Done With Diligence

10 Easter Traditions for Kids that are Christ-Centered

Easter is such a wonderful time of year for Christian families!  But if we aren’t intentional, we can find ourselves settling for secular Easter traditions filled with chocolate bunnies and Peeps. As with any holiday, I want use Easter as an opportunity to point my kids towards Christ.  I want to shine a light brightly on another aspect of the Gospel. And while I certainly want to us to have fun and make memories together, I want our traditions to plant seeds in their little hearts and move us closer to Him.

So, over the years, I’ve added a few more traditions here and there.  All of which focus on the true meaning of Easter.  Today, I’ll share 10 ideas with you, so let’s go!

1. Make a Tomb Easter Garden

Look closely for the army men my boys added a few years ago!

This tradition has definitely become a favorite!  As soon as the Easter decorations come out of the attic, we start building our tomb! You simply need a platter/tray of some sort, potting soil, rocks, a large stone, grass seed, a small plastic cup, and 6 popsicle sticks.  I won’t go into a full tutorial on how to assemble the garden, but if you need one, The Frugal Homemaker offers a great one here.  

The scene features the 3 crosses on the hill at Golgotha (Jesus’s cross in the middle, and the 2 thieves on either side).  It also features and empty tomb, and we roll the stone in front of it on Good Friday. And leave it to my boys…they’ve even started putting little green army men in front of the tomb to guard it!

We trade out “watering days”, and my kids absolutely love taking turns spraying the soil with water from our spray bottle.  And when those first few sprigs of grass start popping up, there is much excitement!  We use the Tomb Garden as a centerpiece on our table, and it’s such a beautiful reminder of real meaning of Easter.

2. Decorate with Lambs and Sheep, Not Bunnies!

ivy holding sheep and chalk board sign

A simple swap I made several years ago was ditching my Easter bunnies and keeping my eye out for lambs or sheep instead!  Bunnies, while very cute, have no connection to the Christian meaning of Easter.  Instead, there are many scriptural references to the Lamb of God or sheep.  I found this cute sheep at Hobby Lobby a few years back.

John 1:29– The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!

Isaiah 53:9– We all like sheep have gone astray, each one has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:7– He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

3. Good Friday Timeline and Bible Reading

picture of good friday timeline printable

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On Good Friday, we always post this timeline of events on the front of our refrigerator.  We will take note of the next time on the list (my kiddos are watching the clock like hawks!), then we’ll gather in the kitchen at that time.  We’ll read the chart and then one of the older children will read the passage of scripture.  

We just leave a Bible open on the kitchen counter to make it easy to read the next passage.  It’s one of our more meaningful Easter traditions because it pulls the whole family together throughout the day to reflect on Jesus’ death in a powerful way. It’s so cool to hear their little voices shouting with excitement, “It’s 9:00, Mama, hurry!!”  I love that my kids’ hearts and minds are exactly where they should be on such an important day.  And after we’ve all felt the weight and darkness of Good Friday, it makes Resurrection Sunday that much more beautiful and hope-filled!

4. Easter Music Playlist

cross and sunrise with easter song titles

Ask anyone their favorite Christmas song, and you’ll get a quick answer.  But their favorite Easter song? You’ll hear crickets.  Why is that?  Isn’t Easter worthy of great music to fill our hearts and our homes with worship?  

We love music from Keith and Kristyn Getty.  They use theologically-rich lyrics and sing-able music to engage others in deep worship.  Every year they produce a new Easter song.  I’ll compile some of our favorites into a YouTube playlist, and we’ll play those songs throughout the Easter season.  Whether we’re riding in the car or cleaning up after dinner, Easter music is often playing.  The best thing is hearing my kids walk around the house singing these incredible truths, even if we haven’t fully unpacked them yet.

5. Bible Verses and Lyrics around the Home

A great way to keep Easter truths in the forefront of you family’s mind is with chalkboards and signs.  I have multiple chalkboards around our home, and at Easter time, I love to pull scripture or song lyrics that reflect the hope of Easter.

As I mentioned above, the Getty’s music is jam-packed with reflection-worthy lines.  And the best part?  I’ll often hear my kids or my husband walking around the house singing the songs that I posted. And every so often, the kids will ask a thoughtful questions about the lyrics they’ve been singing.  What an exciting opportunity to have a deep conversation about theology!  And all from a simple chalkboard!

