Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Mid-week Missions: Resurrection Activities for Kids
Great activities abound at this time of year - and I think that when working with kids, the very best ones are those that point to the cross. We need to be sure that our children are hearing the story of Jesus' love and sacrifice over and over, learning the layers and shades of meaning and great love that are woven throughout.
That means that this week we're having "Easter School" at our house. Each day we're doing a different activity that points to the cross. While I don't have finished pictures from all of these to share yet, I can point you to where I found most of these ideas, so here they are -our favorite Resurrection activities for Easter.
1. Resurrection Garden - This has been making its way around Pinterest, and we decided to try it this year. We planted it several days ago and hope that it begins to sprout by Easter - but if it doesn't, we'll enjoy it next week. The kids loved planning the layout of the garden and finding the perfect rock to seal the tomb - and as the week goes on, we'll be adding crosses to our garden.
2. Resurrection Eggs - Directions abound for what to put in these eggs if you choose to make your own, but I purchased mine years ago during an 'after Easter' sale at a local Christian book store. I've been using these to tell the story to My Big Helper and My Little Man for about six years now, and they get excited each time we pull out the bright orange egg carton. This is a great way to make the storytelling interactive, and the symbols help the smallest children remember the main points of the story.
3. "The Crossmaker" by See the Light Shine - This set of Easter-centered art projects is awesome! There are lessons using creative lettering - seen above and below - as well as chalk pastels, watercolors, a story, and some really neat bonus features. We're having fun working through these lessons together, and I appreciate the way that the Bible stories are so well tied into art projects where the kids are learning and producing 'masterpieces' that I can display and keep for years to come.
4. Easter Cards - We send cards to our extended family members every holiday season, big or small. At least, we try to - it's one way that we try to stay in touch with people who are far away. This year the kids chose to make cards several different ways, so not everyone will be getting the same style of cards, but some will be receiving this one.
5. Empty Tomb Resurrection Cake - I don't think that our cake is going to look quite like this, but I am excited about the idea of morphing our traditional Bunny Cake into a Resurrection Cake. I think we're going to have fun building a sugary garden, too, and I love the meaning that we can build into that.
6. Resurrection Rolls - This has been a popular side dish for years, and it never gets old around here. We'll make and serve these at our Easter feast.
7. An "Easter" Seder Meal - We're actually doing this twice this week - once with our church and once with our school group, but it's a pretty exciting event. At the first one there was a Jewish rabbi and a Duke Divinity Professor present, and while one taught us the traditions involving the Seder post-Temple, the professor pointed to how Jesus fulfilled those traditions. It was a great experience that led to a rather deep discussion with My Big Helper upon arriving home.
8. Resurrection Cookies - This is a really fabulous way for young children to understand the story of the Resurrection. It takes two days to complete, and you'll need a Bible and some unusual cookie-baking ingredients, but it's well worth the time and trouble. The directions for these cookies follow the Easter story so closely that the recipe consists of scripture - and you look up each reference and then do to the ingredients what it says. Meaning that you'll taste the 'sour wine' vinegar that Jesus was given when He thirsted on the cross. You'll smell and taste and use all of your senses as you move through the story - and end up with 'empty,' hollow cookies at the end.
How will you point your children to the cross this week?