These Easter object lessons can all be used to teach your kids about the spiritual meaning of the Easter Season. Many of them have activities you can do along with looking at and talking about the object. If you had a Lent shrine – a special shelf or corner decorated for Lent, you can transform it into an Easter shrine, removing the Lenten objects and replacing them with Resurrection ones. If you do one object lesson a day, they will last a little past Easter week. If you do one to two a week, you can spread them throughout the whole Easter Season.
1. A candle. This represents both the light of Christ and baptism. If get enough large white candles for each of your children to have one, you can turn this into an activity about the Paschal candle. Show them a picture of the Paschal candle, like the one below, and explain the imagery of the Paschal candle. All Paschal candles have to include the Cross, the Alpha and Omega, and the year.Aside from that, you can decorate them as you like! After talking about the symbols, let your kids decorate their own Paschal candles, or decorate one all together for your family! Light the candle whenever you pray together as a family during the Easter season.
2. A piece of white cloth. This could be a white handkerchief, cloth napkin, or any other small, square or rectangular piece of white cloth. It symbolizes Veronica’s veil. Even though Jesus died, he has remained with us in many ways: his Resurrection, his presence in the Eucharist, his presence in our heart. His image on Veronica’s veil is one more symbol of him remaining with us. If you want to turn this into an art activity, leave one piece of white cloth for each of your children. One day during the Easter season, give them art supplies (fabric paints, etc.) and let them make their own impressions of Jesus’ face on their “veils”. While doing this activity, talk different things that can remind us that Jesus is present with us.
3. A Bible. If you have very young children, you could use a children’s Bible instead. Talk about the Bible, the Word of God as connected to Jesus, the WORD of God. All of the Bible is oriented toward Jesus, and all of Jesus’ life and teachings are oriented toward the Resurrection and Salvation. Take a moment each day during the weeks after Easter to read a few verses about Jesus and his encounters with his disciples after the Resurrection.
4. A simple cross. Jesus’ body was on the cross on Good Friday, but he was no longer there on Easter Sunday – he had Risen! The simple cross without the body of Jesus reminds us of this wonderful fact. If you’re looking for an activity to go along with this, check out any of these cross crafts.
5. White lilies. These flowers symbolize new life and the purity of Jesus. Keep a vase of fresh lilies on your Easter shelf. Turn this into an activity by putting a few lily seed packets next to the vase. One day, let you kids take the seeds, choose a special spot in your garden or in the front yard, and plant the lilies. This activity will help them remember the Resurrection when they see the lilies they planted!
6. One or more Easter eggs. We sometimes think of the Easter eggs as a secular tradition, but they really do have religious symbolism. Not only do they represent new life; they are also symbols of the empty tomb. You could start with several white eggs and then let your kids decorate them with different symbols that remind them of Easter. Permanent markers work well for doing detailed drawings and designs in color.
7. Something that has to do with fish. The fish was an early symbol used by Christians to identify each other because the letters of the Greek word for “fish” formed an acronym for the Greek phrase “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior”. Our salvation came through Jesus’ Death and Resurrection. Turn this into a treat for your kids by using something edible (Goldfish crackers, or Swedish fish, for example). Let them eat the fish while you talk about the importance of the fish as a Christian symbol and explain why the Christians needed a secret symbol back then.
8. A picture of the Paschal lamb. Jesus is the Lamb of God, who was sacrificed for us, yet lives. Looking for an activity? Do you have a chocolate lamb among your Easter goodies? Now might be the time to take it out!
9. Image of a butterfly. The lifecycle of a butterfly is a symbol of the Resurrection. The caterpillar has to go into the cocoon and digest itself, symbolizing death, and then comes out as a butterfly, with new beauty and taking flight. Turn this into a family activity by going out to catch butterflies. You might even be able to find a caterpillar cocoon that you can observe regularly until the butterfly emerges.
Have a beautiful and blessed Easter Season, and please share any other ideas you have with us!