These signs have got to be one of my favorite Easter traditions because they are so valuable, so easy, and can be changed up every year.  I highly recommend picking up a few chalkboards from Hobby Lobby and placing them around your home.  And don’t forget to put one on the bathroom counter…you have a captive audience twice a day while they are brushing their teeth!

Need a chalkboard? Check Hobby Lobby or Amazon. You’d be surprised at the beautiful options out there, like this one.

6. Resurrection Eggs

carton of resurrection eggs and booklet

Beginning 12 days before Easter, we open one Resurrection Egg together.  Each of the plastic eggs contains a little figurine that points to one part of the Holy Week story.  For example, there are tiny palm branches for Palm Sunday, a tiny cup for the Last Supper, and a tiny crown of thorns. Young kids especially love the anticipation of seeing what’s in that day’s egg.  And while you’ve got their attention, you can use the included booklet to read more about that part of the Easter story.

opening resurrection eggs at table

We’ve used our Resurrection Eggs for about 10 years now, so I’d say that they are a great investment for your family. You can find the ones we love here.

7. Holy Week Garland

I love adding new traditions, and this year I found a great one!  I’m excited about the visual nature of this Holy Week Garland that I found for just a few dollars on Etsy.  It simply and clearly outlines Jesus’ final days on Earth. 

It’s ready to go. Simply download and cut.   I used a piece of twine and some clothespins to display mine on our mantel.

Beginning Palm Sunday and going through Easter Sunday, you flip each card over and read on the back about the events in Jesus’ life that occurred on that day.  My kids are already asking many questions about our garland, and I can’t wait for the teachable moments that will come as we work through the cards.  For example, on Holy Thursday/ Maundy Thursday, we will read familiar words from the Last Supper, “Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body,'” (Matthew 26:26).  Though they’ve heard this passage many times during our church’s communion time, they may not have made the connection to its place in the story of Easter.

8. Glow-in-the-Dark-Egg Hunt for Family Worship

A fun activity to end Easter Sunday is with a glow-in-the-dark egg hunt!  We put a fun spin on our egg hunt by fillings with verses and worship songs to guide our Family Worship time.  I bought this set of easter eggs from Amazon.  It’s a set of 48, but I only fill about half of them with Bible verses and worship songs.

The kids grab their Easter baskets and run out to the yard to find the glowing eggs.  They come with tiny glow sticks, so they are glowing very brightly.  After all the eggs have been found, we return to the living room.  The kids take turns opening an egg.  If it’s an empty egg (like the empty tomb), Dad will say, “He is Risen!” , and we respond with, “He is Risen Indeed!” If the egg contains a verse, the child will read it to us.  If the egg contains a song title, we will sing a verse from that song together.

It’s a fun way to do Family Worship, and I love ending Easter day with God’s word and songs of praise!

9. Church Easter Egg Hunts

boy hunting eggs with basket
easter cross crafts

If you church doesn’t offer an Easter egg hunt, find a good church that does, and take your kids!  Of course, the kids love the eggs and candy, but I love all of the other benefits to attending a church Easter celebration.  At our church, one of the ladies does a child-friendly lesson on the Gospel message.  All of the kids gather around and eagerly listen to her engaging message.  Other volunteers plan Christ-focused crafts that we proudly display when we get home.  Our church egg hunt is not only a fun tradition, but it’s one where we can get excited about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ with other Christians who understand that Easter has nothing to do with the bunnies and jelly beans!

10. Easter Morning

Some families have Easter bunny or Easter basket traditions for Easter morning.  We choose not to do those sorts of activities on Easter morning.  Instead, we will enjoy a special breakfast together, listen to Easter music while we get dressed, and then head off to our church services. There is absolutely nothing better than being with God’s people to celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection, so that’s where we want our focus to be!

I hope these 10 ideas inspire you with some new traditions to make Easter a special, joyful, faith-building time for your family!

Bonus: A Few More Easter Decor Ideas that are Christ-Focused

To close us out, I’ll give you a few more Christian-based Easter decor ideas. I also want to leave you with one last resource to think more deeply about all of the celebrations in your home. Pastor John Piper and his wife, Noel, wrote a book called Treasuring God in Our Traditions.  I loved every page of it. I’ll close with some words from Noel Piper that stuck with me for years after reading her book:

May the traditions of our home be true-

from Him

because of Him

pointing toward Him

honoring Him

thanking Him

easter centerpiece with baskets on table
amazing grace sign and cross with crown of thorns
easter decor tray with kids baskets
tiered tray with he is risen sign

For more Christian Parenting ideas, be sure to visit my Raise Them with Diligence page!

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