The Resurrection is one of the most important truths about Jesus that kids will ever have the opportunity to hear. The resurrection of Christ means confidence that the entire testimony of Jesus is true, that payment for sin has been made in full, and that there is sure victory over sin and death. Let’s help children experience His resurrection this Easter.
Here are 10 Easter ideas for children’s ministry on Easter Sunday:
1. Teach kids about Easter by having a Mary Magdalene reenactment
Mary Magdalene is a central figure in the Easter story (Mark 16, John 20) and an amazing example of devotion to Jesus. This Easter idea will lead your class to a deeper understanding of who Mary Magdalene was and her amazing story!
In one of your children’s ministry classrooms or meeting halls, create the illusion of the tomb over the entire area by using dark paper or fabric. When all the children are assembled “in the tomb”, dim the lights. At that point, have someone portraying Mary Magdalene come through a bright opening to declare that Jesus is no longer “in the tomb” because “He is alive!” Then, have her share her amazing testimony. Have her tell about her bondage and deliverance and how she became a devoted disciple of Jesus and followed Him even to the cross. Let her talk about the sorrow and grief she experienced upon finding the tomb empty and how she stood alone weeping. Have her describe her experience when the two angels appeared on the scene to comfort her. Finally, let her recall the most amazing experience of all, how Jesus appeared to her and spoke her name. Mary Magdalene was the very first witness to the most important event in all of history, the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
2. Use visual storytelling to tell the story of Jesus
To read the Resurrection story, using supporting pictures, puppets or flannel board is one way to do it, but an animated or dramatic presentation on a big screen is even better. If you are a Sharefaith Kids member, you’re all set up with the lesson titles, “The Crucifixion”, “The Resurrection”, and “Ascension and Pentecost” all at your fingertips.
Sharefaith Kids is also giving away a free Easter lesson right now that comes with everything you need to plan and present your Easter church kids service. Download now to get a free Bible lesson video and PowerPoint slidedeck, along with printable activities and an online family devotional so kids can share and talk about what they learned with their parents at home.
3. Create and decorate an empty tomb that kids can walk in
In John 20, we read the incredible account of the empty tomb, where Mary Magdalene went to Jesus’ burial site only to find the stone rolled away and his body missing. Jesus had risen from the dead!
Since Easter Sunday is all about celebrating the Resurrection, include an empty tomb somewhere in the program to nicely set the theme. This is a fun Easter idea for children’s ministry that lets you have some fun with decorating and teaching. First, set up a tent and drape it over with gray sheets to make it look more like a cave, or a tomb. Inside the “tomb”, place several small strips of white cloth in the tent to symbolize the burial linens left behind. After talking about the death and resurrection of Jesus, have each child talk about what they see inside the makeshift tomb. The disciples found the tomb empty because Jesus was no longer there. He is alive! Let each child take one strip of cloth to bring home to use in sharing the great news!
4. Have your kids follow along and draw the Easter story
Central to the story of Easter is Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. With His death, He paid our debt of sin in full and, with His resurrection, He conquered sin and death for all who believe!
While you are telling the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection in your Easter Sunday message, have the children draw each segment of the story as you tell it. The story can be divided into four parts: 1. Jesus died on the cross; 2. Jesus was buried in the tomb; 3. Tomb is empty; and 4. Jesus is alive! Have the children draw each segment on the page as you tell the story and as you direct them.
5. Craft and decorate a popsicle stick cross magnet
In 1 Peter 2:24, we are told that Jesus “carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we would be dead to sin and live for righteousness.” To talk about the wonder of Easter, we must talk about the wonder of the cross.
This is a great Easter craft for kids. You will need lots of popsicle sticks (two for each child), pastel colored sand, and small magnets. Have each child create a cross from the two popsicle sticks and glue where the two sticks meet (you might want to complete this step ahead of time). Then have each child spread a thin layer of glue on the surface of the cross and sprinkle colored sand over it. Let the project dry during other activities. Afterwards, glue a magnet to the back of each cross.
6. Hand out Easter church kids activity books to color and fill out
There are tons of great Christian Easter activity books available online and in Christian bookstores with children’s ministry in mind. Kids love the Sunday School coloring pages, Bible crossword puzzles, kids Bible mazes, Spot the Difference, Bible bookmarks and Sunday School word search puzzles. What they don’t complete in class, they get to take home for continued fun.
7. Help kids perform an Easter program
The top Easter songs contain some of the most memorable lines ever written. These songs are beautiful, timeless and triumphant!
Prepare your children to present Easter in music or drama during a segment of the adult Easter service. Songs like “Were You There?”, “Christ the Lord is Risen, Today”, “Tell Me the Story of Jesus”, and “Alive, Alive” are all great songs to praise the risen Lord. These melodies are especially beautiful when performed by the angelic voices of children.
