how to teach the easter story to kids: resurrection rolls
The Easter story is a hard one to wrap your head around.
No matter your age, it’s a bit confusing and complicated. And scary and sad and uplifting and encouraging and miraculous all at the same time.
So today we spent some time talking about Easter–what it really means–and tackling the topic in a way that really brought it home for the kids. (Or at least I hope it did.)
With the help of some really great blog posts and really creative people, with foods we had around the house, we put together Resurrection Rolls.
Resurrection Rolls begin with a story and end with a little miracle–much like the Easter story itself.
Here’s the skinny . . .
- How to Teach the Easter Story to Kids–Resurrection Rolls: We try over here to keep our family balanced spiritually, but we could always do better.
And I’m always looking for ways of making things easier for them to understand. Resurrection Rolls might have done that, especially because we watched Rise of the Guardians last night–which though it secured their confidence in Santa, the Easter Bunny, Jack Frost, the Tooth Fairy, and that whole crew, reconciling that with the real Easter story is more than a little difficult.
So when Owen suggested we leave carrots and treats out for the Easter Bunny, I thought it was pretty evident that they needed a reminder about what Easter is all about.
I said, Hey guys, come here for a second–I need some help making Resurrection Rolls, please. I’ve never made them, and there’s a pretty cool story that goes along with each step.
They made their way over to the kitchen, one by one.
I just heard about these, and they actually tell the story about Jesus and what happens today, Good Friday, and a few days from now, on Easter Sunday. What do you remember about Good Friday, Jesus dying on the cross, and Easter Sunday?
Owen spewed off the entire story, with Maddy and Cora filling in pieces along the way. Phew that they’re listening in church and in their SOR classes.
Right. Oh my gosh you guys are so smart. You’re totally right. You know and understand the story, which will make this little baking experience that much more cool for you. Before we start, we’re each going to each need clean hands and a little working space. And then we’ll go through each step together, okay?
I told them:
First grab a marshmallow. Don’t eat this one. You can eat one when we’re finished. We’re going to pretend this marshmallow is Jesus, and just like the women were going to do with Jesus after he came down from the cross, we’re going to put oils on this marshmallow.
And then we’re going to rub spices and perfumes–or for us, it’s brown sugar–all over it. So go ahead and cover the marshmallow.
Then, just like they did with Jesus, we’re going to wrap this marshmallow into a tomb and seal it. Just like they did with Jesus.
Owen said, They put that big rock over the door so nobody could get to the body, right?
Yes, so I think that if we’re going to make this work, we really need to seal up our tomb perfectly.
And they did.
And while our Resurrection Rolls baked (12 minutes at 375 degrees), I read them the Easter story from one of our favorite Bible story books, Favorite Bible Stories and Amazing Facts, by the American Bible Society.
I stopped along the way, commenting and making connections between what we had heard in church last week and what we had done this afternoon. They asked questions, and we chatted.
Right as we finished, the oven timer went off.
Our Resurrection Rolls finished–they were not perfect by any means, but I explained:
I think, that if we did this correctly, our little Jesus marshmallows should have done exactly what Jesus did in the tomb–disappeared. Let’s see.
Even though our rolls exploded, when we cut them open, the marshmallow was, indeed, gone:
Oh my gosh!
Wait, there’s a little of mine here, but it’s fine. . . I get it.
Mom, that’s cool.
WOW! And they’re good, too.
It was cool.
Not perfect, but not much is.
But cool, nonetheless.
And that’s it–just a little bit of learning in our every day, along the Easter story lines.
Any time we can really make learning hands-on and meaningful, I’m game.
This idea was taken directly from a post that I read, a post written by my amazing and talented friend, Tara Ziegmont. She wrote 10 Last-Minute Ways to Celebrate Jesus this Easter, on Tommy Nelson’s Raising Faithful Kids. It’s a great piece, and I highly recommend checking it out. Tara cited the totally fabulous and awesome Amanda’s post on Impress Your Kids (now Oh Amanda) on Resurrection Rolls, and that’s where I grabbed the idea.
HUGE thanks to everyone for bringing this all together!
How do you teach, or talk about, the Easter story? I’d love to hear it! Tell me in the comments section!
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