Learning the Easter Story

Inspired by When You Rise and Impress Your Kids, I attempted to teach the Easter story in a meaningful and hands-on way in little snip-its at a time.

I told only a small portion of the Easter story each day over the course of several days and did a fun activity to go with each part.  Amanda from Impress your Kids focused on the 5 senses, emphasizing just one sensory experience with each part of the story.  She did a beautiful job, I highly recommend checking it out!  I didn't do this, but I thought it was cool and definitely worth mentioning.

As for us, here's the rundown of our activities this week:

1.) Palm Sunday.  Because this has been a crazy week, we didn't do Palm Sunday until Wednesday.  We read "The True King" portion of The Beginner's Bible.  Then we made palm fronds of our own by glueing green paper scraps to this DLTK template.  

Sam wouldn't stop until all the white was covered in green!
I was so proud of Corinne.  She didn't even need me to show her what to do~ she just picked up the glue stick and got to work!  She needed a little help along the way, but she knew what she was doing. :)

After they finished up they took turns riding mommy like a donkey while the others waved their palms and shouted "Hosanna, Hosanna!  Blessed is the King of Israel!"  

Max was so cute.  The minute he finished his craft (before the other two) he started jumping around the house, a bundle of excitement, waving his palm and shouting "Hosaaanna!  Hosanna!"  

I tried to explain to them that the people laid some palms down on the road, and still held a palm in their hands to wave at Jesus as He rode past.  They didn't really get it.  Either the palms were on the ground or the people waved them.  It took a couple times to show them that when it's your turn to be Jesus, your palm goes down on the ground while the others wave theirs.  But nonetheless, it was great fun riding mommy-donkey around.  :) 

After that lesson, the boys understood that there were a lot of people excited to greet Jesus... and that there were some men that were jealous of Jesus' popularity.  I think Sam was curious about those men.  After his turn being Jesus he asked me if he could be one of the men who didn't like Jesus.  I think that was his way of trying to find out what those guys were all about-- or he just didn't want to leave out a part of the story. Either way, I love that he paid attention and was able to re-tell this portion of the story the next day!

2.)  Last Supper, Prayer, Judas' betrayal, Jesus' arrest. 
  • The Last Supper- We read "The Last Supper" portion (and a couple pages before) in The Beginner's Bible.  To better illustrate the setting, we had our own little Passover celebration.
  • Judas' Betrayal-  We revisited those "men that didn't like Jesus," as Sam called them.  We found out that Judas would agree to help those men capture Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.  We counted out 30 plastic "silver" coins and put them into a paper lunch bag.
  • Jesus' prayer in the garden and His arrest.  We ended this portion of the story with Jesus standing before the leaders, before His sentencing.  We asked them what they thought those men were going to do to Jesus.  They had a pretty good idea.

3.) Jesus' Trials, Crucifixion, and Burial- My husband read to the kids from the New English Translation of the Bible for this portion of the story.  As he read, I laid out select cards from this printable stations of the cross for children so they could have a visual to go with the story.  I found the printable via  this Catholic Icing post.  I thought these cards were perfect for showing young children what our Lord went through for us.  They were not too graphic or realistic, yet not too cartoon-y or watered down either.

This cute printable Resurrection set was another Catholic Icing find.  Check out the link to see all the pieces of the set or to download your own.

The figures are intended to be attached to toilet paper rolls, but I used plastic water bottles cut down.  I just stapled the templates to the bottles and it worked out great.   For the tomb, it's suggested that you use a tissue box.  I didn't have one on hand so I tried to cover an empty wipes container (quickly because I waited until the last minute) in gray card stock.  

You see mine--
I should have gotten a tissue box.  

But hey, the kids didn't care and it still got the message across.

At the end of the story, we removed our crucified Jesus from the cross and placed Him in the tomb.

Then we used hot glue to seal the tomb with the stone and set our two centurions to stand guard until Easter morning.

4.) The Resurrection-  On Easter morning, we told the last part of the story.   As we told the story, we used our Resurrection set to play out the last scenes of the story.   When we looked inside our tomb,  Jesus was gone- He is Risen!  

We talked about how THIS is the reason we celebrate Easter and how we know Jesus is God.  Then we talked about how Jesus walked on Earth for 40 more days before ascending into Heaven.  We used our resurrected Jesus to "fly" up into Heaven.

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I really wanted to do make Resurrection Rolls yesterday (Easter Sunday), but we just didn't get to it.  There's nothing wrong with doing it the day after, so I plan to help the kiddos make them today.

Here's how:
Use a marshmallow to represent Christ's body.  Dip it in melted butter then in a cinnamon sugar mixture (the spices used to anoint His body).  Wrap it up in crescent roll dough (the linens used to wrap His body).  Bake in the oven (tomb)- assigning a kid or two to guard the "tomb."  Then when you break open the roll, it's empty!

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I really think the kids, especially Sam (age 6),  got a much clearer picture of who Christ is and why we celebrate on Easter Sunday!  Now when we look at our Resurrection eggs, the symbols inside will draw a stronger connection to the story being told.  I am so happy that we did this with the kids, I think it made this a much more meaningful and memorable Easter for our entire  family- I know it did for me!

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1 comment :

  1. Looks like you had a lot of fun! I love the Resurrection set.
    popping over from Preschool Corner



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