During the Easter season, egg hunts pop up everywhere. Although they are fun, the focus of this event is secular, with children getting excited about candy found inside plastic eggs. If you'd like to focus on the religious significance of the holiday, which for Christians celebrates Jesus rising from the dead, you'll need to find alternatives to the traditional egg hunt. Whether you do this through your church or with your family, the right activity can still be fun while keeping you in touch with your faith.
Resurrection eggs are plastic eggs that contain small reminders of Jesus' life and death. You can purchase a kit at a religious gift store or make your own out of plastic eggs found at the store. Fill the eggs with religious images of thorns (like the crown Jesus wore), a sponge (from when Jesus was offered a drink of vinegar), nails (like those that nailed him to the cross) and a rock (to close the tomb). One egg is kept empty to symbolize Jesus' empty tomb when he resurrected from the dead. After all the eggs are found, discuss the meaning of each image. Depending on the age of the children, you can use actual pieces instead of pictures.
Empty Tomb Rolls
Empty tomb rolls are fun for children of all ages and open up conversation about how Jesus rose from the dead. Have each child take a large marshmallow and dip it in melted butter. Then have them roll it in a cinnamon/sugar mixture. Wrap the marshmallows in store-bought crescent roll dough and cook the rolls according to the package directions. The marshmallows will melt during baking, but the shape of the "tomb" remains. When the children bite into the roll, they will find the roll hollow. As the children eat, read them the story of the resurrection found at the end of each gospel.
The secular images of Easter often entail bunnies and eggs and baby chicks. To keep the focus more Christian-based, create fun puzzles out of religious symbols, such as crosses, doves and angels. Create large outlines of religious images on card stock, and have the children decorate them. Next, have them draw a few squiggly lines across the images so as to create puzzle pieces. Cut along the squiggly lines, and mix up all the pieces. While the children are putting their puzzles together, explain to them what Easter means to Christians.
Being Like Jesus
The Bible discusses Jesus' activities in the last week of his life. You can act out certain events found in the Bible to bring the meaning of Easter closer to home. For example, you could read John 13:1-17 with your children and then wash one another's feet. Or you could take your family to a garden to pray and read Luke 22:39-46, which discusses Jesus praying on the Mount of Olives. Certain Christian families may want to attend a Jewish Seder meal, which is most likely the type of meal Jesus had at the last supper.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images