How to Prepare Kids for Easter: Thriving Family Excerpt

“I don’t like Nana’s church because they’re mean to Jesus!” My 4-year-old bee lined for the door of my mother-in-law’s church. The Easter drama had just finished as big hot, angry tears hung in his eyes. And . . .


Well, It’s spring again. Easter is coming quickly and I thought I’d share with you some ways to help the children in your life. Many people. kids especially, need to deal with and understand Easter better (tweet).

I wrote a feature on this topic for Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family magazine. Here are some of the learning activities:

Dinner with Jesus
Set a blanket on the floor to eat your evening meal together as a family. Talk about what happened during the last meal that Jesus shared with His friends (Matthew 26:17). Consider preparing an authentic Passover meal. You can find instructions at Search for “Passover Lamb.”

The Cross
Place a light landscaping timber in your yard that’s about your child’s height. Ask your child to drag it from one side of the yard to another, then help him try to hammer a nail into it. Discuss what it may have felt like for Jesus to have His hand under the nail. Explain that being nailed to the Cross would have been painful, but it was more painful for Jesus to carry the sin of the whole world.

You can read more ideas for Easter and children activities to help a child at A Journey to Easter online, the full feature with many more playful activities demonstrating Easter in tangible fun.

And to update you, my son didn’t turn his back on church in the end. With many conversations and training, he was better prepared and able to understand the implications of the Easter story.

Do you have children in your life, neighborhood, or church that need a better understanding of Easter? What stories, ideas and traditions do you use? Share in the comments.

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Photo courtesy of mmagallan /


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2 thoughts on “How to Prepare Kids for Easter: Thriving Family Excerpt

  1. Great suggestions, Robin. It’s amazing what kids can envision from hearing or seeing the Easter story. One full-length play I wrote was all about how a child completely misunderstood the scene of Jesus on the cross in their church Easter play. She, too, thought they were being mean to Jesus!

    • It took a lot of convincing that what he saw (everyone just sitting around watching Jesus get beaten and killed) was not real. And yet those things really happened years ago to Jesus. I’m not sure I did a great job trying to explain it with a toddler and a baby needing my attention. But I tried.