The following is a list of do-able crafts, simple snacks, Easter egg hunt additions, and Easter books will help your family celebrate a meaningful Easter in a fun way. Without further ado, here’s the list of fun Christian Easter activities for families and children’s ministries!
I worked in paid children’s ministry for 15 years, and before that I was a volunteer for many years. I also have kids of my own that I have experimented on extensively. 😜 These ideas are ones that I think would work well in either a children’s ministry or home context.
Teaching the Easter Story
Let’s start with the basics – teaching the actual Easter story. Here are several ways to do it:
- Directly from the Bible (that’s the easiest place to start!). You can find the Easter story in the last 1/3 of each of the 4 gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. If you would like some focus, here’s a Scripture writing plan that focuses on the resurrection.
- Use a reading plan. Check out the 10-day reading plan I use with the Jesus Storybook Bible here.
- Using this Easter story scavenger hunt. This looks like a really fun way to get the family moving while learning the story.
- Using picture books. I have a great list of books I love to use with my kids and the children in my children’s ministry.
Remember, telling your kids the story may not look like a perfect little Sunday School picture with your kids sitting raptly at your knee, because you and your kids are imperfect! If your kids squirm or get distracted, that is totally normal. That’s why we celebrate once per year!! You’ll have another chance next year to approach it in a different way. Read this mom’s account of an imperfect Easter.
If you’re the crafty sort, here are some really simple crafts you can do without too much prep or mess. I’m a big fan of crafts that don’t have a specific outcome, like painting and creative displays, because I think kids learn more from creating art than from cutting out a picture and slapping it on in a specific spot. If I use those, it’s always to create a craft that can double as a toy, like the clothespin tomb craft below. Otherwise, it’s just busy work that ends up in the garbage!
- This tape-resist painting. You could lay out the tape in any shape, really, but a cross is the easiest!
- This adorable empty tomb craft made from a clothespin and some paper.
- This cute empty tomb display. I’ve seen these done before but always with grass seeds and dirt. I like that this one is perfect for the last-minute planners (like me)!
Who doesn’t love snacks?? Yum! I’m excited about these and am having a hard time deciding exactly which ones to use this year. I’m sure my kids wouldn’t mind if I used them all. 😂
- Empty Tomb Rolls: These family favorites are also called Resurrection buns or Resurrection rolls, and usually use a pre-made dough. However, you can also make these from a simple dough. Here’s a great recipe for homemade empty tomb rolls.
- Gluten-free Empty Tomb Rolls: Need a gluten-free version? I gotcha covered! Here’s a gluten-free Resurrection Roll recipe.
- Hot Cross Buns: Of course, if you’d rather avoid the marshmallow and go a little more traditional, you might want to try your hand at baking Hot Cross Buns with your kids!
- Resurrection Cookies: these cookies are about the process, not just the end result. As you add ingredients, you talk about them with your kids. Then you leave them in the oven (empty tomb) overnight! Here’s a great recipe for resurrection cookies.
- Easter Story Snack Mix: this mix is another great way to tell the Easter story to kids as you feed them! Check out the mix ingredients and lesson plan here.
- Donut Tombs: This one will seriously delight your kids. See a picture of this fun snack here.
Christian Easter Egg Activities
Contrary to popular lore, Easter eggs don’t just come from an ancient pagan festival. There may still be some of that, but eggs have two direct connections to Easter:
- Jewish people use an egg as part of the Passover meal. Before the temple was destroyed in 70 AD, they would eat lamb which was either sacrificed on the temple altar or symbolized the temple sacrifice. After the destruction of the temple, a new custom rose up. There is now just a lamb bone at the Passover Seder meal (not the meat), and eggs are eaten instead of lamb. Since Easter is essentially the ultimate Passover celebration, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to include eggs! (source)
- For Christians, the empty egg is symbolic of the empty tomb. (source)
For those 2 reasons, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to use Easter eggs as part of your fun family tradition! You could even explain these two reasons to your kids, if you like.
- Here are some fun ways to decorate Easter eggs, aside from your traditional bought-from-Walmart dyeing kit: Creative Egg Decorating Ideas and Pretty Egg Decorating Ideas.
- Want to do an Easter egg hunt with your kids, but with a Christian twist? Grab a package of Resurrection Eggs (see them on Amazon) and sprinkle them in with your regular eggs for a surprise! Once they’ve found all the eggs, separate out the Resurrection Eggs and use the info in the egg container to tell the story of Easter.
My kids love Resurrection Eggs – every once in a while they’ll pull them down from the closet and go through them on their own because they think they’re so neat. I have no problem with them remembering the Easter story in the middle of the summer!
- Tell the story using this funky new product, called “The Story Egg“. It includes a book and 7 nesting wooden eggs that tell the Easter story!
Object Lessons and Experiments
If you’re not crafty or a baker or into Easter eggs, here are some neat hands-on teaching activities that will help your kids understand the meaning of Easter.
- In this article about explaining the meaning of the resurrection to a child, there is a discussion guide and coloring page.
- Try this really neat experiment! Make sure to read the comments before doing it yourself, so you can make sure it will actually work.
- Here are 3 simple object lessons from Focus on the Family.
- If you don’t mind playing with fire, check out “The Gospel According To A Teabag”.
- Here’s a really easy, active object lesson for kids. It’s a little similar to the Easter Scavenger hunt mentioned above.
Finally, here’s a really cool experiment you can show your kids: