Kingsway Children and Families Pastor Avril Mundy shares some of her considerations leading children through the Easter season.
1. Good Friday programs. Over the years I have come to see the value in providing a specific kids program on Good Friday. By doing this, all members of the church community can engage in the Easter story in the way they need to.
2. Easter Sunday celebrations. Easter Sunday is a great day to include children and adults together in a cross-generational service. The Easter story is for everyone. It is a day of celebration for all ages. Include children in these traditions, services and events.
3. Long weekend realities. If finding a team to run a children’s program during the Easter long weekend is difficult, creating an activity pack is a fun way to engage the kids. The weblinks below may be helpful with this. One tip: do not give the children these packs until the sermon begins!
4. Engage the senses. Take the opportunity to engage children in the moments of the Easter story. Get creative. I have found that most people, no matter their age, remember best if they can touch it, see it and become immersed in the story. Simple ways to do this could be setting up a Passover meal and teaching the children around a table; holding and waving palm branches as you share Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem; or feeling the bandages and smelling spices and perfumes that the women would have carried to the tomb.
5. Response and worship. In the lead-up to Easter, provide practical, hands-on worship spaces for children to engage in. Have children write words of praise and thanks onto objects such as rocks; create practical prayer stations, e.g. thread a bead or tie a knot into string for each thing a child prays or thanks God for; or engage in worship with movement and dance (this can be done very successfully by using a YouTube video or Spotify playlist).
Some children-focused resources that you might find useful for Easter planning:
https://teachsundayschool.com/i/100coloringpages/ Great resources for ‘busy work’. While there is a minimal cost, the amount of resources and the quality of activities does come in handy, particularly if you are creating activity books for children to use during church events.
https://www.biblesociety.org.au The Bible Society usually creates fun, entertaining resources to share with children and young people.