Preparing for Easter (Part 2)

Preparing for Easter (Part 2): Teaching our Kids the Meaning of Easter
by Sherri Bergmann

The Easter Bunny takes the grand stage when celebrating Easter. Amid the excitement of your children hunting for eggs the “Easter Bunny” hid and delighting in candies, it’s easy for them to lose focus of what Easter is really about. To help our children regain the proper perspective, Foothills Church pastors and Karri Koenigs, Director of Children’s Ministries, share how they have taught their children the real reason for celebrating Easter.

Tips to shift attention from the Easter Bunny to Christ alone:

Brian Long

  • Read the Easter story as a family.
  • Be an example to your kids by preparing your own heart: in the weeks leading up to Easter, I typically will re-read the account of the Passion of the Christ from the Gospels, as each one covers the event with slightly different perspectives.
  • On Good Friday, or close to it, we watch the Passion of the Christ movie (my kids joined when they were old enough to watch it with me).

Sam Parsons

  • We put different verses of the Easter story in plastic eggs and the kids go on an Easter egg hunt. After finding all the eggs, we read through the Easter story.

Phil Christiansen

  • Read Easter story books (like Peter’s First Easter by Wangerin Jr.). There are different books to appeal to each age and stage.
  • Fill a container with a dozen plastic eggs, with each egg containing a different element from the Biblical Easter story (such as a rock to represent the stone that was rolled away, a nail, strands of cord, etc.) I think Dee Michel first did it with kids at church and we kept it! We do something like this:
  • Make Resurrection Cookies and talk about the significance of the “empty” in the middle of the cookie. Here’s the recipe: resurrection-cookies/
  • Read the Biblical story of the Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.
  • We gave modest Easter baskets to not confuse our children with Christmas.

Dillon Barber

  • For the last few years, my wife Kristen has organized a family Passover meal for our family using a wonderful resource titled A Christian Seder Meal: For Kids and Their Whole Family by Becky Fisher. This book has been helpful both in the preparation and observation of the Seder, the Passover feast, but more importantly in the way it connects the dots between the Old Testament story of the Exodus, and the New Testament Story of Easter. With a few copies of the book out, all of our family was able to participate in the readings, and there are fun activities for the kids built into the Seder. Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of the Passover and we have enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate the Passover tradition with our family in such a meaningful way.

Karri Koenigs

This may seem simple and possibly a little boring, but the best way we taught our kids the significance of Easter was in making God the foundation of our family.

  • We ensured regular and consistent Church/Sunday School/Awana/Bible Study/Youth Group, etc. Attendance was clearly communicated as priority over all things that competed for time and attention.
  • Took advantage of natural opportunities to have conversations about God, like during car rides to and from school (Deuteronomy 6).
  • We served regularly in the places that our kids could see us serving when they were very young, and involved them in serving in age-appropriate activities as they grew. None of this was easy. There was always something new in each season that tested this commitment and there have been times when we compromised, times we overdid it, and times we totally got off track. But we did the work, and continue to do so; not within our own power, but by the grace of our very patient and loving God. The little things we did in different seasons as part of celebrating Easter are memorable, such as making Resurrection Rolls or the Journey to the Cross exhibit, but they made an impact because there was a foundation forming to make that impact. Without that in place, these other things would have just been fun, interesting, or routine.

The common thread through all of their Easter traditions holds one crucial focus – the celebration of Easter is about celebrating our risen King who is alive and dwells in us today. The Easter Bunny comes and goes, but Christ is alive forevermore. Hallelujah!
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