09 April 2009

Good Friday

If you are looking for a way to teach your children about the TRUE meaning of Easter, here are some ideas. A lot of them were derived from my friend Catherine: Blue Stocking Mama. The idea is to let the children see how the Savior spent the last week of his life.

Fill 12 plastic eggs with these items, and label them in order from 1 to 12:

1.) donkey
2.) piece of bread/sacrament cup
3.) piece of soap
4.) drops of blood shaped from playdough (or jsut a small piece of cloth stained with red marker
5.) 3 dimes
6.) thorn
7.) nail
8.) cross made from toothpicks or popsicle sticks
9.) piece of white cloth
10.) spices (allspice or cloves tied inside a little piece of cloth)
11.) stone
12.) leave empty

Find a map of Jerusalem. Here's a link with a decent picture map included:

http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&a mp;locale=0&sourceId=0dae9c84f5d6b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

Have an Easter egg hunt... either hide all the eggs at once or do it one at atime, allowing your children to take turns hiding it for their siblings. This way breaks up the sitting and listening part. :)

Open egg #1 - Read summary on back of GAK (Gospel Art Kit) 223. Make ahead or let kids themselves make palm leaves. (Using green construction paper, fold in half. Draw a semi circle from the folded center outward. Cut out. Cut "fringe" along curved edge. Unfold and glue a popsicle stick for the stem.) Give each kid a palm leaf and let them practice saying "Hosanna! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." Find Bethany, Bethpage and the Mount of Olives on the map and place stickers on each. Explain that the journey for Jesus to Jerusalem was 2 "furlongs" or miles.

Open egg #2 - Read summary on back of GAK 225 and explain that our Easter feast will be symbolic of the Last Supper, but the sacrament we take every Sunday was put in place at this very moment in time.

Pass out raisins, french bread and juice - kids may also dress up in robes if they'd like.

Open egg #3 - Read summary on back of GAK 226.

Open egg #4 - read summary on back of GAK 227. Find Gethsemane on the map and place sticker.

Open egg #5 - Read summary on back of GAK 228.

Open egg #6 - talk about friendship and loyalty; How is Jesus loyal to us? How can we be loyal to him? How can we be loyal to those we love? Have kids try on "Jesus sandals". (they're just paper cutouts) And sing "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus".

Open egg #7 and #8 together - Read summary on back of GAK 230. Let the kids smell/taste vinegar. Find Golgotha on the map and place sticker.

Open egg #9 and #10 together - Read summary on back of GAK 231.

Open egg #11 and #12 together - Read summary on back of GAK 232.

Make "Resurrection Rolls" (see allrecipes.com) Sit and eat the while watching "He Is Risen" (Animated stories from the new Testament)

Sing "Did Jesus Really Live Again" (I have GAK pictures that go along with the words to this, too)

Then talk about Easter the way we celebrate it. Have another Easter egg hunt, this time with candy inside the eggs. Sit down and discuss the origin (using pictures, i.e. clip art) of modern-day Easter symbols:

Eggs - represent life (in all living creatures, life begins with an egg)
Grass - the Garden of Gethsemane
Easter Bunny - derived from bunnies, lambs and other animals which symbolize new life during the Spring season
Lilies - the first flower to bloom after Christ died
Candy - the sweet and pure love of our Savior
Baskets - traditionally wooden, remind us of the cross upon which Christ was hung
New hat/shoes (clothes) - Explain that when I was a little girl, I always got a pretty, new, Sunday hat (one of which I kept, and will show my kids). The hat represents the humity we feel as we bow our heads in remembrance of our Savior. And new shoes, another tradition, represent the washing of the Apostles' feet by the Savior.

Don't have a great way to end it, I'm just hoping they make it this far! Lol! It will take a good while to get through it all, but I anticipate them really enjoying it.

Thanks to Catherine for getting the creative juices really flowing! She's one smart mom!

Hope some of you can use a few of these ideas as well! I just think it is so important to take some of the focus off the secular nature of this sacred holiday.


Alissa said...

this would be great for a primary activity

Lei said...

I'm thinking I might use it in my lesson on Sunday (CTR 5).

An Ordinary Mom said...

We do a variety of these things, too ... I adore the Easter season!

(The Jelly Bean Prayer might also be a fun one for your CTR 5 class. Simple and to the point!)

One Fish said...

I am totally going to do this next year.

Patience said...

Thanks for the ideas. The Easter Bunny wrote a letter to my kids about a special bunch of eggs that he hid with a fun game attached. After they gathered up eggs #1-12, we did the activities with each. All four of my kiddos (ages 2-7) loved the accompanying stories/pictures/activities and when we closed with a viewing of "Lamb of God", I think it really brought the point home. My 4yr old has already asked me multiple times, "Can we play the Jesus egg game again?" This may just become an Easter tradition. Thanks again for sharing.

Yvonne said...

I have that all in a plastic bag from a few years ago.

Hope you had a great Easter.