When celebrating holidays with kids during the year, holy week is a really big and excellent week to include! The most important thing is to help keep your family focused on the true meaning of this season. Easter is on a Sunday, but you can get your family involved with these Holy Week activities for kids the week leading up to Easter Sunday! This post includes recipes, games, activities and more, and I will help you to make meaningful connections for your kiddos this Easter season.
Holy Week is important as it reminds Christians of God's sacrifice of his son, and also God's love for his people. Christians can learn much about Jesus through the last week of his life. Easter is the most important festival in the Christian calendar.
Palm Sunday commemorates the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1–9), when palm branches were placed in his path, before his arrest on Holy Thursday and his crucifixion on Good Friday. It marks the beginning of Holy Week. You can use pool noodles as your donkey and have your kiddos do a relay race or create a palm leaf craft like the one in the video below.
Monday: Jesus Cleans the Temple
This experiment explores the story of Jesus cleansing the temple, which was being corrupted and not used for proper worship. In the Bible, our hearts are described as the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Jesus wants our hearts to be clean, just as He wanted the Temple to be clean. For this illustration, children will see their "heart" being polluted "food coloring" and used for the wrong reason, and through that they will better understand Christ’s actions. You will need two clear jars, water, bleach, & food coloring. To do this experiment with your family, fill one jar with water and the cleansing jar with a 1:3 ratio of vinegar to bleach.
Tuesday: Jesus Teaches at the Temple
On Tuesday during Holy Week, Jesus still takes time to instruct and teach people truth. We can learn a lesson from this. Jesus still wants people to come to Him and listen. He wants to speak to our confusion and correct our misconceptions. Jesus always has something to say, and He is saying it with authority. Check out the video below to learn how to make a simple scroll. To make a temple you can use any blocks you have to recreate the temple. Our family loves magnet tiles so that was our favorite to use.
Wednesday: Judas Betrays Jesus
“Spy” Wednesday is the name traditionally given to the Wednesday of Holy Week. This is the day Judas betrayed Jesus, telling the high priest when Jesus would be in a place where he could be easily arrested, in exchange for thirty pieces of silver. To help make that connection for kiddos, they can practice building their fine motor skills by wrapping small coin shaped candy/crafting materials (like circle gems) with foil and placing them in a bag.
Thursday: Jesus Washes Feet/Last Supper
Maundy Thursday is the fifth day of Holy Week leading up to Easter, which remembers the Last Supper with Jesus and His disciples. We call this event the “Last Supper” because it is one of Jesus’ final meals with His disciples before He is crucified. They had gathered for Passover Supper. To help your children celebrate and understand this season, try cooking some unleavened bread to eat at dinner that night. You can also take the opportunity to wash each others feet before this meal just like Jesus did.
Friday: Jesus Is Crucified
The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. John 19:2
We read a children's version of The Story of Easter then got to enjoy our crown of thorns snack. This was a easy and age appropriate way to teach kiddos about the crucifixion.
We braided the pizza dough, then gave it an egg wash. Then we topped it with coarse salt and baked according to package directions and stuck the "thorns" in after baking.
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup honey & mustard
Pinch of salt
Saturday: Jesus's Death
This day commemorates the time of darkness and waiting when Jesus was in the tomb. An easy way to make connections for kids would be to make a vigil lantern and discuss what they are and why they are used. Check out the video below of how to make a simple one with materials that you can find around the house.
Sunday: He Is Risen!
We love using this recipe to make Resurrection Rolls for breakfast before church on Easter morning. It is simple, quick and does a great helping to build background knowledge that can be used to deepen their understanding of this miracle event.
If you would like a FREE printable version of these Easter Week Activities, click here. If you don't have exactly these items on hand, just make it work with what you have at home. Stay focused on celebrating what Jesus has done for us. Happy Easter!!!!