“Hey Mum, can Jesus die on the cross again soon so that I can have Easter eggs?” my four-year-old asked me innocently the other day. I had a little giggle but it reminded me that my kids probably need a refresher on the original meaning of Easter and how it’s all connected! Let’s face it, explaining crosses, dying and being raised to life again in an age- appropriate way is, well, ahhhhhh, challenging. Here’s 3 tips that we believe will help you as a parent to remember when explaining it to your kiddies!
I’ve found the key to making anything a win in parenting is that magic word: FUN! Every child has a different idea of fun but the good news is that you know your child better than anyone in the world and you know what makes them tick! Last year my boys, who were 3 and 5, were really into Duplo. They were so excited as we sat together and built a tomb and a cross out of duplo. We put “Jesus” (which was a Spiderman duplo character) in the tomb and put a rock in the mouth of the tomb. We acted out the whole story with the duplos and on Easter Sunday, they checked the tomb and Jesus was gone! I could see their little minds connect the dots and the story came alive to them… because we told the story with what made sense to them! This concept works for anything from Barbies to Paw Patrol to Lego; whatever your kid loves, capitalise on that!
Don’t do all the hard work yourself; nobody’s got time for that! There’s actually so much already available that is helpful and informative, use it! One of our favourite things to do leading up to Easter is to watch Youtube clips telling the Easter story. Most parents would tell you that their kids love repetition (which is why they want to watch the same Bluey episode over and over) and watching the Easter story several times over can help cement it in their little minds. Here’s a few Easter story videos that are engaging and tell the true story of Easter.
- A Happy Sunday
- The Easter Story
- SuperBook - The Last Supper (for older kids)
Also, there are so many beautiful story books written for kids specifically that tell the Easter story. We have collected story books over the years and take them out the week before Easter every year and them put them back away after Easter. That way, they are a bit of a novelty and exciting for the kids.
The story of Jesus dying on the cross is pretty full-on and as adults, we can find it challenging to explain to children. There’s no need for gory details but there's also no way to sugarcoat it because the truth is that Jesus had to die to rise again. But focusing on the positive and especially the Resurrection is the key! When I discuss this with my kids, we pause to remember Jesus’ sacrifice and then we celebrate Jesus raising from the dead on the third day! “Jesus is alive!” is what I want to stick in their heads! Encourage and answer questions (and trust me, kids have a lot) because that’s how we learn best.
Easter is such a beautiful season and it’s so special our kids to know and understand the reason that we celebrate! Happy Easter, everyone!
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