Verses to Memorize with Your Kids about Easter

I can read Bible stories to my kids all day long, but Scripture memorization is an area where I can falter. They often learn verses at church, but with three kids running around sometimes I just get lazy.

That said, I think learning Scripture is an important part of growing in faith, no matter your age. Here are some suggestions for age-appropriate verses to learn about Easter.

2009 LUMC Palm Sunday
source: Scott Adams

Young Toddlers

“Now Christ has been raised from the dead.” – 1 Corinthians 15:20a, NIRV

Preschoolers

“God raised him from the dead. He set him free from the suffering of death. It wasn’t possible for death to keep its hold on Jesus.” – Acts 2:24, NIRV

Elementary Age

” ‘Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. But blessed are those who haven’t seen me and believe anyway.’ ” – John 20:29, TLB

Preteens

” ‘Why are you looking for the living among the dead?’ asked the men. ‘He is not here, but He has been resurrected! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee,  saying, “The Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day”?’ ” – Luke 24:5b-7, HCSB

Any other verses that are a good fit for Easter?

Devotions for Lent

hold my hand
source: RobynLou8 via Flickr Creative Commons

Lent is well underway – that six-week period leading up to Easter Sunday. To tune one’s heart toward the cross and resurrection, spending Lent focusing on Scripture is profitable and helpful for adults and children both. Here are some devotionals you can use together or separately. Just jump in wherever you are. With Easter still nearly a month away, it’s not too late.

  1. Bible Gateway Lent Devotion – Include a prayer, Scripture, quote, and something to think about it for each day.
  2. She Reads Truth – Always offers daily devotions, with the Lenten season one being slow-paced and good food for thought. For men, see sister site He Reads Truth.
  3. Trail to the Tree from Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience
  4. A Sense of the Resurrection: An Easter Experience for Families from OhAmanda has 12 sense-invoking experiences to bring Scriptures to life for parents and children.
  5. Lenten Lights at Desiring God.

Celebrating Easter with ParentLife

Beaumontia grandiflora
source: Tatters via Flickr Creative Commons

Need some advice or ideas for leading your kids through the Holy Week? Here are all the Easter posts we’ve done here on the ParentLife blog over the last six years.

Preparing for Easter by William Summey (2009)

“We went shopping this week to buy some Easter clothes for our family. This is one way many families prepare for Easter.”

The Real Reason by Jodi Skulley (2009)

“I was especially excited about this Easter since it would be Jack’s first Easter. We had a busy weekend planned. We were celebrating with my side of the family on the day before Easter with an Easter waffle brunch. …”

The Story of Jesus: Easter Activities for the Whole Family by Christi McGuire (2011)

“Challenge older children to create a song, activity, or game to go with the Bible passage. Help younger children retell the Bible story in a few simple sentences and create motions to a song.”

Not about the Eggs by Jessie Weaver (2011)

“I have nothing against Easter egg hunts and baskets and dresses and Cadbury cream eggs are one of my favorite annual treats. But it feels like just another holiday we’ve morphed into a reason to buy cards, candy, and clothes.”

A Preschooler’s Easter Dictionary (2012)

“Focus on what the Bible says as you talk to your child. Think about some unfamiliar words that your child will hear at Easter. Use these brief definitions.”

Helping Children Grasp the Resurrection by Jessie Weaver (2012)

“I want to focus on the Lenten holiday just as much—if not more!—than we followed along with the Christmas story, crafting and reading our Bible every day for a month. Belief in the resurrection is what makes our faith different from anyone else’s.”

Pausing for Passover by Michelle Lippincott (2012)

“Your family may choose to use some or all of the elements from a traditional Passover. Don’t get so caught up in ‘doing it right’ that you lose the meaning of this feast.”

Easter Crafts (2013)

“All of the chicks and bunnies floating around in Springtime are cute, but they don’t teach about the true Easter and the Resurrection. Here are some craft ideas I dug up that do help teach that to your child!”

Last-Minute Ideas for Easter Weekend (2013)

Four quick ideas.

Seeing, Hearing, Touching, Believing: Leading Your Children to Experience Christ’s Resurrection (2014)

“Parents are scared of telling their kids about blood, sin, crucifixion, murder. But as Christ’s resurrection is the absolute central truth of our faith, it’s important to start teaching it to children as early as possible.”

What to Do with Leftover Plastic Eggs? (2014)

“I keep finding empty plastic eggs laying on the floor. While I hate not to just save them for next year, we don’t actually fill our own baskets.”

