5 Ways to Teach Kids the Christian Meaning of Easter


When my oldest child was two and a half, he had two great loves:

Elmo and Jesus.

It was the height of the Tickle Me Elmo craze. And my in-laws had hunted down the prized toy for my son. Grandparents for the win!

My husband worked at the church we attended, and I volunteered often. So our little buddy found himself in the kids’ area a lot . . . and he loved it. He loved all the Bible stories, Veggie Tales, and Jesus songs he could get his chubby little hands on.

But when Easter rolled around for the little two-year-old, I remember asking other parents how they introduced the fact that Jesus was crucified to their child. I mean, to his little mind, would it be the same as killing Elmo?

Here’s some really good news. The central tenant of Christianity is that Jesus didn’t stay dead. He died, but then rose again! That’s a story I want my kids to internalize. Because the empty tomb on Easter Sunday is not just a memorial of a one-time event. I believe Jesus desires to resurrect the dead spaces deep down in our lives and in our world right now.

In a world filled with a lot of despair, I want my kids to know there’s always always hope. The dead spaces that I see and that are in me don’t have to stay that way. That’s what Easter means to me.

By all means, let’s have a huge egg hunt, eat too many jelly beans (Jelly Belly for life!), and pet baby chicks. But let’s not get so wrapped up in the fun that we forget to see what the Easter fun is pointing to . . . new life, of course!

In my home, my family and I are Christians. So being able to help my kiddos understand the most foundational parts of my faith is important to me. Here are 5 activities and tools I’ve used to teach my kids about the Christian meaning of Easter.


5 Ways to Teach Kids the Christian Meaning of Easter1. Jesus Storybook Bible

Run don’t walk if you don’t have this beautifully written and whimsically illustrated children’s Bible. It presents the best-loved stories of the Bible in an easy-to-understand format that has a depth to them that adults will appreciate (and, ahem, that will make adults tear up). Every story points to Jesus, the crux of the whole Bible, so technically the whole thing is about Easter.

2. Resurrection Eggs

This one is a big favorite with preschoolers in particular. You’ll need 12 plastic eggs. Inside each one is part of the resurrection story along with a tangible item the child can hold. It’s a tactile way to re-tell the story. Nice folks on Pinterest have put together some great directions for these, so I’ll link to one I like.

Directions and printable to make your own Resurrection Eggs. 

Or you can purchase them here on Amazon because you have a lot going on!

3. Resurrection Rolls

Even my big kids love making these because they’re delicious. If you hate cooking with kids, this one is for you. It’s really easy. No really. There are 5 ingredients. The basic gist is that you wrap up a marshmallow in dough (like pop-the-can crescent dough). Then while the roll bakes, the marshmallow melts. You break open the roll, and it’s empty . . . just like the empty tomb. I let my kids put these together while I read them the resurrection story and explain the significance of each ingredient.

Get step-by-step directions here.

4. Hot Cross Buns

I make these because my mom made these, and I think they’re pretty. They’ve been symbols of Easter and springtime for centuries. And heck, they’ve even inspired an annoying song that has plagued parents of young recorder players for almost as long.

I’m not gonna lie. It’s somewhat of an undertaking, but The Pioneer Woman’s Hot Cross Buns are lovely. Sometimes I love slowing down to bake or cook something special. And by sometimes, I mean about twice a year.

My kids love these treats. As we drizzle on the crisscross frosting, that’s a good time to remind them of all the symbolism. The cross obviously symbolizes the cross of the crucifixion. The spices in hot cross buns are said to represent the spices that were used to embalm Christ after his death. Traditionally, Christians eat these on Good Friday to signify the end of Lent.

5 Ways to Teach Kids the Christian Meaning of Easter5. Egg Your Friends and Neighbors

Have you ever surprised your friends or neighbors by “egging” them? My kids and I love to do this. One of my favorite Easter memories happened a few years ago. We could hear the excited squeals from inside our house as the little neighbor girl who lived next door discovered eggs all over her yard.

While this activity is not explicitly Christian, it implicitly does what Jesus has done for us. Put others before ourselves. Sacrifice something of ourselves for the good of others. We have to point it out to our kids, but we have opportunities to live out the life of Jesus in what we do every day.

Any time we serve or love without expectation of anything in return and without drawing attention to ourselves, it’s a tiny resurrection. A mini re-telling of the age-old story if you will. How’s that for breathing some new life into hard places?

Originally published March 2023.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

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Vanessa Bush
Vanessa loves her people and loves Albuquerque and has lots to say about both. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, Nate, and they have three kids (Micah, Corban, & Evangeline). Originally from Florida, she’s lived in Albuquerque since 2009 when she and her family relocated to start a new church. Even though she misses wearing flip-flops year-round, New Mexico has truly enchanted her, and the desert feels like home. When she is not chauffeuring children about town, Vanessa works as the Director of Strategy and part-owner of Truly Social Digital Marketing Agency, enjoys volunteering at church, loves watching college football, and drinks a little too much coffee. She is passionate about connecting women with each other, loving her people, and finding the good in her place. Follow her on Instagram @vanessamaebush.


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