12 ways to share the Easter story with under 5s

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I know lots of people do things as a family to celebrate Jesus at Christmas, but what about Easter? In some ways, Christmas is harder as there’s so much else going on, but the Easter is trickier to tell, especially to younger children. Here are some ideas to help you:

  1. Tell the story with toys
    You can buy specific ones (such as these Easter Puppets), make something simple (such as story stones) or just use what you have. See more ideas here
  2. Use Easter themed toys
    It might sound like this isn’t to do with Easter, but some of the big themes and ideas in the Easter story such as new life and transformation are things young children are unfamiliar with. They can start to experience and learn about them through watering caterpillars transform in butterflies (either in real life or a book or toy).
  3. Make a Holy Week Box using this free download
    To make your box, you will need a few basic items including a peg doll
    If you’ve made these before and want something different, here’s an alternative box
  4. Read great Easter books together
    It’s vital to do this together, exploring the pictures which are probably as important as the words if not more so at this age!
    Here’s my recommendations of the best Easter books for children
  5. Grow tadpole or caterpillars!
    This is a bigger commitment, but a fantastic way to help children start exploring the concept of new life, and the awe and wonder in the Easter story.
    In the weeks running up to Christian, Birmingham Children’s Hospital Chapel has an incubator with real eggs in it, timed to hatch into chicks on Easter weekend!
    You can get easy-to-grow caterpillars from Insectlore
  6. Build an Easter garden
    Use a tray lid and add soil and seeds, creating a tomb with a clean empty egg shell. Alternatively, make a no-grow Easter garden.
    Find some washable people toys and use them to play the Easter story in the garden.
  7. Play Easter songs
    One of my favourites is Sign your cross by Nick and Becky Drake, which has beautiful music, wonderful words and simple actions!
    Here’s an acoustic version with the actions
    Make a play list of your favourites and have them on in the kitchen/car/playroom
  8. Make an Easter story ‘set’
    You could do this with clothes or paper or card. I love using a chalk board laid flat on the ground with simple shapes for roads and buildings. We then can use play mobil or Duplo figures to ‘act’ out the story. You could make a 3D set using duplo or Jenga brick. Building a simple set in advance of telling or playing with the story gives space to explore the action of the story itself in a playful way.
  9. Story boarding the Easter story
    For four and five year olds, story boarding is a fun way for them to work out the beginning, middle and end of the story. The GodVenture Easter Puppets come with a story board which you can cut up and put back in order. Try using simple questions such as, “What happened at the start of the story? How did it finish? What happened in between? Did this happen before or after this?
  10. Watch a film together
    One of our family favourites to watch around Easter is The Lion of Judah
    It’s a cartoon, but it should come with a warning re violence as the lamb nearly dies, and young children may find that upsetting.
  11. Use pictures
    I’m a visual person, so I always enjoy a story more when there’s pictures! This post gives details of how you can explore the Emmaus road story using pictures including ideas for colouring, cutting, chatting, and a treasure hunt!
  12. Make hot cross buns
    I love baking, and most children do too, so why not have a go at making hot cross buns. At some point in the messy fun, have a chat about why there’s a cross on them. Here’s a fab recipe, although I often swap out raisins for chocolate drops!

Looking for more ideas? Here’s 36 of the best faith at home activities for Lent and Easter

  Looking for a fun, easy Easter activity?

  These Easter puppets are simple to make and you'll have fun telling the story together using the storyboard.

  Available as a book or a download