Christian Easter is not celebrated with rabbits and coloured eggs. This time of year represents the death of Jesus, the Christian leader. Young Christians learn how and why Jesus died. Crafts representing Jesus, the cross, and the ascension of Jesus to Heaven help teach lessons and reinforce the Crucifixion visually for children.
Milk Jug Donkeys
Use gallon milk jugs for this activity, which teaches children that Jesus rode a donkey while being transported during sentencing to death by the Romans. Paint the bottom of the jug brown,and extend the brown paint two inches up each side of the jug. Paint the rest of the jug brown. Attach eyes, hair and long paper ears to make a donkey head. Duct tape a length of PVC pipe to the jug opening to create a donkey hobby horse for the children to imitate Jesus riding the donkey.
Jesus Ascends to Heaven
After the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, Jesus ascended to Heaven before the eyes of his followers. Discuss this story with the children, then use a cup and a length of string for this project. Decorate the cup with cotton to represent clouds. Poke a hole in the bottom of the cup and insert string through the hole. Attach a printed image of Jesus to the end of the string that hangs from the inside of the cup. Pull the string to watch Jesus ascend into the clouds.
Jesus Faith Necklaces
Jesus spoke of faith and everlasting love during his Crucifixion. Discuss the brevity of Jesus' life and his willingness to die for the sins of humans. Remind children that this is the reason Christians love Jesus. Use lengths of string, beads, crosses and bead hearts to help children make beaded "love for Jesus" necklaces. If possible, write messages of love to Jesus on the hearts and crosses.
Create a standing cross to give children a visual of Jesus' place of death. Glue together wooden craft sticks in the shape of a cross. Prepare a clay or mould mound and insert the cross into the mound. Decorate the mound with flower patterns and drape a purple cloth over the cross to represent the burial shroud. When the clay dries, the cross will stand upright and the children will have a take-home project.