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When it comes to teaching your kids about Easter, there are a lot of big topics to tackle – concepts like sin and salvation, forgiveness and new life, death and resurrection. Have you considered combining teaching with an object lesson? This instruction-plus-activity combo helps clarify and reinforce the lesson for your child. Here are a few simple Easter object lessons that use regular household items. Give them a try and modify them to your liking!

Sin and salvation

Supplies needed: Two mats (or construction paper or throw pillows); a large room with enough space for your children to jump around.

Place the two mats on the floor (or use pieces of paper, or pillows.) Choose one mat to represent people and another to represent God. Have your children stand on the "people mat" and leave the "God mat" open. As you talk about how people were created to be close to God, move the God mat close so your children can easily step back and forth between the two mats.

When you mention sin and our separation from God, move the God mat far enough away that your child can’t jump to it, representing our inability to fix what sin did to our relationship with God. To illustrate how Jesus’ death and resurrection paid the penalty for our sin, create a "bridge" between the two mats using pillows or paper and let your children walk freely across.

Here’s an example of what you could say:

When God created men and women, we were in a close relationship with Him. (Make sure mats are close together.) However, when sin was introduced into the world, it created a big gap between us and God. (Move mats apart.) No matter what we try to do, we cannot fix the gap that sin created between us and God all by ourselves. (Have your children try to jump to the empty mat.) God sent His son Jesus – who never sinned – to come and pay the penalty for our sins. Jesus’ death on the cross repaired the gap that sin created between God and us. (Connect the two mats with your "bridge.") When we ask Jesus into our hearts, we are forgiven of our sins and can enjoy a relationship with God. That’s what we celebrate at Easter!

Forgiveness and new life

Supplies needed: A dirty penny, a cup, 1 tsp. of salt and ¼ cup of vinegar (or fizzy cola drink).*

Have your kids combine the vinegar and salt in the cup (or pour the cola drink into the cup). Get them to drop the dirty penny into the cup and let it sit for about five minutes. After the time has passed, you should find a clean, shiny penny at the bottom of the cup.

Use this as an opportunity to share with your children how the penny illustrates sin in our lives. The dirty penny represents our sin-filled lives. When we ask Jesus into our hearts and receive forgiveness, He washes away our sin and we’re made "new" – just like the penny!

Death and resurrection

Supplies needed: Two eggs and a bowl.*

Note: This may be a good opportunity to do a baking project with your children if you don’t want the eggs to go to waste!

Before doing this activity, hollow out one of the eggs without cracking the shell by blowing out the contents. Hide the holes in the eggshell from your children.

Talk to your kids about how Jesus was placed in a tomb after He died. When Mary and Mary Magdalene decided to visit His tomb, they expected to find Jesus lying there – but He wasn’t in the tomb because He had risen from the dead!

Use the eggs as an illustration of what the women expected to find in the tomb, and what they actually found. As you tell the story, crack the eggs into the bowl, starting with the whole egg. See what kind of reactions you get after cracking the empty egg!

*You may want to test this activity before doing it with your kids!

Lindsay Hawkes was an in-house writer with Focus on the Family Canada at the time of publication.

© 2012 Focus on the Family (Canada) Association. All rights reserved.

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