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Ideas For Easter: Helping Kids Spiritually Prepare

Easter is fast-approaching and while many websites and blogs have cute activities and crafts to make, I’d like to focus on preparing kids spiritually for Easter.

Here are some ideas for Easter that I’ve used with my kids to help them think about the reason why we celebrate Easter. In our family, we don’t focus as much on the suffering and death of the Savior as much as we do on His resurrection and what that means to each of us.

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Resurrection Eggs

I’ve found that kids love to see visual aids and when I use visuals to teach my kids about something, they seem to pay better attention and retain the information longer. I wanted something I could use to teach my kids about the different aspects of the atonement.

I found this set of Resurrection Eggs. I love using them every year. Each egg has a figurine or something inside that teaches the kids about the resurrection. For example, there is a coin that represents how the soldiers cast lots for the Savior’s clothing. There’s piece of cloth that represents the linen his body was wrapped in. The last egg has nothing inside because it represents that Jesus was not in the tomb because he had been resurrected.

A booklet is included with corresponding scriptures and information you can share with your kids. My children love to take turns opening these Resurrection Eggs every Easter.

Colorful Eggs

Learn a Song

Music is so powerful. Songs can teach us important lessons in a simple way that sticks with us (that’s why advertisers use musical jingles). We have favorite songs we sing at our house regularly. I always smile when I hear one of my kids singing a song we’ve been practicing. Music can soothe me when I need it.

One of my favorite songs about the Savior’s atonement is “Gethsemane.” In this video, Claire Ryann (she is just so adorable) sings this song and it reaches out and grabs my heart.

Here are the lyrics:

Jesus climbed the hill
To the garden still
His steps were heavy and slow
Love and a prayer
Took Him there
To the place only He could go

Gethsemane
Jesus loves me
So He went willingly
To Gethsemane

He felt all that was sad, wicked or bad
All the pain we would ever know
While His friends were asleep
He fought to keep
His promise made long ago

Gethsemane
Jesus loves me
So He went willingly
To Gethsemane

The hardest thing That ever was done
The greatest pain that ever was known
The biggest battle that ever was won

This was done by Jesus
The fight was won by Jesus

Gethsemane
Jesus loves me
So he gave His gift to me
In Gethsemane

Gethsemane
Jesus loves me
So he gives His gift to me
From Gethsemane

Written by Melanie and Roger Hoffman

Garden of Gethsemane

Read the Scriptural Account

You can spend some time reading the scriptural account in the New Testament in Matthew 27 and 28 (King James Version). After reading a few verses, take time to ask your kids what they think or how they feel.

We’ve talked about being betrayed by someone we loved and about being accused and sentenced to die when we are innocent. We’ve talked about what it would be like to be in the Garden of Gethsemane. We’ve discussed what it would be like to carry a cross up to a hill, then be attached to that cross and left to die.

We’ve talked more about what it must’ve been like for those that knew and loved Jesus to see him again after he’d died and the joy they must have felt being reunited with Him again. We’ve discussed what it would be like to see those we’ve loved and lost again. For me, thinking about seeing my parents again gives me such hope and happiness because if Jesus lives after he died, then so will we. Reading the scriptural account has opened the way for many discussions with my kids about a myriad of topics.

Girl reading the Bible

Make Resurrection Cookies

We’ve made these cookies before. Honest disclosure here: I’ve failed at making these cookies because they need to be made ahead of time. But they do teach a lesson and my kids have enjoyed making them. (Also, they aren’t the most delicious cookies).

Start this the night before Easter.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 CUP pecans (whole)
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 CUP white sugar
  • wooden spoon
  • Bible
  • tape
  • baggie (zip lock kind)

You’ll need to preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Put the whole pecans in the baggie and let your kids beat the pecans with your wooden spoon until the pecans are broken into small pieces.

This represents when Jesus was beaten by the Roman soldiers after he was arrested. (see John 19:1-3)

Next, let each one of the kids smell the vinegar. Make sure they get a big whiff and ask them if they’d want to drink it. Add a tsp of vinegar to the mixing bowl.

This represents when Jesus was on the cross and was so thirsty and was given vinegar to drink. (see John 19:29-30)

Now let the kids add the egg whites to the bowl.

Since eggs represent life, this represents how Jesus gave his life for each one of us. (see John 10:10-11)

Have the kids open their hands and place some salt in their palms, then let them taste it. Put an inch or so into the bowl.

This represents the bitterness of our sins and the (salty) tears shed by all of those who loved and followed Jesus. (see Luke 23:7)

Point out that the ingredients in the bowl aren’t very appetizing and don’t seem to be the right ones for making cookies. Let the kids add a cup of sugar to the bowl.

The sugar represents the sweet part of the story: that Jesus chose to die for us because He loves us. He was willing to suffer so much because of His love for each one of us. (see John 3:16 and Psalms 34:8)

Next, get out the beater and beat the mixture for 12-15 minutes on high speed until stiff peaks form.

The color white represents purity. When we use the atonement in our lives and repent, we can become pure again because the sacrifice that Jesus made for us cleanses us from those sins. (see Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3)

Next, it’s time to add the pecans. Slowly fold in the broken pieces, then drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets covered by wax paper.

Each mound of dough represents the tomb where Jesus’s body was placed after his death. (see Matthew 27:57-60)

Now it’s time to put the cookies in the oven. Close the door (make sure to turn the oven OFF) and have each child place a piece of tape over the door to “seal” the over door shut. (check again to make sure the oven is OFF)

This represents how the tomb was sealed. (see Matthew 27:65-66)

Talk about how it’s sad to leave the cookies in the oven all night, especially since they are sealed in the oven.

Jesus’s followers felt very sad when his body was laid in the tomb and it was sealed. (see John 16:20, 22)

The next morning, on Easter, open the oven and look inside. Let the children each take a cookie. Point out the cracked surface, then let the kids take a bite. The inside is hollow.

This represents how the tomb was empty when Jesus’s followers came to see it. They were amazed. (see Matthew 28:1-9)

And that’s it.

Girl praying

Make Easter Special

Cute bunnies and sugar-covered peeps sometimes overshadow the true meaning of Easter. I love this time of year and the opportunity I have to talk about the resurrection of Jesus. Using the Resurrection Eggs, learning and singing songs, reading the scriptural account, and making Resurrection Cookies has helped me to spiritually prepare my kids for Easter.

Easter is a very special time of year and doing these things has helped me to make it special for my kids.

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