“After telling and showing them the story, let children play. Encourage them to tell you the story.”
Children learn through stories. In this case, they can even tell it themselves. Parents and teachers do an excellent job of bringing the Christmas nativity story to life, so why not Easter? We love this resource from Catholic Icing. It’s perfect for families to use at home, or for Sunday school teachers to use at church. You might consider making one for the church nursery, or placing a set on a table near the church entrance as a sample.
Created by Lacy Rabideau in 2009, Catholic Icing offers crafts, recipes, and hands-on ideas. Lacy writes, “It is my mission to bring Christian fun to families on the internet for free, and I am always working on adding to my library of Catholic crafts!” Click the following link to see Lacy’s great idea:
When you click the link above, you will see the full instructions for the set, with pictures. You can then download Lacy’s black and white images for free. To get the full-color images, you can either pay $2, or subscribe to the blog and receive the color images as a free gift.
Ideas for Using the Set With Children
As children play with the resurrection set, they learn the story of Holy Week and Easter. Here are some ideas to help them along.
1. Share the Story: Adults and older children can help by telling the Biblical story. Describe the characters, answer questions, point out the key moments of the passion and resurrection stories.
2. Use a book: You might use a children’s Bible or Easter book as a guide to share the story. Building Faith has a list of Children’s Easter Books.
3. Died, buried, risen: Regardless of the book you use, be sure to tell children that Jesus died, and was buried, and rose again. Oftentimes, this needs no elaboration.
4. Let them play! After telling and showing them the story, let children play. Resist the urge to micromanage or make sure they are ‘doing it right.’ They may need to do some experimenting. One child put the soldiers in the closet, for example.
5. Let them tell: Encourage children to tell you the story. Again, don’t micromanage. If necessary, you can help by simply reminding them of the characters. Make sure to encourage and thank them.
6. Jesus loves you: Remind children that Jesus loves them! Consider the following nugget: “If you had been the only person to ever live, Jesus still would have come, died and rose again, just for you.” Alleluia!
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Photo: thanks to Shivaun Wilkinson