The Celebration of Easter
It’s good to celebrate!
by Melanie Glover (revised, originally published in 2009)
Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1
To consider the different ways we celebrate, particularly at Easter.
Preparation and materials
You will need the word ‘CELEBRATING’, with each letter written on a separate piece of paper.
You will also need a collection of items that are used in different celebrations. For example, a birthday cake; a wedding card or photo; a picture of a baby or baby clothes; a wrapped present; some balloons and/or a helium balloon; a cross, a picture of the cross or a hot cross bun and an Easter egg.
Ask the children what they think of when they hear the word ‘celebrating’.
Listen to a range of responses.
Place the 11 pieces of paper on the floor and invite 11 volunteers to collect a letter. Ask them to hold up the letters so that the remaining children can see them. Ask the audience to help the children unmuddle the letters to spell the word ‘CELEBRATING’.
Ask the children to think of special times that we celebrate. Invite a volunteer to come forward to hold the birthday cake. Ask the children about birthday celebrations that they have enjoyed.
Invite a volunteer to come forward to hold the wedding card or photo. Ask if any of the children have attended weddings and encourage them to tell the other children about their experiences.
Invite a volunteer to come forward to hold the baby picture or baby clothes. Explain that sometimes, when there is a new baby in a family, there is a christening or dedication service to welcome the new baby. Following the service, people often have a party.
Invite a volunteer to come forward to hold the wrapped present. Ask the children if they like receiving presents and what is the most special present they have ever received.
Invite a volunteer to come forward to hold the balloons. Ask the children if they have ever received a balloon that would float up into the air if someone let go of the string. If available, let go of a helium balloon so that it floats up to the ceiling.
Ask the children what special celebration will soon be happening. Invite a volunteer to come forward to hold the cross, the picture of the cross or the hot cross bun. Explain that it will soon be Easter. At Easter, we think about how Jesus died on the cross. Hot cross buns have a cross on them to help us remember this. Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, the day when Christians remember Jesus’ death.
Invite a volunteer to come forward to hold the Easter egg. Explain that Easter eggs help us to remember that Jesus came back to life again. They represent the stone that was rolled away from Jesus’ grave when he rose again. They also remind us of new life. Christians believe that, like a baby chick hatches out of an egg, God can give new life to people.
Time for reflection
Remind the children that there are many times when we celebrate with people whom we love and care about. These are special times that should be cherished. Easter is one of these special times.
Ask the 11 volunteers who are holding the letters to lift them high in the air. Ask the children to join in with shouting the final word in the following sentence.
- Easter is a great time for ‘CELEBRATING’!
Thank you for springtime and the new life we see all around us.
Thank you for Easter and for the joy and hope that it brings.
Thank you for all the times we celebrate with family and friends.
Please help us never to take these times for granted.
‘Come on and celebrate’ (Hymns Old and New (Kevin Mayhew), 95, 2008 edition)