Easter is the foundational holiday for the Christian. The entire Christin faith is based on the Easter holiday! It is a time to reflect on the death of Christ and his resurrection and celebrate the new life he gives. This should be a time to grow in your faith. Unfortunately, the spiritual aspect of this holiday can be overshadowed by the worldly traditions. Not that any of these traditions, like egg hunts, are bad, but we tend to focus on them so much that we lose the true meaning of Easter. Here are five activities that can be done with families or in Children’s Ministries to help emphasize the meaning of Easter instead of diminishing it.
- Scavenger Hunt that Tells the Easter Story
One alternate activity to a traditional Easter egg hunt would be to have a scavenger hunt using items that represent the Easter Story. In this activity, you would have several different items that tell the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. For example, a rock to represent the tomb, cloth to represent the linens found in the tomb, etc. You would first need to show pictures of the items or describe them to your participants, so they know what they are looking for. Then, they would search for the items. After finding all of them, you would tell the Easter story together using the items. This teaches the importance of Easter as well as retelling the events that took place, and gives the children a kinesthetic way of learning the story. Children will not only have fun looking for the items, they will learn about Jesus in a memorable, personal way!
- Painting Eggs or Rocks That Express the Gospel
Painting rocks has become very popular in communities the last few years. People paint rocks with a picture, theme, or message, and hide them somewhere in the community for other people to find. When they find the rocks, they then hide them again, passing on the joy to someone else. This could be a powerful way to spread the gospel in a community. You could have children or families paint the gospel of Christ on a few rocks (for instance, paint one with a cross and one with a tomb) and then hide them in your community for others to find. What a great way to spread the message of Christ! Another option would be to paint eggs. This is something that is already done in many households and could also be done in Children’s Ministry. Instead of just dying them or painting them, you could paint the message of Christ. Paint the entire story of Christ on a dozen eggs! Many children are artistic and would love a way to express what the gospel means to them!
- Hiding Baskets with Meaning
Many families give their children Easter baskets with candy and toys. Do you want to do something different that includes a spiritual aspect? Try filling the baskets with different spiritual items that will enhance the children’s spiritual lives instead of candy. For instance, you could include a devotional to help them with their daily walk with the Lord and bookmarks or magnets that include spiritual messages. For girls you could include a cross or fish necklace. For young children, include a small stuffed lamb or another animal like a donkey or lion that represents spiritual value. Most of all- a small pocket Bible is always a nice addition for children who do not have a Bible. Then, after you have packed the baskets with similar items, you can hide them and have the children find them! They still experience the excitement of an Easter egg hunt, but with something that includes spiritual gifts! For churches, you can include small items in baskets to give away. Children will love the thought that was put into these gifts and will enjoy finding them!
- Bible Verse Egg Hunt
If you are wanting to do a traditional egg hunt, try putting a little twist on it. Instead of candy inside the eggs, include Bible verses. Include verses that support the gospel story of Jesus. You could even put the verses in order and number them, so they are finding the entire gospel story. Gather everyone after they find the eggs, and then call out a number and have them read their verse. As each person reads their verse (or verses), they are telling the story of Jesus Christ. By doing this, they will learn the story of Jesus in a fun way.
- Resurrection Eggs
A favorite activity at Easter time for Christians is the resurrection eggs. These can be found on many Christian websites and stores. They include a dozen eggs and each egg is filled with something that represents the gospel story. For example, a cup to represent the Last Supper, nails to represent the cross, and a stone to represent the tomb. The resurrection eggs usually include a typed up story or book of the gospel. An adult reads the story, and the children open each egg when they get to that part of the story. This is a great way for children to learn about the gospel and the objects stick in their mind as they learn what each one represents. A variation on the resurrection eggs, would be to provide children with empty plastic eggs and have them create pictures or find objects to represent the events in the story. They can create their own resurrection eggs and even have other children open up the eggs and tell the story!
All of these activities provide an alternate activity to the traditional worldly activities that tend to take away from the Easter story. They give children a tangible way to learn the gospel story and emphasize the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They all enhance the spiritual life of a child rather than take away from it. So this Easter season, try implementing one of these activities and watch as children not only learn more about Jesus, but have fun doing it!