Easter is a harder story to tell than the Christmas story, but such a vital one, as it is central to our faith. There’s so much detail, so many layers of meaning and relevance, it can be hard to know what to leave in and what to leave out. For under 5s, it’s important to remember where they are in their development, including their engagement with stories and with Jesus. Those who have heard the story at ages 1 and 2 might be ready for more detail and discussion of the purpose of Jesus’ death and resurrection at 3 than a child hearing it for the first time. And, as with all stories, it’s great to provide ways for the children to ‘play’ with the story, whether that be with a play dough Easter garden, story stones, toys or Duplo.
If you like to start with a book, here are some suggestions:
For babies and toddlers, I’d recommend The Easter Bible Storybook. It’s a board book that tells the story of Easter focusing on the resurrection of Jesus. For toddlers and preschoolers, The Big Bible Storybook has a brilliant re-telling over a number of pages, again focusing on the resurrection stories.
We also have The Jesus Storybook Bible which focuses more on the details of Jesus’ arrest and death, including explanations about why Jesus died, making it more appropriate for preschool children age 4 and up (as it says on the cover).
The story is also worth reading from the Children of God Storybook Bible by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, with its beautiful, diverse African illustrations, including an African Last Supper. For a long while, the death and resurrection stories in this Bible were my daughter’s favourite (age 3).
And there’s the lovely little Happy Easter book from Scripture Union, written by the lovely Sarah Mayers, which for only 99p is a perfect gift for under 5s who might not have their own Easter storybook at home.
Do you have any you’d recommend?