It can be hard for kids to see Easter as anything but colorful eggs and chocolate bunnies. But parents are increasingly making an effort to include the true meaning of Easter in their season of celebrations: Jesus Christ's sacrifice for humankind. With these five ideas, incorporate object lessons and symbols to help engage your children in fun new traditions that focus on the true meaning of Easter.
1. Resurrection Cookies
Get the recipe: Mommy's Idea Book
I simply love this idea for explaining the story of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection to kids. Each of the ingredients represents something from the story, and each ingredient has a corresponding Bible verse. Read the verses as your children add the ingredients. (Note: you can substitute mini chocolate chips for the nuts if someone has a nut allergy.)
2. Symbols Easter Egg Hunt
Get the full idea: Motherhood Matters
I love the idea near the bottom of this Motherhood Matters blog entry that describes a special Easter egg hunt. Each of the plastic eggs contains a symbol of Christ's last week on Earth, and there are scriptures to go with each symbol (crown of thorns, rock, olive leaves, etc.). It's a way to use a tradition of Easter to teach the meaning of Easter.
A similar option to the Symbols of Easter Egg Hunt that doesn't require eggs is using this great book Easter Walk.
Read through the story, then go on your own Easter walk with the children, finding symbols that represent the Easter story.
3. Easter ABC Scripture Reading Chart
Get the full-sized chart: Sofia's Primary Ideas
Review the "ABCs" of Easter with this colorful chart (compiled from ideas from The Friend) and corresponding scripture verses.
4. Paper Plate Tomb Craft
Get the full idea: Being LDS
Aside from being great for your own children, this would be perfect for a primary class preceding Easter. It's fairly easy, and you could read a story about the Resurrection, either from a book (as suggested in the blog link above), or from the Bible. (I've also seen an idea to place a picture of an angel above the tomb door.)
5. Resurrection Garden
Get the full idea: Impress Your Kids
Another beautiful idea from a talented mom. On the Friday before Easter (Good Friday, representing the day that Jesus was crucified and laid in the tomb), make a "garden" in a bowl with your children. Put it somewhere visible. The night before Easter, before the children go to bed, talk about how much time had passed and how sad and lonely Jesus's friends must have been without him, knowing he was dead. While the children sleep, decorate the garden with flowers and other signs of life. When the children wake, talk about the beautiful morning of the resurrection.
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Here are some more ideas for a fun and Christ-centered Easter from LDS Living staff. And please include any additional ideas you have below in the comments!