Jesus trees, Lent and Christian Easter activities for children

This Easter we are continuing to build family traditions as we focus on the biblical events that are the foundations of the Easter celebration. Here are some of the new activities we are trying out for Easter this year. The ones we like will become yearly traditions, the others we’ll have fun doing just this time. We haven’t actually made any of these yet so they are untried recommendations, however they look like fun and we’ll take the punt that they are worth the time and effort.

We have already missed the start of lent and with our latest baby due any time now we will not be attempting the 40 day count down, but this Jesus tree activity we’ll save for next year. Similar to the Jesse tree that we made for Christmas, a Jesus tree uses picture or object symbols to represent the major biblical stories culminating in the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. My plan for this is to collect 2 large branches and fasten them together to make a natural looking cross. We will then read the bible verses that go with each symbol, colour them in and add them to the cross over the 40 days of Lent. Free printable symbols are available at this blog, with a black and white and colour version as well.

In place of the Jesus tree count down we will use our resurrection eggs to count down the 12 days before Easer. (This year our resurrection eggs contain bible readings that retell the main events of Easter plus little symbols for each part that come from this blog.) I plan to hide one each day for the children to find and read during circle time.

These Easter story pecan cookies have an amazing amount of symbolism woven through the recipe. As each ingredient is added to the biscuits, a snippet of the Easter story is read that relates to that ingredient and even the way it is mixed or prepared has symbolism. The cookies are placed into the oven tomb are hollow when the tomb is re-opened. I can’t wait to do this one.

These resurrection rolls (scroll down at the link to find them) are also very symbolic, with the Easter story attached to the method of preparing and the ingredients used. Rather than buy a prepared dough that we probably can’t get in Australia anyway, I’ll just mix up a basic sweet dough in the bread maker and use that. Even sheets of prepared pastry would work.

We will use these symbols of Jesus to decorate Easter crosses by cutting out just the pictures and make cute cracked egg Easter cards. This article with general information about Lent was helpful as I really didn’t have much of an idea what Lent was all about and we’ll make these simple palm branches for Palm Sunday.

The legend of the pretzel was another great find this year. I had no idea that there was symbolism attached to pretzels or that they were traditionally an Easter food. We will attempt the paper pretzel pattern (although I made one myself and found it easier to do it by trial and error as I had no idea whatsoever how to follow the instructions they gave!) I think the children will have much more fun making real dough pretzels and topping them with a variety of flavours.

Another paper craft was this paper plate tomb and angel and a bunch of Easter lapbook activities from a variety of sites:

More ideas are available in my last post here.

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