Updated by Mary Bowen on March 16, 2020
There are enough Easter activities for kids to last you several weeks. Some are specific to Holy Week and some are more general for the entire seasons of Lent and Easter. A really great activity book for the entire liturgical year, that is quite indispensable for families with young children who love activities, is Seton's Art 1 For Young Catholics.
Some obvious traditional Easter activities for kids include:
Dying eggs is an easy and fun thing to do with children. The best egg dying kits are the simple tried and true ones. It is also becoming very popular to dye eggs naturally with things like beets, onions and turmeric. Dying eggs naturally, naturally takes more time but is worth the effort for GAPS families. No matter how you plan on dying them, prepare the eggs the following way:
Use a white crayon to write messages on eggs before they enter the dye.
Avoid the fancy kits as they never really dry. After refrigerating they remain tacky and bleed onto children's hands and clothing.
This is the most enjoyable Easter activity for kids because children of all ages just love hunting for eggs. They love it! Hide the eggs then let children begin the search. Make sure you give the little ones a head start. If you have lots of kids of different ages, letting age groups go at timed intervals is a good idea.
The goodies found in plastic eggs can be enjoyable enough but for extra fun, give a prize to the child who has collected the most eggs.
Hiding money in a few golden eggs will get young adults in the mood to Easter egg hunt too!
Catholics don't partake in the delicious Easter goodies that are sold during Lent. Instead we put a lot of emphasis on the fast before the feast. That makes Easter Baskets a very big deal.
Have your children put out their Easter Baskets the night before Easter. Hopefully the Easter Bunny will stop by and drop off some chocolate bunnies and jelly beans. Small gifts that will help your children live their vocation as students and children growing in grace are also appropriate on Easter morning.
They worked hard avoiding goodies and offering sacrifices during Lent and now they get a little gift on Easter. All gifts come from Our Lord and the hands of the deliverer are not the center of attention. The tradition of the Easter Bunny is very endearing and brings joy to childhood.
Warning: Not a GAPS cookie
An Easter activities for kids list would not be complete without this classic Resurrection Cookie activity. Watch the video for a how to complete with Scripture verses and beautiful art of the Resurrection.
It's a tradition to get new clothes for Easter. Now is a good time to spruce up your children's church wardrobe. Kids will remember feeling very special for Easter Sunday. New tights, Easter hats, new suits and spring dresses that will last until Christmas are always a welcome in homes with children. We shopped Land's End, Kohls, Coldwater Creek and Amazon to find modest Easter dresses this year:
Helping your children make sacrifice beads is a perfect activity for the weeks leading up to Easter.
A simpler craft is a Lent Mouse. Print a large mouse out, have your child color it, add a googly eye, then punch a hole where you can attach a long string for a tail. When your child makes a sacrifice, help him tie a knot in the tail. Children love this!
This list of Easter crafts including the Lent Mouse can be found in Art 1 For Young Catholics:
Don't forget to print and color our free Easter Coloring Page!
Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, but you can begin your transition from Lent to Holy Week by decorating your house on Passion Sunday, the Sunday before Palm Sunday. On this day which occurs two weeks before Easter Sunday the Church covers the statues and crucifix to remind us that our Lord is in hiding.
Hide your crucifix and holy pictures by covering them with purple fabric. Covering the ones on your family altar will suffice. At this time it is appropriate to get out your Easter bunnies, plastic eggs, baskets, and other decorations.
Palms can be added to your family altar too! All this decorating really gets little ones excited, and they will be eager to recommit to their Lenten penances as they feel the approach of Easter.
A custom of extinguishing candles one by one while praying the Rosary and listening to "Tenebrae" is a nice way of easing into Holy Week. When all light is extinguished, we remember the betrayal and death of Jesus in total darkness and silence.
To listen to the beautiful Tenebrae in this video, please click here...
A mini pilgrimage can be made on Holy Thursday. The custom is to visit the tabernacles, or altar's of repose of 3 or 7 churches. On this day, a plenary ingulgence can be gained by reciting the Tantum Ergo.
Now is the day to finish your Easter preparations: dye eggs, exchange the lilies for palms on your family altar, take down the purple fabric from your holy things, clean and iron those Easter clothes, bake and get ready for the big celebration tomorrow!
Kathleen Bowen is a founding member of IndustriousFamily.com. She is a busy homeschooling mother of ten children with seven currently in school. She loves throwing parties and having fun. She takes great pride in homemaking, gardening, flowers and creating table arrangements.
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