Amy’s Free Ideas

Seasons > Easter Ways to Celebrate Easter in the Church > Interactive Journey to the Cross or Bible -time Village for Children

Children learn best when they can get their hands all over things, and it helps a lot to be able to move around, too. This interactive journey to the cross does just that. It is one of the most elaborate Easter celebrations for children that I have ever seen, and I think it is FABULOUS!! The children are given a passport, then they move from station to station to hear a short talk, get a stamp in the passport, and receive a small item. It is totally hands on, and it teaches the true meaning of Easter. It was obviously a lot of work for the church, but I hope they do it every year, and that attendance grows every year, too! Maybe your church could do your own version of this!

At the first station, children are given a passport and the first stamp to put in it. They are also given a small drawstring bag to put in the various little goodies they will get at some of the booths.

The next place is set up like a bedouin tent. The person tells the story of how the woman anointed Jesus’ feet in preparation for his burial. They get a dap of perfume, if they want it, and get a stamp for their passport.

the church had arranged for a real donkey to be in the pen, but on the day of the event, it decided to be ornery, and they did not want to take any risks with the children, so they used this wooden one instead. I think this one is pretty cute, anyway!

The children hear the story of the triumphal entry and get another sticker in their passport. They could also be given palm branches (real or fake) and shout “Hosannah!” at the tops of their lungs. Or they could be given rocks and let them write “Hosannah” on one side and “saves” on the other to remind them how the pharisees tried to get Jesus to make the people be quiet, and he replied that the rocks would shout out of if the people were quiet.

This booth is about Judas making plans to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, but it could work for the story of the cleansing of the temple as well. Some live sheep and pigeons would make it especially exciting. The kids would be shocked to have the table knocked over, and baskets strewn around. They could even scramble to help pick up the scattered coins. It’s a reenactment they wouldn’t forget!

The children are given a crayon and plastic coin to make a rubbing of it. It would be more exciting to get a coin, especially if it were chocolate wrapped in foil! If plastic or chocolate coins are not available, you could give out real silver coins, if they are not worth much (American 5 cent or Japanese one yen are perfect.)

Another coin option is for the kids to mint their own coins. Let them press buttons that have a raised design into play dough. Then pour melted crayon or candle wax into the impression. When it hardens, they can remove their “coin.”

view more ways to make coins and pouches

The story told here was, of course, the story of Judas betraying Jesus for the price of 30 pieces of silver.

These ladies told the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet. They provided a bowl of water to let the children wash their hands, and provided paper towels to dry them. It would take longer, but they could have the children take their shoes off and wash their feet instead.

This booth is to commemorate the last supper. They serve unleavened bread and horaseth (mixture of apples, nuts, and cinnamon. Yum!) Don’t you love her costume? They had just enough time to set out more food before the next group to arrives.

This station is where the children hear the story of Gethsemane. They receive tiny branches of olive tree along with the stamp for their passports. The garden of Gethsemane is believed to have been an olive tree grove, probably complete with a stone olive oil press.

These 3 places represent the 3 trials Jesus faced before his death on the cross. I don’t know if they were actually booths or not, since I did not see anyone nearby.

This is the booth where the children hear the story of Jesus’ 3 trials. This gentleman made his own scourge and crown of thorns. He made the crown of thorns--first he made a vine wreath out of wild vines found in the woods. Then he glued wooden toothpicks into the vine wreath. Then he stained the whole thing so it would all be the same color. Brilliant!!