8. Use these great Easter snack ideas
No children’s ministry event is complete without snacks. A healthy trail mix with a smattering of pastel chocolate, carrot cake muffins, crackers in plastic eggs, Easter story cookies, and cupcakes in spring colors and Easter themes, are all delightful options.
9. Try these Easter game ideas
Easter is a time of rejoicing and celebration. This is why Easter games are such a great idea for your children’s ministry. Joy, laughter and a bunch of great Easter games should all be involved in making a great Easter service for kids to remember!
[Ages 5-7] In the Tomb, Out of the Tomb
Supplies: masking or painters’ tape
Place a long piece of tape on the floor to divide the playing area. Designate the right side of the line as “in the tomb” and the other side of the tape as “out of the tomb.” Stand on the “out of the tomb” side, and have the children face you while standing in the “in the tomb” side of the line. When you call out either “in the tomb” or “out of the tomb,” the children should jump to the side you have called. If they fail to jump at all, or jump to the wrong side, they are out. Make it extra challenging by picking up the pace, and calling out the same side several times before switching. The teacher can make it tricky by pointing to one side while calling out the other. The last child standing wins.
[Ages 5-7] Roll the Stone Relay
Supplies: several slightly heavy stones or balls
To play this outdoor game, divide the class into teams and instruct the teams to stand in a line. On “go,” the first child in line will roll the stone to a specified point, then roll the stone back. The next child does the same, and so on. The first team to complete the exercise wins!
The stone that was rolled in front of Jesus’ tomb was very large, very heavy and would have taken several people to move. When Jesus rose from the tomb, an angel rolled back the stone.
[Ages 8-10] “He is Alive!” Letters
Supplies: Large cutout letters spelling out the phrase, “He is Alive!”
Divide the children into groups, and give each group a large letter. Provide each group with materials to decorate the letter—glue, glitter, ribbon, cutouts, stickers, crayons, markers, buttons, etc. When the letters are all completely decorated, hang them up somewhere on the church campus for all to enjoy!
He is Alive!
[Ages 5-7] Cross Bookmark
Supplies: Cardstock cutouts, glue, markers, glitter, colored yarn, hole punch
Provide each child with a cardstock cutout of a cross (or alternately, cut vertical and horizontal rectangles and have the children glue them together to form a cross). The cross should be small enough to fit in a standard bible. The children can glue, tape, or carefully tie a piece of yarn to the top of the cross. To tie the yarn through the cross, use the punch to make a hole in the top of the cross and gently tie it. Have the children write one of the memory verses from today’s lesson on the cross and decorate the cross as they choose.
[Ages 8-10] Spreading the Good News
A variation on hide and seek. Tell the students to gather in a group, close their eyes, and count to 30 while one student hides. When the group finishes counting, the hunt is on! The students then spread out to find the hiding player; as the seekers find the player hiding, they join him or her in the hiding place and whisper “He is Risen,” until all the seekers have found the hiding place. The last player to join the group becomes the next person to hide.
[Ages 8-10] Gospel Charades
Supplies: strips of paper
On strips of paper, write the names of characters and events relating to the resurrection story, and place them in a bucket or hat. Choose a player to start the game. Using the regular rules of charades, or your own variation of those rules, have each child take a turn drawing from the bucket and act out the word they select. The first person to guess the word or phrase, gets a point. The person with the most points at the end of the game wins.
10. “He Lives” door hanger
How about one more craft idea for your Easter children’s ministry event? Cut out the shape of a cross from colored cardstock, with a large hole toward the top—large enough for a doorknob to fit through. Let the kids decorate them with foam Easter Lily cutouts; then have them use foam letter cutouts to inscribe the words “He Lives”. The foam lilies and foam letters can be purchased at your local craft supply store.
There you have it. I’ve included Easter ideas to cover you for storytelling, games, dramas, snacks, crafts and activities. I hope this list containing 10 Easter Ideas for Children’s Ministry on Easter Sunday is helpful, or at the very least, gets the creative juices flowing.
Easter Sunday provides an amazing opportunity for churches everywhere to reach new visitors with the Gospel. This is why it’s so important to plan strong Easter programming for your children’s church as it may be the first time they’ve ever heard about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ! Sharefaith Kids has made planning easier with an entire bundle of resources and activities from The Empty Tomb Easter church kids lesson. This lesson gives you a beautifully animated and narrated Bible video, slideshows with engaging Q&A slides to help your kids retain what they learned, and fun activities that they can fill out and take home, as well as an online family devotional to share with parents.
Download The Empty Tomb Easter church kids lesson for free and make your upcoming Easter service a momentous occasion for families to learn about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and give them the opportunity to put their faith in Him as their Lord and Savior.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2015 and has been completely updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.