunday when you bring your palms home from Mass, you can weave them into simple crosses to display on your prayer table or hang them on the walls in your home. Remember to take them back to the church next year to be burned to create ashes for Ash Wednesday.
You can also make paper palm leaves and wave them around while reading the story of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
Have an Easter egg hunt.
You may be wondering how this is related to Jesus. It’s very easy to keep the true meaning of Easter front and center, even during an Easter egg hunt. Fill plastic eggs with treats, adding slips of paper with Bible verses on them. Add small faith-based gifts to some of the eggs – a rosary, a cross, a small figure of a figure from the Bible or a Saint, some jelly beans with the jelly bean prayer (you could even divide these up with only one color per egg so by the end you will have the full prayer), religious medals, packets of seeds (talk about Jesus’ resurrection as a sign of new life), holy cards, and temporary tattoos with Christian designs on them.
Pray and Thank God for His Gift of Salvation
Thanksgiving isn’t the only time to express gratitude. There is no better time than Easter when God’s great gift of salvation is displayed on the cross to give thanks to Him. You could even write down the things that you and your family are thankful for and hang them up in your home as a reminder. These could take the form of leaves or flowers that you place all over a large shape of a cross or simply write them on slips of paper and place them on your prayer table.