Making Easter Dinner in Advance by Jessie Weaver (2014)

“I’m preparing to host them for Easter dinner in a few weeks. And today it struck me that JUST MAYBE I should go ahead and get some things ready so I won’t be so stressed on Resurrection Day.”

 

What to Do with Leftover Plastic Eggs?

Using Leftover Plastic Eggs

Have your kids already emptied all their eggs, scarfing down jelly beans and sweet tarts left and right? We try to dole out candy gradually, but with a potty-training three-year-old I’ve been going through it quicker than usual.

I keep finding empty plastic eggs laying on the floor. While I hate not to just save them for next year, we don’t actually fill our own baskets – all the eggs we have came from church and preschool hunts. But tossing them – even in recycling – seems wasteful.

So I scoured the web and found all kinds of fantastic ideas for using up those empty egg shells! Here you go!

It seems like there are a ZILLION ideas out there! Now I’m excited to go play with our empty eggs.

Have you ever done anything fun with your leftover plastic eggs?

Making Easter Dinner in Advance

Easter 06 I [Ham]

source: boodoo via Flickr Creative Commons

I really love to cook. In my fantasy lands, I am a chef, or at least I get to go to culinary school and learn more about the art of fine meals. In reality, I’m a mom of three little kids and my bad back makes it hard to stand in the kitchen for more than an hour. But who knows? Maybe someday …

What I don’t love is just attempting to get the cooking done. With kids and time restraints, it can require a small miracle to get everything cooked at the same time and on the table. Multiply that times 60 when we’re having guests over.

I love having people for dinner, truly I do. I love entertaining. But – without fail – every time we do I make myself insane in the hours leading up to the event, trying to bake and cook and decorate and get our home into a passable state. (No one wants to show her guests to the bathroom to find out her kids have colored on the toilet and left used Kleenex on the floor.)

We’ve had standing Easter plans with friends of ours since 2006; we’ve been together every Easter except last year (when I had a 2-week-old) during that time, even when we moved 2 hours away. So I’m preparing to host them for Easter dinner in a few weeks. And today it struck me that JUST MAYBE I should go ahead and get some things ready so I won’t be so stressed on Resurrection Day.

Here are some great, special-dinner foods that you can make ahead and freeze!

  • Some of my friends swear by potato salad for Easter dinner, but I have to have Special Potatoes. Cheesy, creamy, potatoey goodness.
  • What can I say, I’m a traditionalist. I love Green Bean Casserole. I love this one even more because it uses homemade cream sauce and real mushrooms!
  • I love making bread, but it can be tedious and near impossible when you have a lot of other things going on. These rolls can be made ahead, but baked on Easter for fresh taste.
  • For dessert, this Rice Krispies White Chocolate Trifle sounds amazing! Or you can bake cake layers ahead of time, wrap them well in plastic wrap and then foil, and freeze until you’re ready to use them.

With just a ham to make the day-of, I might find myself actually enjoying the preparations for the holiday this year. Happy Easter!

Seeing, Hearing, Touching, Believing: Leading Your Children to Experience Christ’s Resurrection

I bet many of our ParentLife readers have led their children through Truth in the Tinsel at Christmastime, haven’t you? It’s an ebook from our friend, blogger Amanda White, that helps you create an ornament with your child for 25 days in December – while talking about the Advent Scriptures.

This year, Amanda released an ebook called A Sense of the Resurrection. In it, she leads parents and teachers to guide their children through 12 experiences helping the little ones grasp the meaning of Easter. As Amanda says, it’s not as easy as Christmas. Parents are scared of telling their kids about blood, sin, crucifixion, murder. But as Christ’s resurrection is the absolute central truth of our faith, it’s important to start teaching it to children as early as possible.

A former children’s minister for a large church, Amanda is well-equipped to help parents through these sensitive topics. The projects she describes are to do as a family and most will decorate your home for the Easter season (a canvas, an incense jar, etc.). Children will use their five senses to experience the Holy Week and Christ’s crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.

 

We’ve long been a fan of Amanda’s work and featured her in ParentLife and HomeLife magazines. I do not believe you will regret for a second spending the few dollars to purchase this book and work through it with your children!

This post was not sponsored, nor will we make any money if you buy it through these links. Just wanted to bring the resource to your attention!

Last-Minute Ideas for Easter Weekend

 

Use a playdough mountain to teach about the crucifixion and resurrection

Make a resurrection garden

 

Easter fruit tart

 

resurrection rolls

Do you have any Easter traditions with your kids?

