Sunday, April 5, 2020

Religious Easter Countdown for Young Children

How do you celebrate the religious aspect of Easter with young children? We have a simple Easter countdown that teaches children about the Christian Easter story in a fun and creative way!

As Easter has been approaching I have been thinking a lot about how our family can focus more on the spiritual side of the holiday this year, in addition to some Easter bunny & egg themed activities!

RELATED: More interested in the Easter egg themed crafts and activities? Go here!

Although I love to do egg hunts and surprise my kids with Easter baskets, I feel that the true purpose of Easter somehow gets lost once the Cadbury mini eggs start lining the shelves at our nearest Target.

A few years ago I decided that we would create a family Easter advent tradition and spend the several days leading up to Easter learning about the story of Easter while also focusing on many of the wonderful teachings of Jesus Christ.

I am excited to share some of my advent ideas with you so that you can create your own new family tradition this year too!

How To Set Up An Easter Advent:

The first thing we did was create a simple advent calendar. I made our advent with envelopes, cards, clothespins, stickers, and some twine.

Before we hung the advent, we printed out these advent direction cards that we made, mounted them onto cardstock, and then snuck them inside each envelope.

You can download the printable advent cards below. One set of cards shares our simple project ideas and another one is blank so that you can create your own activities that fit your family.

Each advent activity we did is presented below with some of the resources we used. Feel free to use our ideas or insert family traditions that you already have that your children love.

Day 1: Easter Block Set

Create an Easter Block set and use it to retell the story of Easter.

We created our set using printables we found online. Then we sized them down a bit on the computer, printed them off, colored and cut them out, and taped them onto our wooden blocks. You can also just draw your own!

We talked about each piece in the set and my preschooler and I watched a short preschool video that taught about the Easter story using Resurrection eggs. Then we spent time retelling the story of Easter using the block set and put it in our playroom where he could explore the blocks and talk with me about the story often.

Day 2: Spring Mural

Jesus died and was resurrected in the springtime. The springtime is a time of new life. Make a spring mural and talk about what Jesus loves.

We made this simple spring mural using cardstock, scissors, and painters tape. My son practiced his snipping skills to make each petal. I love how it cheers up our walls!

During our Easter advent time we plan to talk about what Jesus loves and then write down specific things on each flower petal when see my son and daughter doing those things that would make Jesus happy.

Day 3: Act of Service

Do an act of secret service for another family and talk about how Jesus loved and served everyone.

I loved the idea of “egging” another family as a secret service at Easter time. You can read more details about this idea here on Eighteen 25 (and get a free printable), but we plan to choose a family that could use some extra love and then we will do a few little acts of service for them as part of our advent.

Day 4: Make a Card

Make a card for someone who is sick and talk about how Jesus healed the sick.

On this day we plan to make a card for someone who is sick. We have a friend going through chemotherapy, so we plan to make her some cards to cheer her up. We will also read some Bible stories that share about how Jesus healed many that were suffering.

Day 5: Secret Service

Jesus is the good shepherd. Each person is important to him. Do secret service in your home to make each person feel important.

We plan to do secret acts of service to each other and leave a little stuffed lamb in the spot where the act of service is done. For example, if I helped make my son’s bed, I would leave the lamb on his pillow. The lamb will be left with a note that says, “You are loved.” Hopefully every member of our family will feel loved as we do kind acts like Jesus did.

Day 6: Make a Heart

Jesus died for us. Make a heart project and talk about how it can be a reminder of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

Related: Learn how to make this crayon heart HERE

The crucifixion is hard for me to talk about. I love the idea of making a beautiful heart project with my kids while we express how much we love Jesus for the sacrifice he made for us. We made these heart sun catchers earlier this year and plan to make a few more to hang at Easter time.

Day 7: Graham Cracker Tomb

Jesus’ friends loved him and laid his body in a tomb. Make a graham cracker tomb and talk about how his friends must’ve felt when he died.

We created this project with candy, frosting, and graham crackers. We used a candy peep to symbolize putting Christ’s body in the tomb. We’ll remove the peep and roll away the chocolate cookie on Easter morning to show that the tomb was empty!

Day 8: Unwrap an Empty Box

Jesus has risen! Open an empty gift box and talk about how the tomb was empty on Easter morning. Have a family Easter sunrise service. 

We have a gift wrapped and waiting to be opened on Easter morning. Our kids are excited to see what their special Easter gift is! We plan to open it on Easter morning as part of a brief Easter Sunrise Service (since we are dealing with short attention spans). We’ll sing a song or two, retell the Easter story again, and then open our gift. When the kids discover an empty box, we’ll talk about how the tomb was empty on Easter morning because Jesus had risen!

These are just a few of the ways that we plan to focus more on Jesus Christ at Easter time this year.

How do you teach your children the story of Easter during this holiday season? Do you have any Easter traditions that you enjoy each year as a family?

We've love to hear them! Share below!

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