Christ-Centered Easter Activities for Kids Under Five

by Kellie
Published: Last Updated on

Easter is another holiday, like Christmas, that often gets muddled together with commercialism. Don’t get me wrong, I love egg hunts and Reese’s peanut butter eggs as much as the next person, but that is not the reason we celebrate.

With these Christ-centered Easter activities, young children – including babies – can participate in Holy Week and acknowledge the sacrifice Jesus made for us all.

Feel free to mix in some bunny and egg activities in addition to the religious ones.

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For Everyone

Sensory Bin

This Christ-centered sensory bin is full of the colors of Easter. According to Southern Living, these colors include purple, white, red, black, gold, green, and pink. Then tie in some items that represent their meanings and talk about them as the children explore.

For the base, I used purple paper shreds and black star confetti as both colors are prominent during the Lenten season. Add-ins include gold crosses, white faux lilies, green grass squares, pink rose petals, and red gems. I also include tongs, scoops, tweezers, spoons, and mini buckets.

Christ centered Easter sensory bin

Babies can explore the sensory items in a gallon size zip bag. The paper shreds will make crunching sounds as it is manipulated and they can have fun discovering shiny crosses and gems.

Jesus Removes our Sins

Bring a little science into the story of Easter!

For this activity, you will need at least one white carnation, red food coloring, warm water, and a small vase.

Fill the vase with warm water about an inch and a half from the top. Add a drop of red coloring for every sin the children come up with. Examples include hitting a friend or sibling, calling someone a bad name, or being rude to Mom and Dad. Use at least 15 drops.

Trim the end of the flower stem and place in the vase.

The white flower represents Jesus’ purity. Within a day or two, the children will find that the flower has absorbed the red of the sins and is turning colors. Explain that Jesus takes away the sins of the world.

Our flowers after 48 hours

Empty the vase of the red water and refill with clear, fresh water. Replace the now red flower and wait another day. The flower will turn back to white. This is Jesus removing our sins, as he did on Easter!

For Babies

Christ-centered Easter activities for babies are few and far between. While they may not understand the concept of Holy Week, immersing them in the story of Christ from an early age can give them the foundation to have a spiritual life.

Purple Scarf Play

As previously mentioned, purple is one of the main colors of Lent, symbolizing penance and the royalty of Christ.

Present your littlest one with purple scarves or garments to explore. Talk about the textures or shades as well as the meaning of the color at Easter. Having conversations, even one sided, can foster verbal skills in babies.

The Path of Jesus

This activity is better suited for mobile infants, but feel free to carry younger babies along the path.

Simply create a roadway on the floor with masking or painters tape. Line the path with palm shapes, donkey toys, or purple items. Encourage babies to enter and stay on the trail. Cheer for them as the people cheered as Jesus entered Jerusalem. Allow them to stop and explore the things they see along the way.

Christ-centered Easter activities the path of Jesus

Last Supper Play

Gather some bread, fish, and fruit from the play kitchen and sit down with your baby. Name the item and share it with them as Jesus shared himself. Allow them to explore the foods as you massage their little feet, similarly to how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.

Optional: Read to them “The Easter Story” by Patricia A. Pingry.

For Toddlers and Preschoolers

Lamb of God

Another way to show that Jesus takes away our sins is by representing Him with a lamb, as God gave Jesus to us to die for our sins.

For this activity, draw out a basic outline of a lamb. Write the word ‘sin’ in various spots over the body.

Next, children can glue cotton balls onto the words to cover them or take them away as Jesus did for us.

If this is too easy for your preschooler, add additional words onto the body of the lamb that also represent Jesus. Words include joy, peace, love, etc. Work with them to recognize sin and challenge them to only cover that word, as we don’t want to take away love or joy.

Crown of Thorns

A symbol of the suffering Jesus endured for us, the crown of thorns is an important icon during Easter.

To make one, have the children roll out a thick ring of play dough. Toddlers may need help with this part. Provide a lot of toothpicks and allow the children to poke them into the dough to create the thorns. This helps build fine motor skills in addition to understanding the suffering of Jesus.

Christ-centered Easter Activities Crown of thorns
Christ-centered Easter Activities Crown of thorns
Christ-centered Easter Activities Crown of thorns
Christ-centered Easter Activities Crown of thorns

Identify how uncomfortable and painful it would be to wear if you feel it to be appropriate.

Break & Share

To represent the Last Supper, this activity offers a chance to break bread and share with others.

If you are in a group setting, sit everyone in a circle. Depending on how many people there are, pass out breadsticks to every other child or one for every 2 in your group. I found these yummy sticks at the dollar store.

Read the passage about the Last Supper and as Jesus breaks and offers his bread/body, have the child also break and share their breadstick.

Mini Prayer Garden

The Garden of Gethsemane is the place where Jesus went to pray the night before his crucifixion. With a range of materials, children can create their own special place to find solitude and pray.

Materials needed:

  • Tray or shallow pot
  • Floral foam, clay, or play dough
  • Base elements (moss, gravel, sand, etc)
  • Floral picks and rocks
  • Fairy garden elements (bench, path, etc)
Christ-centered Easter Activities Prayer Garden

To build, fill the bottom of the tray with the floral foam or clay.

