The families you serve probably know all about the excitement of Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, but do they know what happens in between? How can you help them remember and honor the full story of Jesus’ last days on earth? Here are some simple and meaningful Holy Week activities to share with your families or add to your Holy Week events!
Palm Sunday – Make a Palm Sunday craft (like this free one) with your kids at church. Or share the printables (and other fun ones like these) with your families to do at home. Encourage families to use their Palm branches to host a parade around their house or down their street, waving their palm branches and shouting “Hosanna!” (P.S. It wouldn’t be too late to give families an Eggs of Easter Resurrection Eggs Kit either – they can double up on the days!)
Holy Monday – Holy Monday is the day that Jesus flipped tables and cleared the money changers out of the temple. We see an example of Jesus’ righteous anger at the misuse of God’s church. Invite families to spend time in prayer for the church today – for the leadership and people of your church, but also for the global Church. Pray that we would shine the light and hope of Jesus into our communities and our world.
Holy Tuesday – Jesus often taught in parables, using object lessons and real-life connections to help his followers understand His teachings. Invite families to buy an Easter lily and use it as an object lesson at home. The white color represents the purity of Christ. The trumpet shape of the flower can help us remember to share the good news and remind us of the trumpets of angels that announce important events. And, since lilies grow from a bulb that is buried and then blooms into life, it is a beautiful representation of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Families could even let their children pick out one for their own family and one for someone else who needs to hear the good news. (And if you’re looking for other object lessons for kids, Future Flying Saucers is one of my favorite places to find quality and creative Bible object lessons!)
Holy Wednesday – In many countries and traditions, Wednesday of Holy Week has been a traditional day for housecleaning, stemming from the Jewish custom of cleaning and preparing before Passover. So encourage kids to do a little “spring cleaning” (and all the parents said “Amen”) and think of it as a prayerful preparation for Easter in the same way that Jewish families clean in preparation for Passover.
Maundy Thursday – On the Thursday before Jesus died, He shared the Last Supper with His disciples and washed their feet. Invite families to talk together about the meaning of Communion (we love this resource from our friends at We Are KidMin) or share a Passover meal together. Families could also talk about what it means to serve others or host their own family foot-washing ceremony. Even something as simple as washing with baby wipes can prompt a special memory for families and provide an opportunity to think about how they can serve one another.
Good Friday – The celebration of the resurrection can’t happen without the acknowledgment and grief of Jesus’ death on Good Friday. Encourage families to attend a local Good Friday service or watch a video about the day at home (this video from Saddleback Kids is one of my favorites for Good Friday). After learning about what happened on Good Friday, invite parents to ask their children to tell them in their own words what happened to Jesus on Good Friday. Hearing what their kids are thinking will help parents know what they may need to explain better or how they can relate the story to them. Encourage families that it’s OK to focus on feelings of sadness, gratitude, and repentance that come with Good Friday. Here are some tips for talking about Jesus’ death with kids.
Holy Saturday – On Saturday, it seemed like all hope was lost. Encourage families to find time to sit in total darkness for a few minutes, either in complete silence or with a soft worship song playing. Then talk about what it feels like to sit in darkness and what it might have felt like for Jesus’ followers, thinking Jesus was dead. (This idea comes from our 40-Day Lent Family Devotional.)
Easter Sunday – Play an Empty Tomb Game! Families will need a table (or chairs), a blanket/sheet, and worship music for this game. Drape a blanket or sheet over the table/chairs. Have one person hide inside the “tomb” while the others play worship music and dance around the tomb. When the music stops, the person in the tomb should pop out and shout “Jesus is alive!” Then everyone cheer. Take turns hiding in the tomb and shouting the good news! (This game is from the 40-Day Lent Family Devotional! Learn more about this Lent family devotional here.)
Looking for more Easter resources? Browse our 2021 favorites here!