The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the keystone of Christianity. Easter celebrates this victory over death for all who come to Christ, and the new life they receive. A focus on Jesus' death and Resurrection, and what the Resurrection means to them, can help children understand its importance in their faith.
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Provide a picture of the tomb with an empty cross in the background for the children to colour. Have them colour and cut out a figure of Jesus as risen. Add a craft stick to the back of the figure. Cut a slit in the middle of the tomb so the Jesus figure can slide into view. As you tell the story, let the children have Jesus come out of the tomb. Colour a picture of the risen Christ with clouds above Him. Add cotton balls to the clouds. The heading on Resurrection pictures should read: "Jesus died and rose again for __" (insert the child's name). Explain that Jesus died and came to life again because He loves them, and that if they believe in Jesus, they will live with Him forever in Heaven. End with the song, "Heaven is a Wonderful Place."
Make a Motion
As you tell children the story of Jesus' Crucifixion and Resurrection, have them use actions to portray elements of the story. When Jesus is on trial, the children can yell, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" When you talk about the cross, have them cross their arms or hold their arms out so their whole body becomes a cross. Have them mimic dying as Jesus dies. Let them roll the stone in front of the tomb and keep watch as soldiers. They can be frightened and fall down at the Resurrection and later worship the risen Lord. You can explain motions ahead of time, have an assistant showing which actions to make, or ask them to act out the story with their own improvisations as you tell it.
Provide a plastic egg for each child. As you tell the story, show symbols of the story, such as a cross, a stone to symbolise the stone rolled away from the tomb, and a strip of cloth for Jesus' burial clothes. The children make a cross from cardboard, straw pieces or small twigs. They can cut a small piece of white cloth and choose a piece of gravel that you provide. All items must be small enough to fit into plastic Easter eggs. Include a paper with John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Children add their names to the outside of the eggs. Provide four plastic Easter eggs. The children put one item into each egg. Cut egg cartons so each child has a safe place for their eggs. Whether they use one egg or four, let the children tell the Easter story using their egg illustrations.
On cardstock, print out Resurrection characters and items such as Jesus, tomb, cross, soldiers and an angel. Have children colour and cut out the figures. Add craft or longer sticks to the back. Each child can have a complete set of figures to hold up as you tell the story. After you tell the story, group the children and let them, in turn, tell the story using the puppets they've created.
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