Ways you can teach little ones the story of Easter 

As a Christian mom teaching my children the real meaning of Easter has always been important to me. But, it’s not always easy to teach kids about the resurrection of Jesus Christ 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 Sunday School lessons 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.

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The right words to teach kids about Easter

Easter is about celebrating how much God loves us.

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. Whether you’re teaching an Easter Sunday School lesson or just talking with your own children, the correct words matter.

Deciding what words to use to talk about Jesus’ death and resurrection with your children depends on their ages. 


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 Jesus’ resurrection 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 11 and 14. Now we do talk about a few more details about Jesus’ death and how nail pierced through His skin. 

We talk about how our Lord 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 ultimate sacrifice 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 plastic Easter eggs was a bit too much when my children were little. Instead, I opted for six plastic 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.

​On the fifth day, the children open an empty egg to represent Jesus rising no longer being in the tomb. The final day ends with a sweet treat because the good news is Jesus is still alive.

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.

An image of the 6-day resurrection eggs that are good to teach kids about Easter

Use books to teach kids about Easter

The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

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 object lessons

Young children are often very visual learners. So including an object lesson as part of your Easter curriculum at home or for children’s church is a great idea. 

Don’t get the paper towel wet

One of the more creative ways I’ve come across to teach children about Jesus’ sacrifice involves just a few simple supplies you have on hand already. You need a bowl of water, a paper towel and a cup.

Put water into the bowl. Keep the cup out of sight of the children to begin with. Ask them for ideas of how to put the paper towel in the water without getting it wet.

As they come up with various ideas that won’t work (because a paper towel going into water is going to get wet!), share with them that the water represents sin in our world and the paper towel represents us. We get covered in sin and deserve to get in trouble as a result.

Then show them the cup. Place the paper towel into the cup. Tell them the cup represents Christ Jesus. As the Son of God, He took all of our sin on Himself at Easter by dying on the cross for our sins.

Put the cup with the paper towel in it down into the bowl of water. Emphasize to the children that the free gift of God we’ve received on Easter gives us protection and eternal life. We won’t get punished for our sins because Jesus took the punishment for us.

Simple play dough shapes

If you have little ones around, chances are great that you have some play dough around as well. (If not, hit up the Dollar Tree and grab a four-pack for only $1.25!) For this Easter object lesson, you’ll need four different colors of play dough.

Start with a dark color of dough and make an “X” with it. Talk with your children about how we have all made mistakes and done things God’s Word tells us we shouldn’t. Refer to Romans 3:23.

Next, make a cross with yellow dough, if you have it. Share with the children that because of our mistakes and sins, God sent His Son to earth to die for our sins. Jesus’ body was put on a cross on what we now call Good Friday, and He died. Share also Romans 6:10

Then use a different color of dough and shape it into the number “3.” Tell the children the great news is that Jesus didn’t stay dead. On Easter morning, on the third day after he died, Jesus’ friends found an empty tomb. Jesus rose from the dead! Share 1 Corinthians 15:4.

Finally, use red or pink dough and shape it into a heart. As you shape it, talk with the kids about how the Easter story shows us how much God loves us. This is the foundation of our Christian faith and why we celebrate Easter. Share Ephesians 2:4-5.

If you’re working with your own children or a small group of children, give them a chance to make the different shapes with the dough and tell you what they represent.

Easter story activity and color pages

You can find a variety of activity and coloring 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 working on an Easter coloring page or doing the related activities, you have the opportunity to talk with them about 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.

This 8-page Easter Activity Bundle takes kids through the story of Easter from Jesus’ Triumphant Entry to His Resurrection. It’s designed for preschool through early elementary ages and includes 2 unique mazes, 2 color, cut & glue pages, 1 matching picture page, 1 Who Am I page, and 2 coloring & drawing pages. All pages are in black and white for easy printing and copying. This Religious Easter Activity Bundle makes a great – and easy – activity for Sunday School or home!

You can also find activity and coloring books to order and have shipped to you within a couple of days.

Our Daily Bread for Kids Easter Coloring and Activity Book
The Beginner's Bible: Come Celebrate Easter Sticker and Activity Book

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.

This cross picture, for example, is an ideal Easter craft for young children that only requires some pieces of paper.

Easy and simple Easter cross craft for children
Jesus died for us surprise folding craft
Reusable sticker sheets with the Easter story
Foam cross craft

Easter snacks

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.  

Take advantage of a free Easter lesson like what is here to help you share the miracle of Jesus with your children.

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!

About the Author: Stacey A. Shannon

Stacey A. Shannon is a freelance journalist and blogger who has been published internationally. She's also a Christian, a wife and a mom of two school-aged children. She started Families with Grace in 2019 to encourage Christian moms as they create homes filled with grace, love and faith.

Be sure to get the FREE family devotion book, "Finding Grace at Home: 7 Days of 5 Minute Devotions for Families." It's a great way to help your family draw closer to each other and to God.

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