Christ-centered Easter Activities Prayer Garden

Children can cover it with the base of their (or your) choice. We used two types of moss.

Christ-centered Easter Activities Prayer Garden
Christ-centered Easter Activities Prayer Garden

Next, they can poke in and arrange the picks and rocks how they would like and add in any elements to make their peaceful garden.

Christ-centered Easter Activities Prayer Garden
Christ-centered Easter Activities Prayer Garden

Find the Empty Tomb

This game can be played much like the shell game with cups and something to hide under them. I used little cross charms.

Instead of only hiding one item and trying to find it, hide the item under all the cups except for one. This will represent the empty tomb of Jesus on Easter.

Simple play can be achieved by using three cups and swapping them around to find the empty cup. To make it more challenging, place several cups around the room or yard and allow children to search for the empty one.

This tomb is not the right one
They found the empty tomb!

Resurrection Scavenger Hunt

Instead of, or maybe in addition to, an Easter egg hunt, try looking for elements of the Resurrection.

Items needed:

  • Bread (from the play kitchen)
  • Cross
  • Cloth to represent the shroud that covered Jesus’s body (I used a large coffee filter)
  • Rock to represent the large stone closing the tomb
  • Empty plastic egg to symbolize the empty tomb
Christ-centered Easter Activities Scavenger Hunt

After reading an Easter story such as “Lift-the-Flap Easter Stories for Young Children” by Andrew J. DeYoung, present the children with a list of items to be found. Toddlers may need one item revealed at a time. Send them off to search for the symbols of Easter that have been hidden. Talk about the importance of each item as they collect them.

Christ-Centered Easter Art

Welcoming Jesus on Palm Sunday

Materials needed:

  • Green, red, white construction paper
  • Coloring utensils
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Start by tracing both of the child’s hands on the green paper. Draw a heart on the red paper and write the word Jesus on the white. Cut out everything. Encourage preschoolers to do as much as they can without help.

Christ-centered Easter Activities Palm Sunday

I wrote the letters in block form and let the children color them. This can also be a letter forming activity by having them write over the white space.

Christ-centered Easter Activities Palm Sunday
Christ-centered Easter Activities Palm Sunday
Christ-centered Easter Activities Palm Sunday

To assemble, glue the bottom of the hands together.

Glue the heart onto the middle of the two hands.

Last, glue the word Jesus onto the heart.

Christ-centered Easter Activities Palm Sunday

You now have the children’s palms welcoming Jesus with love in their hearts!

Stained Glass Cross with Crayon Shavings

Materials needed:

  • Wax paper
  • Old crayons
  • Hand grater or crayon sharpener
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • An iron and an old towel
  • Stapler
Christ-centered Easter Activities Stained Glass

If you are comfortable with it, allow older children to grate the old crayons into shavings.

Christ-centered Easter Activities Stained Glass

Present the shavings to the children and encourage them to place them onto the wax paper with a cross drawn onto it.

Christ-centered Easter Activities Stained Glass
Christ-centered Easter Activities Stained Glass

Cover the shavings with another piece of wax paper and the towel. Press a warm iron firmly onto the shaving covered area, checking often to see if they have melted.

Christ-centered Easter Activities Stained Glass
Christ-centered Easter Activities Stained Glass

Next, cut a cross frame from construction paper and attach with a stapler. For the size that we did, I was able to use a sheet of paper and fold it in half. Trim away any excess wax paper.

Christ-centered Easter Activities Stained Glass
Christ-centered Easter Activities Stained Glass
Christ-centered Easter Activities Stained Glass

Hang in a sunny window!

Christ-centered Easter Activities Stained Glass

Hidden Message

Materials needed:

  • White construction or water color paper
  • White crayon
  • Water color paint with brushes

Start by writing a message or making a picture onto the white paper with the white crayon. Examples are “He is risen,” “Jesus Loves You,” a cross, or a heart.

Give the paper to the child and allow them to paint all over.

The paint will soak into the paper, but not where the crayon was used, revealing the message!

Easter Lily Painting

Materials needed:

  • Easter lilies (faux may work better here)
  • Black paper
  • White paint

This simple art project uses Easter lilies as a paint brush or stamp to bring purity, new beginnings, and hope to the darkness felt after Jesus’ death.

Three Cross Puffy Paint

Materials needed:

  • White glue
  • Shaving cream
  • Food coloring (yellow and red make a great sunrise!)
  • White paper
  • Black paper
  • Paint brushes
  • Scissors

First, you will need to mix the puffy paint. To make two colors, you will need two small bowls.

In each bowl pour in about ¼ cup of white glue and ¼ cup of shaving cream. You can make more or less depending on how many children you are working with. Just be sure to keep these two amounts equal.

In one bowl put in a few drops of yellow food coloring. In the other, put a few drops of red. Mix well.

Allow the children to use both colors to paint all over the white paper, focusing mostly on the top.

In the meantime, cut three crosses on a hill from the black paper.

When the children are done with their painting, allow them to place the silhouette on top and press it into any raised foam. Allow to dry fully before hanging.

Whether you choose to do all of these Christ-centered Easter activities or just one, I hope you have a blessed Easter!

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