One Christmas as I stood in the kitchen sprinkling silver balls on sugar cookies, seven year old Kailey wandered in and asked, “Mom how come you decorate the whole house for Christmas but you don’t do anything special for Easter? Isn’t Easter just as important as Christmas?”
Kailey was right: Easter should be celebrated and anticipated with the same wonder and awe as Christmas. And she recognized that unlike Christmas which we seemed to celebrate at church and at home, our Easter celebrations seemed to happen only at church.
The following Easter I began looking for ways to be more intentional about nurturing faith at home. I gathered some symbols of Easter—a cross, a wreath that reminded us of a crown of thorns—and placed them on a purple cloth on a table. We ate hot cross buns on Good Friday and Resurrection rolls on Easter Sunday and talked about those food choices. We read a picture book called Benjamin’s Box and made our own little boxes to match the one Benjamin carries in the story. We played Easter music in the week leading up to Easter just as we do with Christmas music before Christmas. We still did the things we always had at Easter—hunting for eggs in the backyard, decorating a bowl of eggs together—but the simple things I added to our celebration helped our family live into the story of Easter.
Below you’ll find six tools to help the families in your congregation build faith at home during Easter. Some of them can be made at church and then sent home with families to use during Holy Week or on Easter Sunday; each could also be created at home.
- Download and use these Easter Story Cards from Flame Creative Ministries to tell the Easter story and/or to play a game after the telling. If you use them at church be sure to send a set home with each family to use at home. Also available from this site: a reflective coloring page for Good Friday and one for Easter Sunday.
- Create a Holy Week box to provide children with a simple, memorable way to tell the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Make one at church together or provide families with all of the pieces and the instructions to make them at home.
- The Easter Story Lego Challenge is a terrific hands on activity in which children recreate and retell parts of the Easter story each day. Email this idea to your families today!
- Print and provide families with a copy of God's Big Easter Story: A Holy Week Journey for Families. It's free!
- For families that use The Jesus Storybook Bible at home, here’s an Easter reading list. The story of Jesus’ resurrection, “God’s Wonderful Surprise” is also available as a video here.
- This video featuring author Trillia Newbell reading her picture book The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross would also be a wonderful link to share with families.