Written by Julie McConnell
Easter has always been a bit tough for me, from a Christian parenting perspective. I mean, we have to teach our kids about Jesus’s death and resurrection, which is a pretty tough concept for little ones. And then there’s the bunny. And the candy filled eggs to hunt for, and the baskets of presents and colored hard-boiled eggs. Easter has become incredibly commercialized and secular, which makes it hard to keep the focus on Jesus. This year, I’ve been looking for ways to keep my children engaged in the real meaning of Easter and ways to explain the Easter story to them better, and Zondervan’s Beginner’s Bible is helping with that.
The Beginner’s Bible has long been a staple in Christian homes, since its original release in 1989. It’s one of the first Bible’s my kids were ever given, and remains one they love to read. It has over 90 stories, including stories of Jesus riding the donkey into Jerusalem and being welcomed by the crowd, the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet, the last supper, Jesus’s arrest, crucifixion, resurrection, return to see His disciples again, and his ascension into heaven. They are relatively short, and easy for little kids to understand, but still contain all the main points of each story. There are also lots of bright colored pictures, which keep the interest of little ones. I like to read these stories to my girls during the week between Palm Sunday and Easter, and follow up the Easter with the stories of His visits with His disciples and return to Heaven. Usually, I start the day after Palm Sunday. My girls have just finished participating in one of my very favorite Easter traditions, the parade of palms. There’s just something about singing hosanna and seeing all the children, and adults, praising Jesus that gets me every time. Once the parade is over, I read the story to my girls, so that they can relate it to what they just did in church. We then move on to reading the rest of the stories that lead us to Easter.
Fun Ideas for Sharing the True Meaning of Easter
In addition to the Beginner’s Bible, there are some great resources out there for keeping Jesus the center of Easter. Zondervan’s website has a great video of the Easter story, using the same illustrations as their Bible, so your kids will be familiar with it. They also have some free coloring and activity sheets you can use! Check it out here. https://info.zondervan.com/beginners-bible-new/
Easter Scavenger Hunt
Another fun idea I think I’m going to try this year is an Easter scavenger hunt. If the weather cooperates, we may try to go to a park on Good Friday. We will read “Jesus is Arrested and Crucified” from our Beginner’s Bible, and then I will ask the kids to find the following items, and after they bring them back, we will discuss what each item represents with the story of Easter.
- Rock – the tomb
- Two sticks – the cross
- Something black – sin
- Something red – blood
- Something white – a clean heart
- Something green – growing in Christ
I may have to take some items along to hide in the park in case the items we need can’t be found easily, but I think this will be a great way to combine the story in the Beginner’s Bible with an object lesson about WHY Jesus died for us and what that means for us.
A Baking Project
I also think we will try a baking project to teach about the true meaning of Easter. My four year old loves to help cook, so this will be perfect for her! There are several ideas out there for food-related Easter projects, but the one I liked the best is for resurrection rolls. All you need are crescent rolls, marshmallows, melted butter, and a cinnamon sugar mix. We may try this for Easter breakfast, if we make it up early enough!
Here are the directions:
- Spread out the crescent triangles individually and explain that these represent Jesus’s tomb.
- Take the marshmallow, which represents Jesus, and dip in the butter and the cinnamon sugar mix, explaining that this is similar to how Jesus would have been prepared for burial with oils and spices.
- Next, wrap the marshmallow (Jesus’s body) in the crescent roll (His tomb), and seal the edges, just like Jesus’s tomb was sealed with a stone.
- Bake the rolls just like the package says.
- When they come out and cool, let your child open up one of the rolls. The marshmallow will have disappeared into the roll. Jesus isn’t in His tomb! He is risen!
My Easter Plan
I’m thinking we will first read the story “Jesus is Risen” from our Beginner’s Bible, and then start baking!
With our Beginner’s Bible, and some other fun ideas like the ones above, I am confident I will be able to help my girls understand the true meaning of Easter this year.
Other Recommended Resources
The Beginner’s Bible® has been a favorite with young children and their parents since its release in 1989 with over 25 million products sold.The Beginner’s Bible, The Very First Easter introduceschildren to one of the most inspiring stories of all time: Jesus’ death to save us from our sins. Readers will learn about the events leading up to Jesus’ death and his miraculous return to life. With exciting new artwork from the bestselling The Beginner’s Bible, this book will help children understand why we celebrate this special day.
Introduce children to the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Young readers will learn about Jesus’ miracles and teachings, his return to the world, and his promises to come back again one day. With short, simple text, this board book will connect children to the greatest story of all.
Featuring brand-new art from the beloved The Beginner’s Bible, a die-cut format, and a beautiful foiled cover, parents will love sharing this board book with their children.
Julie is a life-long Hoosier, wife, and mother of two. When she is not working in her pharmacy, she spends her time with her husband and daughters in Indianapolis. She is a member of Geist Christian Church and enjoys playing outside with her girls, finding fun things to do in Indy, watching football, and reading bedtime stories.