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Celebrating Easter with Small Children

4488629014_28cc332f8e_oEaster Scene in a Pie Pan: Two weeks before Palm Sunday, fill a metal pie pan with potting soil and plant barley or cat grass (available at pet stores). Mist daily. On Palm Sunday, glue a paper figure of Jesus riding a donkey to a wooden craft stick and stand in the pie pan. Use small rocks to make a road to Jerusalem. On Good Friday, make a craft stick cross and add to the display. Construct a simple tomb with rocks. On Easter Sunday, add silk flowers and/or an angel figure to represent Jesus’ resurrection.

Resurrection Eggs: (Many possible variations.) Read the Bible story associated with each symbol placed in a two-piece plastic egg.

  • Sunday: Palm Sunday—palm branch
  • Monday: Jesus Washing Disciples’ Feet—small piece of washcloth
  • Tuesday: The Last Supper—grapes and oyster crackers
  • Wednesday: Story of Judas—coins
  • Thursday: Jesus Praying in Gethsemane—knotted pretzels
  • Friday: Jesus’ Death—small cross
  • Saturday: Jesus in the Tomb—stone
  • Sunday: The Resurrection—butterfly or angel

The Jelly Bean Gospel: In the beginning was God (white jelly bean). God created everything, including Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and brought sin into the world (black jelly bean). Sin separates and keeps us away from God. God loves us so much that he sent Jesus to live and die for us (red jelly bean). Jesus was crucified and buried in a tomb. On Easter Sunday morning (yellow jelly bean), Jesus rose! He is alive (green jelly bean)! Jesus died for us! Our sins are forgiven, and we are part of God’s family (purple jelly bean)! We are so happy (pink jelly bean) because of what Jesus did for us. “Orange” (orange jelly bean) you glad that Jesus loves you? (Encourage the children to learn this story and share with someone else!) (Taken from

Salt Dough Tomb: Use play dough or salt dough (for a lasting effect) and rocks to construct a tomb. Use a clothespin wrapped in cloth to make a simple Jesus figure. Use a clothespin with tissue paper wings for an angel. Role-play the resurrection.

Holy Week Book:

  • Monday: Glue paper palm leaf to the page. Talk about Palm Sunday.
  • Tuesday: Glue paper cutout wine glass and piece of bread to the page. Talk about the first Lord’s Supper.
  • Wednesday: Glue praying hands to the page. Talk about the Garden of Gethsemane.
  • Thursday: Glue a paper crown of thorns to the page. Talk about Jesus’ suffering.
  • Friday: Help your child draw a cross on the page. Talk about Jesus’ death.
  • Saturday/Sunday: Draw an Easter scene. Talk about Jesus’ resurrection! Staple the book together and read it often!

Resurrection Action Story: Jesus died upon the cross. (Open arms wide like a cross.) They laid him in a tomb. (Child goes under a blanket.) Then Easter came and happy day—my Jesus is alive! (Throw off blanket with excited voices!)

Empty Tomb Rolls: 1 (8 count) can refrigerated crescent rolls; 4 regular marshmallows; 3 T. butter, melted; 1 cup cinnamon-sugar mixture.

  1. Unroll crescent rolls and separate.
  2. Place two crescent rolls next to each other, wide ends overlapping, to form a right angle.
  3. Show the marshmallow; explain that white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins are cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and 1 John 3:1-3.
  4. Dip marshmallows individually in butter, then roll in cinnamon-sugar, coating evenly. Place one marshmallow on each set of crescent rolls. Pull up the narrow ends of the triangles and wrap the dough completely around the marshmallow, sealing well. (It’s very important that no gaps remain.)
  5. Explain that each marshmallow represents Jesus’ body, wrapped and placed in a tomb. Read Matthew 27:57-60.
  6. Use remaining butter to brush the tops of the “tombs” and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar to taste.
  7. Bake on a cookie sheet at 375° for 14 min. or until tops are golden brown. Cool 1 min. on the pan.
  8. When the “tombs” are ready to be served, have each person break one open and experience the emptiness of the tomb. Explain that Jesus rose from the dead and his followers were amazed to find the tomb empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.
    Serves 4.

pcl_spring_2015Special thanks to Karla Aden, Cathy Goplen, Kelli Liesener, Lynette Olson, and Lara Patterson for providing Easter ideas. 

From Parents Crosslink © 2013 Northwestern Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Image by Whit Andrews is licensed under CC BY 2.0.