Here are some Easter hands-on activities inspiration ideas “resurrected” from deep in my 2014 archives! I wanted to involve my daughter fully in our Easter Bible readings. She LOVES reading her comic-style Illustrated Bible Story New Testament book. It is very visual and makes the stories “come alive”. I wanted to add loads of hands-on activities.
Young children learn best when they use all their five senses – hearing, seeing, smell, taste and touch.
I created an Easter Flags 16-page download, suitable for junior primary children, which includes Scriptures and parallel verses, activity ideas and story summaries for each Easter theme. As you read the Easter Scriptures, encourage your children to use all their senses as they learn about Easter and Jesus’ crucifixion. Children may enjoy touching and feeling real objects hidden in a “feely” bag. Cut out each flag. Children can colour in the images. Fold the top edge of the flag over and staple or glue to a ribbon to hang as Easter bunting. These simple images may also be used for material applique on fabric flags. Be sensitive and adapt your lessons to suit your child’s age and temperament.
Here is your free download ~ Easter Flags
For older children I also created some Easter Picture Collages.
These are similar hands-on activities using all 5 senses, but this is more suited for older children as the images are more graphic, and some of the activities may not be suitable for young children.
I wanted my daughter to use all her senses and physically act out as many of the scriptures of Easter as we could. Instead of me preparing the lesson activities, I printed out the collage images, gathered all the objects we needed and asked my child to create the activities with me for each lesson. This is child-led education — which is a joy to behold!
These are the items we collected for each theme:
- palm leaf – we were both surprised how huge the branch was!
- perfume – perfume essence & spraying alcohol mixed in a bottle with cork and candles to seal the bottle
- coins – in a little bag
- wine & bread – for Last Supper and communion. Matzos is unleavened, pierced bread.
- bowl, water & towel – to wash feet
- cock’s feather and sound recording of cock crowing
- thorns twisted into a crown – rather painful job!
- whip – a cat-of-nine tails with leather strips
- purple cloak – purple cloth and sticks to make lots
- hammer & nails – hammer into thick plank of wood
- vinegar & sponge – taste the bitter vinegar
- stone & cave – sealed with some clay
Here is your free download ~ Easter Picture Collages
Here is a summary of some of the activities, thoughts and experiences of our Easter:
Some of our first activities were lovely. Waving a long (taller than her very tall brother) beautiful palm branch and singing praise songs was wonderful.
Making perfume and sealing the bottle with melted candle wax was soothing and it smelt delightful. We acted out Mary’s act of worship; anointing Jesus’ feet and wiping them with her hair. Very intimate.
We tasted the bread and wine. The matzos bread is pierced and striped, just like Jesus’ whipped and pierced body. The red wine reminded us of His blood. Reverence and deep gratitude filled our hearts.
We washed one another’s feet. Just like Jesus did to His disciples. Humbling and so lovely.
Then things became tough. Count out 30 pieces of silver, which was the price of a slave. Judas was mean. While Mary broke the seal and poured out anointing oils worth a man’s whole years wages, Judas snatched up 30 silver coins. Worship breaks open and pours out, selfishness takes for itself.
We went to our chicken coop and found a lovely long rooster feather. The rooster strutted about with his hens. Did we hear him crow? Could we also betray our Lord? Would we cry bitter tears? Somber reflection.
And then the scenes with Jesus’ scourging. Painful. See the thorns in the leather? A cat-of-nine has bone or stones tied to the leather strips to inflict greatest pain and injury. Our minds reel. Hear the whip as it snaps in the air … 39 times! Exhausting. How could Jesus survive?
Thorns pricked us as we made the crown and really hurt!
Hammering in nails into wood it a tough job. Bang! Bang! Imagine nailing through hands and feet? How awful! Our hearts ached.
We cast lots for the robe with our sticks. If you win, you take the piece of cloth and feel its rich texture. When I win, it is all mine. It is so easy to be callous and greedy, and all the while our Lord hangs suffering, dying.
Now Jesus cries out and someone gives Him vinegar. Yech! It tastes bitter. No one can drink that stuff!
Finally we made a small tomb using a rock that had a cave-like shape. We found a flat stone to fit in front. Pressing some clay around the flat stone, we sealed the tomb. It is dark inside. Closed. It is finished.
May the Lord blessing you and your family in this Easter season,
In grace, Nadene