How to Explain the Easter Story to All Ages

Hearing the Easter story and understanding what it represents is vital to coming to faith in Jesus. Taking the time to explain what Easter means to children is so important. We can share about Easter at each particular age from a distinct angle. The toddlers in the nursery can be read Easter story books, the preschoolers can do hands-on activities and crafts, elementary kids can be taught more about the meaning of Easter in lessons, games, and skits, and we can challenge youth to take what they've learned and apply it to their everyday lives. Let's challenge ourselves this year to go deeper and explain Easter's meaning to the children in our ministry!


Littles

The little toddlers and babies in the nursery are busy discovering the world around them, and what better time to introduce one of the most amazing moments in history than at this age? It's never too early to start teaching about the life of Jesus. We wouldn't recommend reading the entire book of John, but we can still begin to introduce the Easter story by reading a short Easter book such as "My Very First Easter, Candle Bible for Toddlers" By Juliet David. 


It can be tempting to put on some bunny ears and hide eggs around the classroom at this age. There's nothing wrong with these fun traditions, but it would be a missed opportunity if we skipped the real reason we celebrate Easter. Littles aren't ready to understand the concept of sacrifice, but they do understand love. This is a great place to begin. You can share a simple message: "God loves you so much that He sent His son Jesus to the world to save you! Jesus is our hero! He loves us!" Sing the song "Jesus Loves Me" and add each child's name to the song. Ask them to stand when their name is called. This will make the message more personal for them.  


"Jesus loves me; this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak, but He is strong! Yes, Jesus loves _______ (child’s name), yes Jesus loves ______ (child’s name), yes Jesus loves ________(child’s name). The Bible tells me so."

Add as many verses as you need to be sure to say all the kid's names!


PreSchool Age

As the kids grow and are in preschool, they enjoy more structure. You can capitalize on this by creating a few fun activities to help kids understand the true meaning of Easter. Splitting kids up into centers and having them move from activity to activity keeps them busy and happy. One station's theme can be "Why we need Jesus." At this center, have kids do a fun experiment where they stack blocks up and try to keep them from falling. After kids have fun doing this, explain that "sin is like this too. We all try to be good but eventually we make mistakes and sin. Like how we try to keep blocks from falling, they eventually fall. This is why we need Jesus; God sent him to save us from our sins!" 

The next station can be set up as a craft around the theme of: "What we need from Jesus."  Have kids paint or color a picture of a cross. Then explain, "Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross to save us from our sins. We need His forgiveness. When we ask Jesus to forgive us, He will. He gives it to us as a free gift!" 


Finally, the other station theme is, "What happens when we are forgiven from sin?" This center is a fun game where kids play hide and seek. Play a few short rounds. Then explain, "Because of sin, we have been separated from God. This is sad because God is our Father, and He loves us. We need God. When we are forgiven for our sins, God no longer hides his face from us! Just like hide and seek, God has found us and brought us back to Him again! We are together again, and He sends His Holy Spirit to always be with us! We are never alone. God loves us, and God is with us!" 


Once kids have gone to the activity, craft, and game stations you can end with the story of Easter by watching a short movie or reading a book such as "The Very First Easter, The Beginner's Bible".


Elementary Kids

For children in elementary school, we can go a little deeper and share the full story of Easter. At this age, we can teach about sin and how the consequence of sin is death. We can teach about what Jesus has done to save us from our sins and the sacrifices He made. We can go into depth about how what Jesus did was a gift and how we can do nothing to earn salvation. We can also give more details about the story of Easter and how it all came to pass. We can share how Jesus rose from the dead and conquered sin and death! 


Here are a few great curriculums on our website that get to the heart of what Easter is all about. They also have many fun activities, games, and more!


https://www.childrens-ministry-deals.com/products/easter-childrens-church-lesson-jesus-is-greater-than-candy is a single lesson that shows why Jesus is even better than Easter candy!  


https://www.childrens-ministry-deals.com/products/escape-the-tomb-4-week-childrens-ministry-curriculum  is a four-week series all about escaping sin and death because Jesus was able to "escape the tomb" with a fun escape room theme.  


https://www.childrens-ministry-deals.com/products/easter-childrens-church-lesson is a single lesson with a fun egg hunt theme.  


https://www.childrens-ministry-deals.com/products/easter-childrens-church-lesson-why-easter really explores what Easter is about.  

https://www.childrens-ministry-deals.com/products/easter-eggs-4-week-easter-curriculum-for-kids compares people to plastic, rotten, broken Easter eggs and goes through the Easter story in a four-week series.


Youth Group

Teens are at the age where they can begin to see their relationship with God on a more personal level. It becomes less about what people tell them and more about their beliefs. 

Kick things off with a crazy start that gets their attention by doing a rotten egg challenge. Ask three brave teachers to come up and crack an egg on their heads. Two will be hard-boiled, and one will not. The one that is not is the "rotten egg ."(You can say it's rotten; you don't need to use a rotten egg.) After the challenge is over and the teachers get off stage to clean up, use this as a segway to remind the kids that we are all like rotten eggs because we have all sinned. Challenge them to own up to their sin and not hide from it.  


Split up into small groups where kids can dive into the Easter story in scripture and have question and answer sessions. Ask challenging questions like, 

"When Jesus rose from the dead, what good news did this mean for us?", "What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus?", "What do we have to do to receive salvation?", "How has Jesus been working in your life lately?" and "What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit like the disciples were?"  


Do a fun large group game where kids are split into teams with their small group. Give each team the same-sized Easter Basket and each kid a can of silly string. Have some extra cans on hand if the teams run out. Make kids stand at least a yard from the basket and use masking tape or some other marker to keep them back. Tell the kids when to GO, have small group leaders watch closely, and yell out when their small group has filled up their Easter Basket with silly string to the top. Walk around as a judge, and if the basket isn't full, tell the team, "Not yet, keep going." If the basket tips over, students can spray it on its side. Award the team's first, second, third, etc. placements. The silly string will come out looking a lot like Easter grass.  


We can teach kids of all ages about Easter! We can celebrate that Jesus has risen in praise and worship time, help children understand what Easter is really about, and challenge them to make their relationship with Jesus a personal one. The Easter story is about love and sacrifice. It is about a savior who conquered the grave. What could be a more important day to teach about Jesus? Happy Easter!

Additional Resources

Want a creative, engaging way to visually explain the Easter story to all ages? Check out the Palm Sunday Flannelgraph Collection from our friends over at Shift Worship. Perfect for visual storytelling, this resource will captivate your audience, young and old alike.

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