Easter Bible Reading Plan for Children — Independent Readers

This is a Bible reading plan that is designed to involve children with all aspects of the Easter message.  Through this plan, children will become familiar with such events as Palm Sunday, the prayer in the garden, the betrayal, the trial, the death and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Application questions, suggested activities & videos are also included in the plan.

2016 NOTE:  Starting this the week of Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) will have you reading about the Resurrection the Monday-Friday before Easter and will have you reading about the Great Commission the Monday-Friday after Easter.

If you have younger children, you can find their Easter Bible Reading Plan here.

If you decide to participate in this year’s plan, please join our facebook group for encouragement, accountability, and more ideas.

 The Feast: A 7 Week Easter Study for FamiliesIf you love the Bible reading plans but want even more for your family,  check out the study I have put together called “The Feast: A 7-Week Easter Study for Families”.  This study includes the entire Bible reading plan, plus much, much more.  Every lesson begins with an appetizer (a way to introduce the reading for the day), continues on to a meal (the Scripture reading and discussion questions) and ends with a dessert (ideas for additional activities to drive the point home).  In addition, there are cross curricular ideas for every single day — ideas for Language Arts, History/Geography, Science & Math, plus at least one outreach idea for each lesson.  To find out more information, click on the picture.

If you work with children or youth in a church or Christian school setting, you might be interested in my Easter plays for children.  Each of these plays were written for use with the children I work with and have all been performed by those kids — a group of about 20 ranging in age from 4-14.  We had fun with them . . . and the message was proclaimed to the congregation as well as retained by the kids.  Maybe you can use them, too!

Finally, I would be THRILLED if you would like my facebook page or follow this blog.  And, if you enjoy the Bible Reading Plan, please share this link with your friends.  Let’s get EVERYONE reading the Bible with their children this Easter season!

Keep scrolling for the printable plan, or find the entire plan right here on this page.

May God Bless you and your family this Easter!

Cheri

Easter Bible Reading Plan for ChildrenEaster Bible Reading Plan — Independent

Week One

___ Monday: Luke 19:28-44
When Jesus rode into town, what were the people shouting? Do you know what “Hosanna” means? It means “Save us, now!” The people were crying out for Jesus to save them. We need Jesus to save us, too. What do you need Jesus to save you from today?  Here is a video you might enjoy:

And let’s have a snack today! You can try this healthy one from Stockpiling Moms:

http://www.stockpilingmoms.com/2012/03/pinterest-pin-of-the-day-healthy-palm-tree-snack-idea-for-kids/

Or a not-so-healthy (but fun) one:

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/529384131171260997/

___ Tuesday: Matthew 21:12-17
What did Jesus do when He got to the temple? Why? Why do you think He was upset about what He saw at the temple? The temple was supposed to be a place where people could worship God, but the people had turned it into a marketplace, making true worship very difficult. Is it ever difficult for YOU to worship Jesus? When? How can you make sure that you are always worshiping the Lord with the right attitude?  Spend some time worshiping Jesus today.

___ Wednesday: John 12:20-36
Who wanted to see Jesus? Why was this significant? People who were not Jews were seeking Jesus. This would cause trouble for the Jewish leaders who didn’t want Gentiles anywhere near the temple! Yet Jesus came to save all people!  What do you think verses 25-26 mean? How is YOUR commitment to Jesus? Are you willing to give your life for Him?  Take a look at this story of a modern day Christian who has to be willing to give her life:

http://www.kidsofcourage.com/?p=9729#more-9729

___ Thursday: Matthew 26:1-16
What did the religious leaders decide to do in this passage? What did the woman do to Jesus? Why? How did Judas respond to this? In this passage, we see the two reactions that everyone has to Jesus – either you love Him or you hate Him. The religious leaders hated Him and wanted to get rid of Him, while the woman loved Him and wanted to express her thanks to Him. Which reaction do YOU have to Jesus?  Are you willing to give Jesus a heartfelt offering – your own life? Here is a song that you can use as your prayer today:

___ Friday: Mark 14:12-21
What were the disciples and Jesus preparing to eat together? Do you know what the Passover was celebrating? Jesus was soon to become the Passover lamb – the perfect lamb who would take away the sins of the world. How do you think Jesus was feeling as He prepared to eat the Passover supper with his disciples?  Try this recipe for a Passover snack to eat with your family:

http://www.foodily.com/r/2NfayiAEo-charoset-by-elanas-pantry

Additional Activities: Research and prepare a Passover dinner for your family, Decorate a “palm branch” with things you praise Jesus for or make a palm tree with your family and have each family member put a branch on it full of praises, Give a special offering to Jesus.

