Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Explaining Easter to Preschoolers

The question was asked on the ABC Jesus Loves Me Facebook Group, "How do you explain Easter to a preschool-aged child?"

Great question because, let's be honest, parts of the Easter story are very gross and could be scary for a child.   A small child should never be scared of a Bible story; especially the story of salvation!

For young kids, focus on the resurrection. This is the good news!  Here are just a few of the ideas from the Easter page on the ABC Jesus Loves Me website.  Click to see more.

Preschool Easter Ideas:

Resurrection Rolls

Resurrection Rolls do an excellent job of showing the empty tomb.  They show how Jesus was placed in the tomb but He did not stay.  Very simple to make and the child can be very involved in the process.

20 Resurrection Eggs 
The whole idea behind Resurrection Eggs is that the eggs help tell the story of Jesus' last days on earth, His death, and His resurrection. It can be completed as a countdown to Easter or as a stand alone activity that you do all in one sitting. Most numbered egg contains a scripture verse (rolled up scroll style) and a corresponding trinket that relates to that part of the story.

There are various forms of Resurrection Eggs available to purchase or make. Each sets contains a variation of items and order leading up to the empty final egg.  Most sets contain 12 eggs but Bonnie shared an idea of 20 Resurrection eggs.  For small children, choose the number of eggs you feel will best explain the story to them.  

Miss Patty Cake: Eggstravaganza
This video does a great job of explaining the Resurrection Eggs.

Buck Denver Asks: What's in the Bible? Volume Ten - Jesus is the Good News!
This video explains the Easter story better than I have ever seen.  

- Wordless Book Cake 

Also known as the Happy Birthday Cake, use a cake to explain Easter.  

The chocolate layer reminds us that are heart is full of sin.
The red layer reminds us that Jesus shed His blood for our sins.
The white frosting reminds us that Jesus will forgive our sins and give us a clean heart.
The green layer reminds us to grow in Christ through praying, reading the Bible, and worshiping.
The yellow decorations remind us of heaven.
The candles remind us Jesus is the Light of the world.

- Tell the Easter Story with Colors

Use colored jelly beans or items in an Easter basket to tell the story.  (Examples on the ABCJLM website.)

- Eggs 

A lot of concern has been given toward using eggs as a Christian symbol of Easter, mostly because of the close association with the Easter bunny.  But eggs symbolize new life - the new life that we can have in Christ.  I have included several "egg" crafts on the ABCJLM website

If you are concerned about using eggs, I encourage you to do a Google search on the origin of Easter symbols.  But as with any symbol, this is a family decision that should be made after prayer and searching the Scriptures.

Lay a Foundation

Using ideas like these, I try to do everything in my ability to help my children understand the Bible stories, Christmas, and Easter. I want them to understand the importance. But, as preschools and even elementary age, children are not going to have a full appreciation. (I don't have a full appreciation for what God has done and I am an adult.) 

But we as parents are laying a foundation. And that foundation slowly turns to personal understanding.

What ideas do you have to share?

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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.