You may have seen my Thanksgiving and Christmas Circle activity posts in the past. I meant to get one together for Valentine’s Day, but then my grandma died in mid January, and while it was very peaceful, funeral arrangements and travel made life a little crazy for a few weeks so unfortunately we didn’t get around to much for Valentine’s Day. In case you haven’t seen the other holiday activities posts, a little background- this idea came out of a prompting that I needed to be more deliberate in my parenting and in teaching my children the true meaning of Christmas and Easter, and to bring purpose to each holiday we celebrate. With little to know effort on my part my kids will learn about the Easter Bunny and get an unhealthy amount of candy, but to teach them about Christ’s death and resurrection will take deliberate effort on my part.
I do 24 activities because then I can re-use the same muffin tins as my “advent” calendar for each holiday, with Easter coming pretty early this year, that means that we are starting on March 9th. Also my kids are 18 months and 3 so this is very targeted to toddler/preschool, but would be easily adapted for older kids. I’ve also provided links when I have used someone else’s idea and those links have tons of activities that work for older kids.
I took several ideas from the Friend magazine, but decided not to go in the exact order they did just because some activities worked better with our family schedule on different days, and I did not include the coloring activity because it’s a little more coloring than my kids could handle. But, if you’re kids are more in the 5 and up range it would be a perfect and simple activity already put together for you.
For the most part I do these activities during the day and they are super short, however, if an activity is listed as being part of Family Home Evening that means it will be a little more extended and with the whole family.
Here’s the activity list:
- Friend activity #3-Jesus said, “I thirst.” Jesus felt pain and was terribly thirsty. He understands whenever you feel sick or tired or hurt. Jesus wants us to help others who are ill or tired. What can you do to help someone in your family who isn’t feeling well or is very tired?
Make a card for a friend who has been sick
- Washing feet- we will do this with my foot spa, but last year we just did it in the tub, We show a picture of Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles and then we wash each other’s feet.
- Make Resurrection Rolls
- Family Home Evening- Friend Jr. Life of Jesus Christ Sequencing activity. I will put each picture in an egg and make it an egg hunt and then sequence and talk about each part of Christ’s life.
- Friend activity #5– Jesus said, “Behold thy mother!” Before he died, Jesus asked one of His disciples to take care of Mary, His mother. What can you do to show love for a family member today?
Do a craft for a family member.
- Easter Movie Night, we will probably watch To This End Was I Born, and one of the VeggieTales Easter shows.
- Friend activity #4– Jesus said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” When Jesus felt alone, He prayed and told Heavenly Father about His sad feelings. You can pray too! Try talking to Heavenly Father today like you would to a best friend.
Review how to say prayers.
- Jesus is the Light of the world. Use trick candles on cupcakes, as the kids blow them out and they re-light explain that even though they tried to put out Jesus light, his light did not go away. (Got this from The Joy Journey, scroll down, it’s one of the last activities, this is also a great resource for ideas!)
- Jesus loves our Family- Cousin Easter Egg hunt at grandparents’ house
- Jesus started the sacrament- take the sacrament at church
- Jesus is the Lamb of God- make a lamb craft with cotton balls.
- Easter Sequencing Activity– this one focuses just on Christ’s death and Resurrection- the other one I’m using covers His whole life.
- Family Home Evening- Friend Activity #6– “To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” This is what Jesus told another man who was about to die. Because of Jesus, death is not the end! We will all go to the spirit world and then be resurrected someday. Who has died that you look forward to seeing again?
Do the Resurrection glove activity (put your hand inside a glove and explain that your spirit is like your hand and your body is like the glove, take the glove off and explain that when you die your body stays on the earth but your spirit goes to Paradise and waits until the Resurrection when they will come back together.) We’ve done this before and it helped my son a lot with understanding my Grandma’s passing.
- Jesus rode in to Jerusalem on a donkey- go to a petting zoo with a donkey
- Resurrection Eggs for toddlers (if you have older kids and just search Resurrection eggs there’s a lot of resources that are more age appropriate, I was just so excited to find this one that is so simple for my littles)
- Jesus prayed in a garden and after his Resurrection he visited Mary in a garden- visit the Botanical Garden
- Palm Sunday- make hand print Palm fronds out of construction paper
- He is Risen cut and paste
- Make an “Easter Garden” in a pot with some little plants, a rock for the tomb, etc. Mine will be much simpler than the one in the link, but it gives a good idea for reference.
- Family Home Evening- Friend Activity #7– “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Jesus forgave those who hurt Him. We should forgive other people too. Is there someone you can forgive?
We’re going to focus on forgiving between siblings. They’ve reached that age where they are seriously bugging each other on a regular basis.
- Friend Activity #2– Jesus said, “It is finished.” Even though what Jesus was doing was really hard and hurt a lot, He didn’t give up. He kept on doing the right thing because He loves us and He loves Heavenly Father. Sometimes we might feel like giving up, but we can choose to keep trying. What’s something hard that you have done lately?
- Attend the Easter Pageant at the Mesa Temple. Non-Arizonans might be able to find a local church that does a Passion play.
- Jesus continued His church by calling a Prophet. Read about President Nelson in the Friend and watch General Conference.
- Easter Day- Friend Activity #1– Jesus said, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Jesus knew that He would see His Heavenly Father again after He died. Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can also live with our Heavenly Parents someday! What’s something you can do today to follow Jesus?
As far as Easter baskets go, again if you search there are so many good ideas for Christ-centered baskets, from actual Christ-centered items to adorable printables with scripture related sayings to go with candies and toys. I like to keep it really simple, and know that we’ll get candy and little toys from other sources, so we will probably get an Easter related book and an Easter related movie and call it good.
Happy Easter everyone! I hope this helps you brainstorm some good ideas for your family as your prepare to celebrate this beautiful holiday.