 

 

Easter Crafts

Are you, like me, a parent of a craft-loving child? I have a 4-year-old who would “make art” all day long if I had the motivation, ideas, and supplies!

All of the chicks and bunnies floating around in Springtime are cute, but they don’t teach about the true Easter and the Resurrection. Here are some craft ideas I dug up that do help teach that to your child!

mosaiccross

Mosaic Cross at That Artist Woman

easter-rooster-canvas-937x1024

Remembrance canvas at OhAmanda

Hand and Footprint Donkeys at Catholic Icing

crossart

Easter Light Ray Cross at Philzendia

 

How do you keep Easter about Christ?

Not About the Eggs by Jessie Weaver

Easter Eggs 2

I went to Target on Saturday night to get diapers.

Every inch of the store is filled with bring Spring colors, plastic eggs, pastel-wrapped candies, bunnies, and baskets. Easter dresses and tiny three-piece suits fill the childrens section and Easter cards line the aisle. Egg plates. Roasting pans for clove-studded hams. Banners and flags and picture frames that all proclaim, “Happy Easter!”

It literally turned my stomach.

I have nothing against Easter egg hunts and baskets and dresses and Cadbury cream eggs are one of my favorite annual treats. But it feels like just another holiday we’ve morphed into a reason to buy cards, candy, and clothes. Another time for our kids to feel like they “deserve” something.

I know what I deserve: eternal separation from God, separated from Him by the blackness of my sin.

One of my favorite quotes is from Craig Groeschel’s book Confessions of a Pastor:

“If God were fair, I’d get what my sins deserve. I praise Him that He’s not fair … God is just, but He’s not fair. If He were fair, I’d have to suffer … forever.”

These next two weeks, I want to keep my focus on the reason we celebrate: the Resurrection that saved me from eternal death. My kids are a little young to understand being saved from their sins, but I want to start the tradition now of concentrating on Christ. I’m reading my 2-year-old the stories of The Last Supper, The Triumphant Entry, and Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection from every kids Bible we have in our house. She may not get it, but the words are there. The Word, instilled in her little heart.

How do you keep your kids focused on the true reason for Easter?

When Jessie Weaver is not busy being the resident ParentLife Blogger, she writes at Vanderbilt Wife and also for magazines like HomeLife and ParentLife. She lives in Chattanooga with her husband, where they run after two little ones: Libbie (2) and David (4 months).

 

The Story of Jesus – Easter Activities for the Whole Family by Christi McGuire

"The Story of Jesus” is presented in a colorful way in April’s ParentLife. Use this teaching tool to encourage your family through Bible study in the days leading up to Easter. Get everyone involved!

StoryofJesus.jpgThere are 24 stories of Jesus’ life in this teaching tool. As a family, read one passage each night from April 1 to Easter Sunday on April 24.

Divide each color block into different ways to share the story.
Read the blue passages aloud; act out the yellow passages; draw pictures to describe the story for the red passages; create a puppet show for the green passages.

Talk about or make a list of everything you know about Jesus.
Read the Bible stories together and see what new things you learn about Jesus! Make a list of all the new things you learned in Scripture about Jesus; pray together to thank God for continually learning through His Word.

Worship together by singing songs to go with the different passages about Jesus’ life. Song ideas might include: "Silent Night," "Jesus Loves Me," "God Is So Good," "Zacchaeus," "Fishers of Men," and "Christ the Lord is Risen Today." (For toddler and younger elementary-aged children, Wee Sing Bible Songs is a great CD with a singing book to follow along.)

Make a timeline of Jesus’ life. Cut apart each of the colored passages and place them in order on your timeline.

Read the Bible passage and let younger kids color a picture on that color of paper.
During the month, hang the pictures in a hallway to tell the story of Jesus’ life.

Cut up the colored Bible passages and mix them up.
Challenge older kids to place the passages in the correct order of Jesus’ life.

Give each person in your family a color to coincide with the Bible passages. Then each family member is responsible for planning the Bible study for that color passage. Challenge older children to create a song, activity, or game to go with the Bible passage. Help younger children retell the Bible story in a few simple sentences and create motions to a song.

Strengthen older children’s skills by hosting a Bible drill challenge. Each night, the first one to find the book, chapter, and verse of each passage gets to read it!

Do you do anything with your family to mark the weeks before Easter?

Thank you, Christi McGuire, for these helps. Christi is a freelance writer in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. She and her husband, Matt, enjoy each new day with their two daughters Mary-Allison (5) and Mia (3).