For Christians, Easter is about the celebration of Jesus' resurrection, not the Easter bunny and egg hunts. Christian Easter games add a spirit of fun to the celebration for kids while drawing their minds to the spiritual significance of the day. Making the empty tomb into a game serves as a vehicle for focusing on the good news that Jesus is alive and the hope that brings to every child and adult for new life when they repeatedly do wrong, even when it's unintentional.
John 20 relates how Peter and John, two of the apostles, raced to Jesus' burial site upon hearing the women's report of the empty tomb. Although Christians dispute the location of Jesus' tomb, parents or teachers can pick the site that fits their views and divide the children into two or more teams and provide each a puzzle depicting the location of choice. Fit the puzzle difficulty to your children's age and ability level. You may use commercial puzzles, create your own or have the children create a puzzle craft of the appropriate scene ahead of time and trade puzzles for the game. They race to assemble their puzzle and "arrive" at the tomb first. When a team finishes their puzzle, they should shout, "He's not here! Jesus is alive!"
After the traditional re-telling or reading of Jesus' death and resurrection on Easter morning, test your children's memory for the details of the story with an Easter trivia game. Prepare a set of matching question and answer cards about the Christian Easter story. The children can use the cards as a concentration game or you can conduct a game-show-style quiz match.
In some Christian traditions, the cracked egg represents the empty tomb as a symbol of new life. Kids can make a game out of finding the empty egg tomb with a variation of "Hot Potato." Place a small object such as a jelly bean, chocolate candy, marble or craft pom pom in a set of plastic eggs, leaving one empty. Give each child one egg and start the music. While the music plays, the children pass the eggs to their left. When the music stops, each child opens his egg and looks inside. The child who has the empty one yells, "The grave is empty!" and the other children respond, "He is risen!" Repeat the game as time or interest allows.
Empty Tomb Relay Tag
An active game of empty tomb tag channels children's celebratory energy into an Easter object lesson on Jesus' resurrection. Set up two tomb areas on opposite sides of a large open space. Divide the children into two teams and have each team sit or lie down inside their tomb. Designate one child on each team as the "Spirit of God" with the power to raise the dead to life and ask them to stand on the opposite end from their team's tomb. When you yell, "Resurrection," they race to the tomb and touch one child who "comes to life" and they race back to the opposite end together. The newly resurrected child then races back to the tomb and brings another child to life and the cycle is repeated. The first team to empty their tomb completely and yell, "Empty tomb," wins.
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