This year it just so happens that we won’t have Sunday School or children’s church on Easter Sunday. While it’ll be nice to have a bit of a “week off,” I was a little bummed that I wouldn’t get to teach an Easter lesson. So, when the local youth center asked if I would give a brief message to two groups of kids before their Easter egg hunt today, I was thrilled! Hopefully some of my ideas could help you to spice up your Easter experience with your kids 🙂
The Tale of Three Trees
The first group of kids were in grades 1 through 3. I decided to tell them the tale of three trees with a bit of a dramatic twist. If you are unfamiliar with the story, here is the gist of the version that I told. The story goes that there were once three trees planted near each other. They each had a dream. The first dreamed of becoming a treasure chest, the second dreamed of becoming a mighty ship, and the third dreamed of staying rooted, tall and strong, to remind all who saw it of how great and awesome God is. One day the first tree is cut down, but, much to its disappointment, it was used to build a feeding trough for animals. Much to the tree’s surprise, though, it turned out to be the manger used to hold baby Jesus. Later, the second tree is cut down, but, much to its disappointment, it was used to build a small fishing boat, not a mighty ship. However, that fishing boat is the very one from which Jesus calms the storm. Finally, one day the third tree, much to its disappointment, is cut down. Later, it is used to build a cross, the very one that was used in Jesus’ crucifixion. Each of the three trees were used in very different ways that they had planned, but were still used by God.
Now, to present the story, I had three kids come to the front, representing the three trees. They acted along with parts of my story (i.e. “The first tree was excited that the woodcutter came to cut him down. He was finally going to become a treasure chest!”). Then, as we learned of each tree’s final purpose, each volunteer was given a corresponding picture (i.e. after finding out what eventually happened to the first tree, the volunteer held up a picture of Jesus in a manger). After the story was finished, we talked about Jesus’ resurrection and what that means for each of us.
The kids were completely enthralled. Most of them have some knowledge of the Bible, but most are from unchurched families, so I’m sure that few, if any, had heard the story before.
He Washes Us White As Snow
For the older kids, I did something a little different. First, we walked through a set of the resurrection eggs, to gain some familiarity with the Easter story, as the majority of them are also from unchurched families. Then, I used this fabulous object lesson from Ministry-to-Children.com. Basically, I covered up a kid with a plastic poncho and some swimming goggles. Then, I put a white shirt over the plastic poncho and squirted the shirt with washable paint to represent our sins (The kids gave examples of different sins for each squirt). We then discussed that because Jesus died for us, we can be washed clean, at which point I gave the volunteer a new white shirt. Be sure to lay down some plastic table cloths on the floor to keep things clean, but it’s worth it for the reaction from the kids!
Have a happy Easter, everyone!