Easter Traditions with Kids
By Miriam English
The cool mornings are creeping back, and yellow leaves are starting to appear on the trees, reminding us all that it will be Easter time very soon. I really love this time of year. Aside from the fact that there are hot cross buns and chocolate everywhere you look!
The time leading up to Easter feels less busy to me than Christmas and I think that makes it easier to establish and maintain traditions that get us reflecting on what Easter is all about. The events of Easter are at the centrality of our faith, so this is something we want our kids to know about and understand well!
I’d love to share some of the things our family does at Easter time. Some of these things you might have already been doing for years, others might be new ideas that kick start research for your own traditions. I’d love to hear of anything that you’ve done that has worked really well. There are so many ideas out there, and it is hard to know where to start!
Whatever the case, I hope that you will be able to find time and ways in the coming weeks, to remember the significance of God’s work through Jesus on the cross.
Books about Easter
The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross by Carl Laferton
We have recently discovered this book, and I love it. It works through the overriding gospel story in the Bible, but focuses on Jesus’ death and resurrection making it particularly applicable to Easter. I think it walks through the emotions of the story really well.
Who is this for? I would say it’s perfect for ages 3 – 8.
Dave the Donkey, Peter and the Rooster, Peter and the Big Breakfast by Andrew McDonough
These three books retell aspects of the Easter story. They’re bright, colourful and written in a fun and engaging way, with notes for parents at the end. I do feel like you need to balance them out with the seriousness of the events they speak about, but they are still helpful.
Who is this for? Great for ages 4 – 9.
Manga Messiah by Kelly Shinozawa (Illustrator), Hidenori Kumai and The Third Day by Alex Webb-Peploe
I have one child who is really into graphic novels at the moment, so these books are perfect for him. Both stories depict Jesus’ death and resurrection in a fresh new light, that is readily accessible.
Who is this for? I would say ages 8 +.
A Devotional Series
I haven’t done this yet, but have heard it’s good. A two-week series of 10 minute devotionals written especially for families to do over Easter. It includes ways to adapt teaching to different ages.
Who is this for? Families of all ages.
Available from: Koorong
Easter Unscrambled by Alison Mitchell
Who is this for? Families of all ages, mainly focused at ages 7-11.
An Easter Garden
Create the scene of the hill where Jesus died using soil, rocks, sticks, and then plant some grass seeds. If you do this in the weeks leading up to Easter, you can watch the grass grow, so that it goes from a barren land, to a lovely lush, green garden.
Who is this for? Anyone who likes to get their hands dirty.
Available from: Grab some helpful tips on building your own garden at the My Baba blog.
Easter treats to give away to friends
We’ve also handed out an invitation to church at Easter to go with them. I think more than anything, it has helped encourage our kids to share with their friends that Easter is about what God has done for us and given to us.
Who is this for? Little ones who love to cook.
Available from: Check out a range of Easter recipes on Taste.com
E.g. Day 1 – Palm Branch, read from Matthew 21:8-9. The Big Idea is recognising how Jesus was celebrated as he entered Jerusalem.
Who is this for? Great for 3+.
Prince of Egypt
Who is this for? The whole family can enjoy this movie (perhaps after a delicious Passover meal).
An Empty Tomb Cake
Who is this for? Families of all ages, who doesn’t love cake!? But little ones especially will get a kick out of this.
Available from: Find the recipe and instructions at Life as a Mom Blog
A Passover Meal
There are loads of ideas for this online. But it doesn’t need to be complicated. We’ve made roast lamb with herbs, unleavened bread and grape juice for dinner, then spread a blanket and cushions on the floor and ate it together, before reading Matthew 26:26-29. This year I’d like to try washing our feet as well and reading John 13:5-17.
Who is this for? The whole family can enjoy this tasty tradition.
Available from: your local supermarket.
Reif, Christina, Play, Eat Grow blog, March 2016