Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids the symbolism of the Easter basket.
Needed: Easter basket, Easter grass, chocolate coins or chocolate with some kind of shiny wrapping (Hershey’s Kisses, York Peppermint Patties, etc.), chicken or rooster-shaped candy (a chocolate rooster, or chick-shaped Peeps), a plastic egg with something inside of it, rolls of toilet paper, cones or another place marker
Intro Game: The Life of Jesus Relay
Divide students into two or more teams. When you say, “Go!” the first student on each team will perform the first leg of the relay race, traveling to the other side of your play area and back to their team. The second student on each team then does the second leg, and so on until that team completes the last leg. The first team to complete all legs of the race wins.
Leg 1. Crying. Cry like a baby to show Jesus was born as a baby.
Leg 2. Crawl. Crawl like a baby to show that Jesus had to crawl when he was little.
Leg 3. Slow Walk. Walk slowly like a one-year-old to show that Jesus had to learn to walk.
Leg 4. Run. Run like a child, as Jesus did when He was a boy.
Leg 5. Hammer the Ground. Hit the ground like you’re a man hammering nails to show that Jesus learned how to be a carpenter.
Leg 6. Spin. Spin around saying, “You’re healed! You’re healed!” to show that Jesus helped all the people around Him.
Leg 7. Crucifix Run. Run with your arms outstretched to the sides to show that Jesus was crucified on a cross.
Leg 8. Backward Walk. Walk backward with your arms crossed over your chest to show that Jesus died.
Leg 9. Skip. Skip, yelling, “Ta-da!” to show that Jesus came back to life.
Place objects in your Easter basket beforehand so that it’s ready to show to students.
Ask students, how many of you got an Easter basket this morning?
Did any of your Easter baskets have this grass in the bottom? (Pull out some grass from your basket.) The grass reminds us of the hay that Jesus slept on in the manger when He was born.
Did any of you get any chocolate wrapped up in shiny foil, like Hershey Kisses, or York Peppermint Patties, or Rolos, or Reeses’ miniatures? (Pull out your chocolate coins.) When we see shiny wrapping, it reminds us of the 30 shiny coins that the priests gave to Judas so that Judas would tell them where Jesus was so that they could arrest Him.
Did any of you get any roosters or chickens in your Easter basket, like a chocolate rooster, or some Peeps? (Pull out your item.) Chickens and roosters remind us of how Peter said that He didn’t know Jesus three times the night Jesus was arrested, and then, a rooster crowed just as Jesus said it would, and Peter felt sorry about saying He didn’t know Jesus.
What about your baskets? Did it look like mine with the wood or plastic pieces woven together like this? Our baskets remind us of how the soldiers tied together some thorns and put them on Jesus’ head.
Did any of you get plastic eggs with something inside of them? (Show your plastic egg and empty it.) When we take the candy out of our eggs, it reminds us of how Jesus came out of the grave. The egg is like the grave, and the candy is like Jesus, coming out of the grave.
So, our Easter baskets were meant to tell us the story of how Jesus was born, how He died, and how He came back to life on Easter!
Game: Resurrection Race
Divide students into pairs. Have each pair line up along one line. Place cones a good distance from the line, directly in front of the pairs.
Give each pair two rolls of toilet paper. On, “Go!” the first person from each pair will wrap their partner in toilet paper, using the whole roll. The wrapped person will then break free of the toilet paper and run around the cone and back toward their partner. They will then wrap their partner, and the second person will do the same thing. The first pair to have both people wrapped and run around the cone wins.
Explain to students that this is what will happen to us. Our bodies will be dead, but then when Jesus comes back, He will bring our bodies back to life, just like God brought Jesus’ body back to life.
Game: Resurrection Tag
Pick one student to be It. That student is Death. Pick another student to be Jesus. When Death tags someone, they fall down and lie on the ground like they’re dead. Jesus can then come to tag them, and they can get back up. If Death tags Jesus, Jesus must count to three (because Jesus was dead for three days), but can then get up again. If Jesus tags Death, the round is over. Play until everyone has had a chance to be both Death and Jesus or as long as time permits.
Remind students that Jesus will come back one day and will raise everyone who believes in Him back to life, just as God raised Jesus back to life on Easter morning.
Jesus, we thank You for taking our place on the cross and for coming again one day to raise us all up so that we can live forever with You. Amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, He Came, He Saw, He Conquered.