There are many versions of this on the internet, and I know I’ve shared this before. But, it is my #1 hit this month, and I’ve received numerous emails and comments about how simple this version is compared to others out there so I thought I’d share it again. My kids look forward to this every year! We open the eggs while eating our Jerusalem-style dinner (idea shared at bottom of post). It keeps the kids fairly entertained while we tell the real Easter story.
(1) Number 12 plastic Easter eggs (with a marker or stickers)
(2) Put the following items in their respective eggs:
1. a leaf–real or plastic (if it vaguely resembles a palm branch, all the better)
2. a piece of cloth with a little perfume on it
3. a piece of tortilla, pita or bread, or white clay shaped to look like flat bread
4. a picture of Jesus with children or of a temple or a picture of your family
5. three dimes
6. a piece of purple cloth or paper
7. a cross made out of wood, toothpicks, popsicle sticks, or paper
8. a nail
9. a piece of paper that says THE KING OF THE JEWS
10. a little bundle (wrapped in fabric, a baggie, plastic wrap, etc) of spices–cloves would be nice
11. a stone–rounded would be best
12. leave empty
(3) If you have a Gospel Art Picture Kit, get these pictures: 223, 225, 227, 228, 230, 232
Lesson and Activity:
You can hide the Easter eggs and have your children go on a hunt for them, and then have them take turns opening them in the right order. Here are some explanations and corresponding scriptures for the items in each egg. The explanations are four-year-old appropriate, scale up or down as necessary.
1: When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the people waved branches because that is what people used to do when a King walked by (Mark 11:8-9).
2: Later, Jesus had a special dinner with his friends. A woman came and poured perfume on his head. This showed that she knew He was the Christ and would die soon (Mark 14:3).
3: The next day, Jesus had another special meal with his friends. We call this The Last Supper. This is when the sacrament began because Jesus said that people who followed Him should have bread and wine or water to help them remember Him (Mark 14:22).
4: Jesus went to a garden to pray. Here, He suffered for our sins. Because He did this for us, we can repent and live in heaven again (D&C 19:16-19).
5: Judas was supposed to be one of Jesus’ special friends, but instead he helped other men arrest Jesus. He did this because those men paid him money (Mark 14:10-11).
6: After Jesus was arrested, the soldiers were really mean to Him and made fun of Him. One thing they did was put a purple robe on Him. Only Kings wore purple robes. What they didn’t realize was that He really was a King (Mark 15:16-18).
7: Jesus was crucified (Mark 15:25).
8: When the soldiers put Jesus on the cross, they pounded nails in His hands and feet (D&C 6:37).
9: Another thing the soldiers did to make fun of Jesus was to put a sign on the cross that said THE KING OF JEWS—thinking they were making fun of Him, when in fact, He was the King of Jews (Mark 15:26).
10: After Jesus died, His friends put His body in a tomb. Later, some of the women who followed Him came to the tomb to put spices on His body. This is something they did back then when someone died (Mark 16:1).
11: The tomb had a rock that rolled over the opening to seal it. While the women were walking to the tomb, they wondered how they would get the stone out of the way (Mark 16:3-4).
12: When they got to the tomb, they were amazed to find that the stone had been rolled out of the way! Jesus’ body was gone (Mark 16:6)! Then an angel came and told them, “He is risen; He is not here” (Mark 16:66). This egg is empty because Jesus’ tomb was empty. Jesus’ tomb was empty because He was resurrected!
*Be sure to bear your own personal testimony to end the lesson.
Special Easter Dinner:
It is kind of fun to have a simple dinner, like they would have had back then, before having your lesson. An example would be serving flat bread, sliced cheeses, fresh fruit (grapes, apples, olives), grape juice, and maybe some cold meat slices (summer sausage). You could even dress in simple robes and sit on a blanket on the floor. Children always enjoy this!