Easter is arguably one of the most important celebrations in our Christian lives for it is the story of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Without the resurrection we would not have the good news of the gospel message and our faith would be useless, for only Someone more powerful than death could defeat death once and for all.

As Easter approaches, I want to be intentional to plan and prepare resources for my own home that will help us meditate on the real reason we celebrate: God’s love for all of the world that caused Him to send His Son, Jesus, to earth to live and die for sinful people. This blog post will cover some of my favorite books, activities, and recipes that will help you teach your children the gospel story and the significance of the resurrection.

For many people, the first images of Easter that come to mind involve brightly colored plastic eggs and a cute little easter bunny. Although these things are fun, I believe that Christian parents need to be intentional about teaching the gospel story in their homes and this is a great season to do that.

In our home, we incorporate various aspects of egg hunts and Easter bunnies into our home culture, but we are careful to make much of the resurrection and the reason WHY we have an Easter celebration, and so you will find here an emphasis on the events surrounding the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and not just cute bunnies and baskets full of gifts.

Easter Books

Picture books are a fantastic way to teach your young children truth and expose them to concepts and ideas that would otherwise be hard to understand. Below are some of my favorite books that deal with all of the events of holy week from the triumphal entry on Palm Sunday, to Good Friday, to Resurrection Sunday. I’ve inlcuded Amazon links for each of these, but I always encourage you to check your local library for these books first or Thriftbooks before purchasing new.

My all-time favorite children’s book for the Easter season is The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross by Carl Laferton. This beautiful story takes children on a journey from the Garden of Eden to God’s perfect new creation. It is a gospel presentation that focuses on the significance of the temple curtain. God said “because of your sin you can’t come in”, but the moment the curtain tore in two, everything changed. If this book is not already on your shelf, I would highly encourage you to add this book to your home library. It is fantastic!

Jesus Rose for Me is another great book to teach young children the resurrection story. We celebrate that Jesus is more powerful than death, but what does that mean for your little ones? This books helps toddlers and preschoolers understand the gospel story beginning with Palm Sunday and ending with Easter morning, when Jesus rose for us. Children will learn that Jesus Christ is our king, and that everyone who trusts in him is part of his forever family.

A Very Happy Easter by Tim Thornborough is a great way to teach young children the true meaning of Easter. As children learn how Jesus died and rose again, they will see the emotions that his friends must have felt: fear, sadness, surprise, and joy. Children will be asked to imitate the emotions of Jesus’ friends throughout the book and learn to empathize with others as they do so. 

The Tale of Three Trees is the much-loved folktale of three trees who stood on a mountaintop dreaming of what they wanted to be when they grew up. Children will enjoy reading about the story of Easter from a different perspective.

Humphrey’s First Palm Sunday will delight the littlest readers as they follow the beloved donkey Humphrey as he schemes to move to the front of his Jerusalem-bound caravan. When Humphrey sees Jesus, now a grown man, he remembers the baby he met those many years ago. A great book to introduce the events of Palm Sunday. 

Teaching the Events of Holy Week

When we take time to consider the events of Holy Week and all that led up to the crucifixion and death of Jesus, the glory of the resurrection is that much more meaningful. I think the more we can do to help our kids connect the biblical account to their own lives, the more they will understand and connect with it personally. Here’s a few ways you might consider doing that.

These Easter Story cards from Brighter Day Press are a beautiful way to teach your kids the events of Holy Week. We will be adding these to our morning time this year leading up to Easter and I am so excited to use them. 

Resurrection eggs are a fun way to combine the traditional Easter egg hunt with the true meaning of Easter. Younger children especially will enjoy searching for brightly colored eggs, each containing a small item from different parts of the Easter story. If you have the time, try making your own DIY Resurrection Eggs. This blog post is a great place to start if you would like to make your own set. 

Tree House School House also has a fantastic free printable that will walk you through setting up your Resurrection eggs. You can check it out here.

You can also check out this set of Resurrection Eggs available on Amazon. They come with everything you need to jump right in. 

If you have the time, making a passover meal for your family on Maunday Thursday would be a really special way to contemplate the Last Supper of Jesus and His disciples. You could go all out with this, of course, or keep it very simple by incorporating just a few elements into your meal such as flat bread and dried fruit. 

Two other resources that I would like to mention, if you have elementary age kids are the Easter Guide from Brighter Day Press and An Expectant Easter from Treehouse Schoolhouse. Although I have not used either of these studies personally yet, I have purchased and used other resources from these ladies and love their work. We will definitely be using these resources in the future. 

Easter Activities

Young children and older kids alike delight in specially prepared Easter baskets. It is so much fun each spring to sit down and decide what to put in my daughter’s Easter basket. We keep things super simple because we want to be intentional to focus on Easter’s true meaning, but some of my favorite gifts are story books, small snacks or treats, spring jewelry or purse, crayons, chalk, or bubbles. All things spring, really!

Of course children of all ages enjoy searching for colorful Easter eggs and finding jelly beans or other small treats tucked inside. We like to do a mix of small candies, coins, and stickers. 

Another really meaningful activity to do with your kids is to create a Resurrection garden. This requires advance planning as you will want to get the grass seed started early enough that it has time to sprout prior to Easter, but it is a pretty and meaningful way to teach the gospel story to little hearts. You can check out this blog post with more details on how to make your own. 

This sweet handprint lily would be a simple and fun Easter craft to do with your little ones. I think they would be super sweet as a Mother’s Day gift too. 

Easter Baking

Without the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, the resurrection wouldn’t be as meaningful and so we attempt to spend some time on Good Friday meditating on Jesus’ life and death. Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten this day, the spices and dried fruit a reminder of the suffering of Jesus. This year I will be making these hot cross buns.

For small children, making resurrection rolls, or empty tomb rolls, can be a fun object lesson. There is something about making these sweet rolls together, talking about the events of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus and then watching your child’s surprise when they find the roll is empty that really makes this memorable. If you’re needing a recipe for empty tomb rolls, check out this one

One last fun recipe that we like to make is bird’s nests, coconut macaroon style. These are a fun treat to bake together anytime in the spring and would be a delightful accompaniment to your spring and Easter baking. 

I hope that this blog post has been helpful to you as you begin to prepare for Easter and think about how you want to celebrate it in your home. I pray that as you are intentional to teach your children the story of the gospel that your own heart will be stirred with the joy of the resurrection and your walk with Jesus will be deepened. 

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