Ways you can teach little ones the real Easter story
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As a Christian mom teaching my children the real Easter story has always been important to me. But, it’s not always easy to teach kids about Easter when they are young. The story is quite disheartening and even gruesome for young minds. However, the message is the same, no matter how many details we share or don’t.
Easter is about celebrating how much God loves us.
That’s the message I most want my children to know. And that’s the message I shared with them most when they were toddlers and preschoolers. Between having my own two children and teaching a Sunday School class for children ages 4 through 2nd grade, I’ve thought about this a lot and figured out some good, age appropriate ways to share the story of Jesus’ Crucifixion with little ones.
The right words to teach kids about Easter
Before we get into any specific ideas, we need to figure out the general words we’re going to use as we teach our kids about Easter. Deciding what words to use to talk about Jesus’ death and resurrection with your children really does depend on their ages. Here is what works best for my family.
Keep your language very simple. The biggest message to convey when children are 1 to 3 is that Easter is about celebrating how much God loves us. This is the main point of the events and the simplest way to state it for toddlers.
Preschool through early elementary:
Children ages 4 to 7 are able to start grasping what happened during the Easter story. The best way I’ve found to describe Jesus’ sacrifice is to put it in their terms. So to talk about how Jesus took on and died for our sins, I compare it to someone taking all their timeouts and punishments. That’s more relatable for little ones.
I do share more details about the Easter story at these ages without getting too graphic.
Upper elementary and beyond:
This is the phase I’m currently in with children who are 10 and 13. Now we do talk about a few more details about Jesus’ death and how nail pierced through His skin. We talk about how Jesus was willing to sacrifice Himself to save everyone — even those who were killing Him! As kids get older and know the facts of the Easter story, it’s a great time to delve into what that means for our lives now.
Resurrection eggs to teach kids about Easter
Resurrection eggs are a great tool to teach kids about Easter. However, I found that using 12 eggs was a bit too much when my children were little. Instead, I opted for six eggs. So, starting six days before Easter, your children open one egg each day. Inside is a Bible verse about the Easter story along with something tangible to go with the verse: bread, rocks, etc.
This is an incredibly simple way to focus on the real Easter story in shorts amount of time for busy families or young minds. You can download a free version here or find a more detailed paid version here.
Use books to teach kids about Easter
Obviously the Bible is the best source to find the Easter story, but when kids are younger, they won’t understand more adult translations of the Bible so well. There are a few versions of the Bible that Christian moms and dads can use to teach their children about God. These work well for the Easter story. My all-time favorite is The Jesus Storybook Bible from Sally Lloyd-Jones.
Not only is this Bible great overall, it also tells the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection in a straightforward, simple way that focuses on God’s love. It is perfect for preschool through early elementary. Honestly, it’s even perfect beyond that. As an adult I am moved each time I read this version.
Another great book for teaching your kiddos about the Easter story is “God Gave Us Easter” by Lisa Tawn Bergren. Bergren has a whole series of “God Gave Us” books that are incredibly great. We started with “God Gave Us You” with our daughter and then “God Gave Us Two” when we were expecting my son. We got more after that. These are great picture books for sharing about God with our children.
Easter story activity and color pages
You can find a variety of activity and color pages about the Easter story. These can be a great way to teach kids about Easter. Not only can they learn from the pages themselves, but while they are coloring or doing the activities, you have the opportunity to talk with them about the pages and the Easter story.
Having something to do with their hands — like coloring — can help children settle in and actually listen for longer. This printable activity pack comes with eight pages you print at home and can use right away.
You can also find activity and coloring books to order and have shipped to you within a couple of days.
Crafts to teach kids about Easter
Just like with coloring and activity pages, crafts can also be a good way to reinforce the true meaning of Easter with your children in a fun way. And also like with coloring and activity pages, you can find options to download and use immediately.
What kiddo doesn’t love snacks? (Um, what adult doesn’t love snacks either?!) There are some fun and simple Easter-themed snacks that can help teach kids about Easter. One of my favorite is the Resurrection rolls. Not only are the cinnamon-y goodness, but they’re also easy. And, even better, the kids can help make them and see that the roll is empty after it bakes — just like Jesus’ tomb!
I also really like this clever Easter snack mix. It would be very easy to make and each item included in the mix represents part of the Easter story.
Summing it all up
No matter their ages, you can teach kids about Easter. Before the Easter season begins, think about how you’re going to approach the topic with your kids — especially if they are new to the story. Pray and ask God for His guidance as you go.
I’m good at messing up, but God is good at having my back through it all. I’ve learned many times through the years that sometimes I just have to trust that He’ll help me when I need it, because He always does. He wants your kiddos to know the real Easter story even more than you do. He will help guide you as you teach them.
Join in discussion with other moms about teaching your kids about Easter and Christian mom life in general in the Moms with Grace private Facebook group!