Redemption, sacrifice, death and resurrection. These are tough subjects for a faith-filled grown up to wrestle with at times. No wonder Easter seems more focused on chocolate bunnies and colored eggs when it comes to our kids. Maybe you struggle with ways to illustrate the impact of Christ’s willful walk to the cross on our behalf to the smaller ones in your life. When it comes to kids, they grasp and respond more to experience than they do explanation. So, here’s just a few ideas to help them experience Easter. We would love to hear some of your ideas in the comments, as well.
1) EASTER STORY COOKIES
To be made the evening before Easter
- 1cup whole pecans
- 1tsp vinegar
- 3 egg whites
- pinch salt
- 1 cup sugar
- zipper baggie
- wooden spoon
Preheat oven to 300 degrees (this is important, don’t wait till you’re half done with the recipe!)
Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was Beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1tsp vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.
Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.
So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar.
Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66.
GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.
2) RESURRECTION BREAD
- 1 (10 ounce) can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
- 8 large marshmallows
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- Separate crescent rolls into individual triangles.
- In a small bowl, let the children mix together cinnamon and sugar.
- Then have them dip a marshmallow into melted butter and then roll it into the sugar mixture. Place marshmallow into the center of a dough triangle. Carefully wrap the dough around the marshmallow. Pinch the seams together tightly to seal in marshmallow as it melts. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat.
- Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Discuss with the children that the dough symbolizes the tomb where Jesus was laid. The
marshmallow represents Jesus. When the dough is baked the marshmallow will vanish. When
your child cuts open the bread they will see an empty tomb.