When it comes to explaining religious holidays to children, it can often get a bit complicated, scary and even just too confusing with mixed messages. Finding ways to introduce and simplify the meaning is the best way to make sure that you are giving your child the information about the importance of that day.
Christmas is often a simplier concept for kids to understand, as it is about Jesus' birthday. Many kids will be able to relate to a little baby being born in the family, how exciting it must have been and even how difficult it must have been to have a baby in a stable with farm animals around!
When it comes to Easter, the concepts get a bit harder to explain so it's important that your child doesn't get scared or confused about death, resurrection and heaven. There's no need to rush it when your child is too young to understand, with each passing year, you may be able to introduce a new concept about the true meaning.
Here are 5 fun and simple family activities to help explain Easter and its symbols to your child;
1. Introduce your child to the meaning of the cross, by doing a simple cross craft that can start the conversation. The cross was how Jesus died on Good Friday. It is now a symbol to remind us that Jesus died so that we could go to heaven. We also love these ideas for crafts with crosses from Happy Home Fairy.
2. At Easter, we know that Jesus made a sacrifice for us., but what is a sacrifice? How could your family do something to demonstrate a sacrifice? Children might learn what a sacrifice means by donating an old toy or making a food donation. They might also learn to help others by donating family time to your local shelter, church or food bank. Lent is a time to give something up that you love- maybe your child could give up a special toy during that time or even just for Easter weekend!
3. Kids love to learn through play. Try making a 'tomb' with LEGO or blocks. Build a structure and put a LEGO or toy person inside to represent Jesus. Place a heavy object in front of the doorway and talk about what a miracle it would have been for Jesus to roll this rock away. You could even act out a few moments from the Easter story with costumes!
4. Eggs are a huge symbol for Easter. Representing new life, there are several egg crafts you can make with egg shapes. Have you ever made resurrection eggs with your child? Using 12 plastic Easter eggs, you can tie 12 Bible verses, parts of the story and small trinkets into a fun family countdown to Easter. Here is two examples that we love from Want What you Have and At Home with K.
5. Easter marks the beginning of Christians believing in new life in Heaven after they die. Take a moment to talk about Heaven with your child and make a picture of what they think it looks like. Without talking too much about death, have your child try to envision the beauty that God has planned in Heaven. This exercise might also be helpful if a loved one has passed away.
Have you talked to your child about the meaning of Easter? Share your tips and ideas!