Thursday, April 21, 2011

Teaching our kids about Easter

As much as we love going to Easter egg hunts and eating chocolate bunnies
I want my kids to know that Easter has nothing to do with plastic eggs, candy or giant people dressed in bunny suits.
And I desperately want them to know that it has everything to do with one god man named
Jesus.
That Easter is about the death, burial, and glorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

For a couple weeks now I have been brainstorming something special to do with the kids to teach them about Jesus' death, burial and resurrection.
Something that would help bring the Easter Story to life.
And for a couple weeks now I have come up with absolutely nothing.
Or at least nothing cool enough to do.
Then I saw this post.
I loved the idea behind it but since me and gardening don't really get along I decided to switch things up a little bit.

I started by making the cast of characters.
This year I decided to just make Jesus and a Roman solider but I may continue to add some more people as the kids get older.

To keep things simple, I made my little guys out of clothespins, pip cleaners, felt, and ribbon.

Here's a quick run down on how to make a clothespin man:

Use some markers to color a face and some hair on the clothespin and then wrap the pipe cleaner around the torso to make some arms.

Then cut a long rectangle out of felt, fold it in half and cut a half circle from the center to make the top of the tunic.

picture of the tunic opened up

Slip the tunic over your man's head and tie a piece of ribbon around his waist for a belt.

Easy peasy.

Next I gathered a few accessories for Jesus.
I made a little crown of thorns out of felt and grabbed a couple thumb tacks to use as nails.

Jesus testing out the crown of thorns

I happened to have a foam cross laying around (you can find these at Michaels or Walmart) so I grabbed that and added some brown marker to make it look more like wood.

I cut some strips of felt out and colored on them with red marker to make the strips of linen Jesus would have been covered with before he was put in the tomb.

*The strips of linen in the Easter story are really clean when put on Jesus but I wanted something to show the blood that Jesus shed for us on the cross so I added some "blood" to the strips of felt. I'm pretty sure when the strips of linen were wrapped around Jesus they got bloody too.

I also whipped up a little Roman guard complete with a sword and a shield.

So here's the plan of what we are going to do:

Friday morning (Good Friday) Aaron and I are going to read the story about Jesus' crucifixion to the kids from their Children's Bible.
Then we are going to take Jesus' clothes off, put on his crown of thorns and nail him to the cross all while talking to the kids about the sacrifice Jesus made for us by dying on the cross.

I want to talk to them about the unkind things the people did to Jesus (they hit him, mocked him, etc.), how the cross would have been very painful and how Jesus didn't do anything to deserve death. I want to tell them how he died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins because he loves us so much.

I'm thinking I should have rethought the smile I put on Jesus' face.
Whoops.

Then later that night we will take Jesus off the cross and wrap him in the strips of linen (i.e. felt).

Then we will read the part of the story about Jesus' burial.

We will take Jesus outside and place him in a tomb made of rocks from our garden

and place the Roman guard in front of the tomb.

Then on Sunday morning (Easter) we will go out to the tomb to see that Jesus is gone and has risen from the dead!

*The night before Aaron and I will have taken Jesus out of the tomb and hidden him somewhere else in the house so the kids can search for him and find that Jesus is alive!

My hope and prayer is that this little hands on visual will help to drive home what Easter is really all about. I'm so excited to see how it goes! I love teaching our kids the truth of God's Word!

P.S. This is the Children's Bible we have and love and will be using as we read the Story of Easter to them.

What do you guys do with your family for Good Friday and Easter?

7 comments:

Breakfast With the Bennetts said...

This is genious. Hiding jesus so that the kids can see he is resurected. I am so telling the church about this idea.

You are so cool.

Kayleigh said...

This is amazing...Such a good idea. My little man is only 7 months old, but later on we will be doing this. Its a great tradition to start with your kids. Every year, reminding them of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.

Missy said...

What a great idea! Glad I found your blog! :0)

Leslie @ top of the page said...

Thanks for the link up! I actually met you two years ago at the Mariners Christmas boutique. I had the tidbit booth and you have me your card! At the time, I was not a blogger yet. Funny huh? Good to "see" you again and God bless!! Your adaptations to the Easter garden are awesome! Love it.

Grace said...

Just came across you blog through One Pretty Thing. Love this idea!! I did have a chuckle at how they descibed your craft as "to help children learn the CHRISTIAN Easter story" as if there are other Easter story's. thanks for a very hands one way to teach THE Easter story. =)
Grace

Cassi said...

Wow! what a great way to share the easter story!

mammaandsomuchmore said...

We eat "resurrection rolls" for breakfast on sunday morning. Wrap large marshmallows with crescent rolls on sat night. wrap cookie sheet with saran wrap in fridge overnight. The next morning remove saran wrap and bake. the rolls are hollow and sweet.