New dresses, bunny rabbits, and chocolate-covered eggs. What do these things have to do with the real meaning of Easter?
The real story of Easter is that of a loving God who sent His Son to live on earth … and then die to pay the penalty for our sins so we could spend eternity with Him (John 3:16). And helping children grasp this difficult concept is a critical responsibility for any Christian parent or teacher.
One of FamilyLife’s most popular resources, Resurrection Eggs, helps children understand the story of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. A set includes a dozen plastic eggs, each containing an object symbolizing part of our Savior’s journey to the cross and empty tomb. And it also comes with an instruction booklet that will help you explain what to say as every egg is opened.
Here are 12 different ways that you could use Resurrection Eggs to communicate the most life-changing story ever told in a way children can understand.
1. Easter egg hunt at home: Send your children on a hunt inside or outside your home that will lead them to lasting treasure—the true story of Easter. After all of the eggs have been found, gather together and open them in order. Find the symbol of Easter inside each, and read the accompanying story and Bible verse. You may want to ask older children to take turns reading.
2. Sunday school activity: Hide the eggs in the classroom before the children come in. When they have all arrived, send them on a "Resurrection Eggs hunt." After they discover the eggs, ask the kids to give them to you, one by one. Then open each egg, ask the children what the object in it represents, and read the accompanying description from the Resurrection Eggs booklet.
3. Family devotions: For the 12 days leading up to Easter, open one Resurrection Egg per day, examining the object in it and reading the accompanying story. Open the last egg, which is empty, on Easter Sunday.
4. Easter dinner table decorations: Create an Easter centerpiece with a basket filled with Resurrection Eggs. Ask your dinner guests to each choose one or two eggs. As they open them, discuss what's in the egg and what it has to do with the biblical account of the Resurrection.
5. Nursing home or assisted living facility: My friend Scott used a set of Resurrection Eggs to tell the true story of Easter with nursing home residents. He said that they enjoyed it as much, if not more, than kids do.
6. Long-distance loved ones: If your grandchildren or stepchildren live elsewhere, send them a set of Resurrection Eggs, and have one at your home, too. Then, using either Skype or FaceTime, go through the set together. You could go through all of the eggs in one evening. Or starting 11 days before Easter, open one egg together each day. Then, on Easter Sunday, open the last egg. It will be empty, representing Jesus’ empty tomb.
7. Neighborhood party: Host an Easter get-together for parents and kids in your neighborhood, using plastic eggs filled with candy and a set of FamilyLife's Resurrection Eggs. After all of the eggs are discovered, gather as a group. Starting with egg number one, ask someone to show the object in the egg and tell what it represents. Then read the Bible passage and story that go with that particular egg. Finish the party with a group picture. You may want to invite your guests to attend church with you on Easter Sunday.
8. Sunrise service: Host an Easter sunrise service at your home. Begin just before the sun starts to rise—talk with the children about the darkness. As rays of sunlight appear, explain that light permeates darkness—that the light overcame the darkness when Jesus rose from the dead. Assign every family member a part in the service. Someone could give a brief Easter message, others could read Scriptures, sing, prepare a special handout for the family sunrise service, etc. Incorporate a brief Resurrection Eggs section, with the children opening up each egg. Sing the song that many know as, "Up From the Grave He Arose."
9. Scavenger hunt: Organize an Easter scavenger hunt party in your neighborhood and ask some parents to stay for the fun. Depending on the number of people, divide everyone into several groups and allow a certain amount of time for the hunt. Be sure there is at least one adult in each group.
Leave a trail of plastic eggs that leads to homes of neighbors who are willing to participate in your party. Hide not only candy-filled eggs, but also a set of Resurrection Eggs. Give each group a set of cards containing clues leading to the eggs. For small children, use simple directions like: "Go to Mrs. Thompson's mailbox (#4 Sunset Drive)" or "Ring Mrs. Smith's doorbell and ask her to give you the next egg," etc. If the kids are older, your clues could be more complicated.
When everyone returns to your house, enjoy Easter cake and punch. Then ask those who found Resurrection Eggs to open them, reveal the contents, and read the accompanying story in the Resurrection Eggs booklet.
10. Driving to school: Use Resurrection Eggs as you drive your kids (or a carpool of kids) to school. Begin several days before Easter; ask a younger child to open the egg and describe its contents. Then ask an older child to read the story that goes with it. Continue this for a week or two before Easter, until you have opened all of the eggs. If any of the children's families do not attend a church, ask them to join you at your church's Easter service.
11. Driving to visit relatives: Make a game by asking the children to open one of the Resurrection Eggs whenever they see a certain restaurant, enter a new state, after each meal, etc. At some point after you have reached your destination, go through the set of eggs with your out-of-town hosts.
12. Dessert fun: Bake circular sugar cookies and number them 1 – 12 (you might want to ice them in various spring colors). After dinner give everyone a numbered cookie. Then ask them to open the Resurrection Egg that matches their particular number and to read the accompanying story. For example, if you are a family of four, the first night each person would select one of the cookies (from 1 – 4), open the matching Resurrection Egg, and read the accompanying story. The next two nights, the same thing would be done, first for cookies 5 – 8, and then 9 – 12. Ask older children to read the stories for younger kids. As you open the Resurrection Eggs, put them in a basket that you've placed in the middle of your table.
This year, ask God to help you tell the most important story ever to the children in your life: Jesus Christ overcame death. He arose! And that’s good news.
Watch Easter come to life in little hands! Order a set of Resurrection Eggs today to make them a part of your Easter tradition this year.
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