Celebrating Holy Week With Kids: Updated for 2020

by Christine Sine

Easter bunny

Easter Sunday is the central celebration of our faith yet, I struggle more and more because it seems to me that what begins with triumphant shouts of Christ is Risen Alleluiah, and a beautiful flowering of the cross ends with an easter egg hunt.

“It’s great to see the kids so enthusiastic,” people tell me, but is it really? Is an enthusiastic sugar high really a substitute for celebrating the resurrection of Christ? Have we bought into the secular culture so much that we can no longer tell the difference?

Others struggle too. The values emphasized in the easter egg hunt are counter to kingdom values – greed, individualism and competitiveness drive kids to find more candy not to share, but for themselves. And what about the symbolism?

The Easter Bunny is a rabbit-spirit. Long ago, he was called the “Easter Hare”, hares and rabbits have frequent multiple births so they became a symbol of fertility. The custom of an Easter egg hunt began because children believed that hares laid eggs in the grass. The Romans believed that “All life comes from an egg.” Christians too, consider eggs to be “the seed of life” and so they are symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Why we colour and decorate eggs is not certain but in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and Persia eggs were dyed for spring festivals as a sign of fertility.

Now I am all for taking the symbols of the culture and transforming them into the symbols of our faith, but I wonder have we transformed this symbol or has it transformed us? Are our values and our joy in the resurrection of Christ subverted by the secular culture that is all into greed, consumption and competitiveness? Do we miss out on the life that the season is meant to renew in us because we are caught up in another world view?

Having said all that, I think that Holy Week and Easter Sunday in particular should be a wonderful celebration of life and faith for adults and kids. Here are some resources you might like to check out.

I add new resources to my Pinterest boards Lent and Easter with Kids and Prayer Stations with Kids on a regular basis so you might also like to check this out.

Looking for Crafts? 

This LEGO resurrection garden is a creative approach to the Easter story.

This article has some great ideas on how to create Prayer stations for Kids.

One of the most creative ideas for Easter week is what South Wilford Church of England Primary School in Nottingham did for Maundy Thursday.

And from youthpastor.com, a great suggestion for Holy week stations based on The Lord’s Prayer.

And here is another set of Stations of the Cross for Kids that is worth looking at.

tinfoil-cross-3-215x300This tin foil cross craft is also a creative project that I think would appeal to kids and adults alike.

Faith at home has some good suggestions on activities to participate in with children.

Christian Montessori has a very good collection of cross related activities – great for storytelling and meditation.

I also like the originality of this Holy Week in Handprints from Catholic Icing.

And Catholic Kids has a variety of colouring pages available for children of all ages.

Catholic Mom has printable Stations of the Cross for Kids.

And a Messianic Passover Seder for Families with Children.

And here are simple directions for making palm crosses.

Check out these Seven Ideas for Holy Week at Home by Christine V. Hides.

Resurrection Day Mini Puzzle Unit is a free download of 10 pages for pre-K to 5th grade kids.
The Anglican Church in Australia has a great resource for A Sense of the Resurrection (it will ask you to confirm that you are a human before you are able to access the download, this is normal and safe!)
Or, you might like to consider making Resurrection eggs – to me a better idea than Easter eggs. You could decorate them too.

In France, the bells, not the Easter bunny, bring the eggs: French Easter Bell craft because the bells stop ringing on Maundy Thursday and don’t ring again until the joyous sound of Easter Sunday.

Want to do some Easter Gardening?

mini resurrection gardenMake this Easter grace garden with your kids.

Or this simpler Easter Resurrection Garden 

Or perhaps this mini resurrection garden – which I love because it is a growing garden.

 

Looking for Recipes?Crown of Thorns bread

Think of making Crown of Thorn bread.

Or, try the traditional English treat for Good Friday, Hot cross buns, which I grew up with and still like to make every year.

And I love these creative Easter story cookies inviting kids into a sensual experience of cooking.

Looking for Videos?

Share this with your kids.

Or if your kids are LEGO enthusiasts, this is the video for you;

Or this one:

This is part of this series on Resources for Holy Week. 

Here are all the posts:

Resources for Palm Sunday

Resources for Maundy Thursday

Resources for Good Friday

Stations of the Cross

Resources for Celebrating Holy Week With Kids

Resources for Easter Sunday


Please check out our complete list of Godspace resources for Lent through Holy Week

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12 comments

Michael Moore March 25, 2015 - 5:15 pm

Yes… It dismays me how so many are more interested in the eggs and food…

Reply
Christine Sine March 25, 2015 - 5:29 pm

I wish we could find some creative ways to change this

Reply
» Celebrating Holy Week With Kids – Resources for 2015 March 25, 2015 - 7:24 pm

[…] Easter Sunday is the central celebration of our faith yet I struggle more and more because it seems to me …read more       […]

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[…] Excellent ideas and resources for celebrating Holy Week with children on the Godspace website.  Click here. […]

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Angelika March 29, 2015 - 4:42 am

why plan craft activities with children involving symbols of torture?

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Christine Sine March 29, 2015 - 6:18 am

Angelika, Holy week is about death and resurrection and I think that we need both emphases for kids and adults to help them understand

Reply
Linda March 31, 2015 - 2:54 am

Angelika, I would ask, “Why not”? If you are a Christian, you believe that these things happened and you want your children, to grow up knowing and understanding how wonderful these ‘symbols of torture’ actually are and what they represent for each and every one of us. They don’t need hiding, they need celebrating.

Reply
Christine Sine March 31, 2015 - 6:22 am

Thanks Phipin. One thing that does occur to me as I contemplate this is that we do tend to place more emphasis on the cross than on the new kingdom that Christ’s sacrifice was giving birth too. Evidently in early church art the cross was not at the centre, the kingdom of God was. The cross was seen as a means to an end rather than the end itself. Yes we need to celebrate the cross but even more we need to celebrate the kingdom

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