I remember, as a young mother, what the “after Easter slump” felt like. The children were grumpy after their sugar high. Little bits of fractured egg shell were in the carpet. I would find candy wrappers and Easter basket grass in all sorts of secret hiding places for weeks to come.
I don’t want to put away the story of Jesus along with the Easter decorations! It has occurred to me that the days following Easter are a great time to review the story of the resurrection and talk about the impact this event has on our lives every day of the year.
You might notice how shops tend to put all of their Easter decorations on sale after Easter. How about buying a dozen of those plastic Easter eggs (the kind you open and put things inside)? You can use them to review the story of the resurrection. Of course you don’t have to use plastic eggs at all if they are not available. You can just show the items to the children one after the other. The eggs are just easy to use and store away.
Here’s what you do:
(click here for printable instructions)
- Collect 12 plastic eggs and a used egg carton to store them in.
- Use a permanent marker to number the eggs from one to twelve.
- Collect representative items (listed below) and put them inside the eggs. Place the eggs inside the egg carton.
- Introduce the story by asking the children how they would feel if they went on an Easter egg hunt and every egg they found was empty. Lead into the lesson by saying sometimes it is GOOD if an egg is empty. Sometimes an empty egg is the best egg of all.
- Open the egg carton and begin the lesson by opening egg number one.
- As you open the eggs one at a time you re-tell the story to the children. You might let them guess what each of the items might represent.
- After you tell the story distribute the eggs to the children and let them take turns re-telling the story.
- If you are able and have fewer children then you might help the children make one of these sets each to take home.
Here’s a list of items for inside the eggs:
- Egg #1: A leaf or twig for the Triumphal Entry– Matthew 21:1-11
- Egg #2: A cracker or communion cup for The Last Supper– Luke 22:7-23
- Egg #3: Coins for Judas betraying Jesus– Matthew 26:14-16
- Egg #4: Thorns from a bush for the crown of thorns Matthew 27:27-31
- Egg #5: A cross for Jesus carrying the cross John 19:17
- Egg #6: Nails for Jesus being nailed to the cross John 19:18; John 20:25-29
- Egg #7: Dice and purple cloth for the soldiers casting lots for Jesus’ clothes– John 19:23-24
- Egg# 8: Black paper or cloth for darkness covering the earth– Matthew 27:45
- Egg #9: Sponge for the offer of vinegar on a sponge– Matthew 27:46-48
- Egg #10: Cloth (white) for Joseph of Arimathea wrapping Jesus in cloth– Matthew 27:57-60
- Egg #11: A stone for the stone that was rolled away– Matthew 28:1-4
- Egg #12: EMPTY!!- Jesus is alive! Matthew 28:5-7
This idea is not new with me. I’ve listed some sites below that explain some other variations.
- Teaching items to collect for eggs at http://www.momfare.com/2011/04/24/plastic-eggs-turn-them-into-the-true-meaning-of-easter/
- Teaching items in eggs and printable scripture references at http://www.playeatgrow.com/2012/03/play-and-grow-homemade-resurrection.html
- If you are in a rush then here is one example with printable picture cards to put inside the eggs at http://www.christianpreschoolprintables.com/wp-content/uploads/CPP/BibleHolidays/Easter/ResurrectionEggsUpdate.pdf
- I like how this one shows a picture of all the items laid out on a plate so you can see them at a glance. I’m not Catholic so I wouldn’t stress Catholic tradition as she does but I think her example is great. At http://www.momfare.com/2011/04/24/plastic-eggs-turn-them-into-the-true-meaning-of-easter/