Christ's resurrection can be a complicated Bible story for young children to grasp. Provide activities that reinforce the story as you share it with the children. Offer them activities such as identifying vocabulary words associated with resurrection in a word search game, acting out the events of the resurrection story and creating a model of Christ's tomb or Easter egg cards for loved ones that convey uplifting resurrection messages.
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Word Search Game
Many words associated with the Easter story and Christ's resurrection can seem unfamiliar to kids. By creating a word search puzzle in which kids identify these words provides an opportunity for further explanation and discussion about the Resurrection of Jesus. Use a pre-made word search such as the one available at ChristianAnswers.net, or create your own emphasising the words that you would like to focus your lesson on. Consider including: Pharisees, Pontius Pilate, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Joseph of Arimathea, Sabbath and Passover. Once the children have solved the puzzle, discuss the terms included and their relation to Jesus' death and resurrection.
Tell the kids the story of Christ's resurrection and create a list of the characters involved. Cast the skit and have the children act the story out. Help them figure out details of the action, such as how far from the cross Jesus' body was taken to be placed in the tomb. Ask them to consider what role the approaching Sabbath had on the actions of those dealing with Jesus' body. Discuss with the children (and have them improvise a dramatic representation of ) how those responsible for Jesus' dead body might have spent their Sabbath day. Stage their return the following day to the empty tomb and what happened when they saw that Christ's body was gone.
Resurrection Egg Cards
Provide each child with a few egg-shaped pieces of construction paper to use for creating Easter cards. Ask the children to suggest some inspiring and uplifting phrases that relate to the resurrection of Jesus -- "He is Risen," "Jesus Saves," etc. Using markers, paints, glitter glue or any other decorative items, have the children decorate the top and bottom of their egg cards, reserving the middle portion for the name of the person that they will present the card to and their chosen resurrection phrase. Have the children take their finished cards home to present to their chosen recipients.
Using clay or Play Doh, have each student create a tomb as you describe or show images to them of what it actually looked like. Explain to them that Jesus was placed in this tomb just before the beginning of Jewish Sabbath, so his body was left to be dealt with after Sabbath. Once each child has completed his tomb, give each of them a small paper bag and newspaper for stuffing it. Explain that the opening to Jesus' tomb would have been covered with a large, heavy stone to seal it. Each child should fill their bag with newspaper, seal it with a piece of string and "roll" it in front of the tomb. Explain to them how the women came to finish preparing his body and found the stone rolled away, his body gone.
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