By Emily Pilkington
Who among us doesn’t enjoy a chocolate bunny or bag of jellybeans? These springtime treats are Easter staples found in baskets and eggs in homes everywhere. If you’re looking to supplement them with something that makes an eternal impact, check out these ideas:
If your family doesn’t have a quality children’s Bible, consider one of our favorites outlined by Rachel Tiemeyer. I couldn’t agree more with both her critiques and recommendations.
Our three-year-olds currently love chiming into the parts they know of The Rhyme Bible. And our five-year-old likes The Big Picture Story Bible and The Jesus Storybook Bible. We have the audio CD versions for both allowing him to also listen independently.
In addition to Rachel’s recommendations, we’ve also enjoyed the Laugh and Learn Bible for Kids written by Phil Vischer, the maker of Veggietales and What’s in the Bible. I especially appreciate the way this version tackles difficult questions and doctrinal issues as they come up in the text.
Books for Babies and Toddlers
Holy Week: An Emotions Primer by Danielle Hitchen
This and other board books from the Baby Believer series pack important Biblical concepts and verses into bite-sized pieces for the youngest among us. Reading them aloud to my kids encouraged my heart too, reminding me of important truths in a season of sleep deprivation. Holy Week: An Emotions Primer walks young children through the events leading up to Jesus’s death and resurrection.
A Very Happy Easter by Tim Thornborough
This book tells the Easter story in an interactive way designed to help young children better understand Jesus’s death and resurrection.
Found by Sally Lloyd-Jones
Lloyd-Jones, the author of The Jesus Storybook Bible, retells the twenty-third Psalm in a warmly illustrated board book. Each durable page has a minimal amount of text that keeps young children engaged and turning pages. Our family also loves Near and Loved by the same author that share Psalm 139 and the Lord’s Prayer in a similar format.
Music and Multi-Media
- Rain for Roots joins Sandra McCracken, Ellie Holcomb, and others as they sing songs written for their own children.
- Seeds Family Worship puts important Bible verses to well-done music that encourages both kids and parents to memorize scripture. The songs on the Seeds of Easter album in particular are perfect for the season.
- Jesus Storybook Bible DVDs are the video adaptation of one of our favorite children’s Bibles. We love using them as a special treat during family Bible time throughout the year.
- What’s in the Bible is a well-done DVD series from Phil Vischer. Jesus is the Good News will walk you through the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in preparation for Easter. But any episode in this series is worth your time.
- Lent to Maundy Thursday and Good Friday to Easter by Page CXVI are fun for our whole family.
Books for Preschool and Elementary
The Friend Who Forgives by Dan DeWitt
This book tells the story of Peter’s friendship with Jesus. It spotlights Peter’s denial, Jesus’s death and resurrection, and Jesus’s forgiveness. Each family who attends Family Easter Celebration on Friday, March 19, will receive a free copy.
The Tale of the Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt
In this story of three fictional trees, one becomes a feeding trough, one a boat, and one a cross. Each tree meets the Savior of the world and serves a special purpose in God’s great rescue plan. (Preschool and Elementary)
The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross by Carl Laferton
This story begins in the Garden of Eden, where God lived in perfect relationship with Adam and Eve until they sinned. This story shows that sin has separated us from God ever since. But that God provided a way to be with his people first through the temple and then through his son Jesus. (Preschool and Elementary)
God’s Very Good Idea by Trillia Newbell
God made us both the same and different as part of his very good plan. This book celebrates each and every image bearer and shares God’s redemptive plan for his diverse creation. (Preschool and Elementary)
The Storm that Stopped by Alison Mitchell
This book tells the story of Jesus calming the storm with his disciples. Vivid illustrations and strong storytelling leave us asking, “Who is he that even the wind and the waves obey him?” along with the disciples. (Preschool and Elementary)
Goodbye to Goodbyes by Lauren Chandler
This is the story of Jesus’s special friendship with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Children will learn that Jesus cares deeply about our pain and has power over death. (Preschool and Elementary)
DeYoung tells God’s big story of God rescuing his people from sin through vibrant illustrations. (Elementary)
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
This classic box-set would be perfect for the upper-elementary-aged children in your life. Lewis’s iconic, rich story points to the greatest story of all. (Upper Elementary)
- Isaiah’s Prophecies Fulfilled are fun matching cards that show how Isaiah shared God’s plan to rescue his people through Jesus hundreds of years before it happened. (Mid/Upper Elementary)
- Resurrection Eggs: Hide and find these eggs together as a family in order to retell the story of Holy Week. Each egg contains a special object that represents an important event leading up to Jesus’s death and resurrection.
- The Easter Story Egg is a set of seven nesting eggs that provides a beautiful visual to retell the story of Holy Week. I don’t love the booklet that comes with it. But this or this or a quality children’s Bible are all great tools to retell the events.
These Easter books and activities are especially impactful when your kids are already familiar with the story. Download this free Easter Activity Packet full of fun ways for your kids to get ready for Easter.