Week Two

___ Monday: Luke 22:14-23
What did Jesus say about the cup and the bread as He celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples? What did He mean? Jesus was getting ready to die for all of us, and He was giving us a way to remember what He was about to do. Now when we take the cup and the bread, we are reminded of Jesus’s death on the cross for us. Why don’t you remember that together today? Grab some crackers and juice and have your own time of remembrance. If you enjoy crafts, here’s cool craft from Catholic Icing:

http://www.catholicicing.com/holy-thursday-last-supper-craft/

___ Tuesday: John 13:1-20
What did Jesus do after supper? What was significant about this? The job of washing feet fell to the person who was considered the least – the servant. None of the other disciples wanted to humble themselves to do the job, so it went undone. Through this act, Jesus showed that to be truly great, you need to be a servant. How can YOU be a servant? Look for ways that you can serve the members of your family today.  If you are willing to serve, you might find that you will end up changing the world!  Check out this song:

___ Wednesday: John 13:21-38
Jesus knew that one of His disciples was going to betray Him. Which one was it?  How do you think Jesus felt knowing that this was going to happen soon? In this passage, Jesus shares a new commandment with His disciples. What is that commandment? That commandment is still for us today. How are you doing with it? How are YOU sharing the love of Jesus with others? Here is a booklet you can put together to give you some ideas of ways to show love:

http://fashionsbylynda.com/blog/?p=691

And here is a challenging video that goes along with today’s reading:

___ Thursday: Matthew 26:36-46
What did Jesus do in this passage? What did His disciples do? Jesus knew what was about to happen to Him, and He was greatly distressed about it so He did what WE should do when we are in trouble – He prayed! Through prayer, we can get the strength we need to accomplish any difficult task! Spend time praying today. If you do not already have one, you may choose to make your own prayer journal as well. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Here’s one from Bee-inspired that uses old cereal boxes!
http://bee-inspired.blogspot.com/2012/02/diy-notebook-sketchbook-whatever-i-want.html

And an idea from Creative Endings that works well for those of you who are really artistic!
http://creativeendings.blogspot.com/2010/11/prayer-journal-finished.html

___ Friday: Psalm 69:1-21
This is a prayer by King David several years before Jesus prayed in the garden – but it also contains some prophecies about Jesus. Can you find the prophecies? Perhaps Jesus prayed a prayer similar to this in the garden. Here are some more resources on prayer:

http://grandmotherwren.com/2014/01/teach-me-to-pray-8-prayer-crafts-for-children/

Additional Activities: Go on a prayer walk or go to a local park/garden and sit and pray for
awhile, Have “Secret Servants” with your family – each one of you draw another person’s name and you have to secretly serve that person this week, Take communion to someone who cannot leave their house (or nursing home) this week.

Week Three

___ Monday: John 18:1-11
Who approached Jesus in the garden? Why were they coming? What was significant about Jesus’s response in verse 5? In verse 5, Jesus uses the Name for God (“I AM”)  in referring to Himself. That Name had so much power that the soldiers fell to the ground! That is power! Jesus also showed His power one other way in these verses. How? Even though the soldiers were coming to arrest Him, Jesus showed His great compassion and power by providing healing when it was needed. Watch this video about The Great I AM.

___ Tuesday: Psalm 41:4-13
This is another Psalm of David that also contained prophecies referring to Jesus. Can you find the prophecy in these verses? It can hurt to be betrayed by a friend. Have you ever had a friend hurt you? Have you ever hurt a friend? Spend time today praying about how you can be a better friend.

___ Wednesday: Mark 14:53-65
What happened to Jesus in these verses? What did the people say about Jesus?  Some people stood up and lied about Jesus. What were the lies they were saying? God wants us to ALWAYS tell the truth. When is it hard for you to tell the truth? When is it easy? What can you do to make sure you always tell the truth? Make a poster or bookmark to remind you to always tell the truth.

___ Thursday: Matthew 26:69-75
What did Peter do in these verses? Why do you think he denied Jesus? Remember, Jesus had told him this would happen. Peter was scared and did not want to be arrested. Is it ever easy for you to deny Jesus? Do you ever have times when you would rather deny Jesus than stand up for Him? How can you be sure you always stand for Jesus? Check out these true stories from Kids of Courage about people who have taken a stand for Jesus:

http://www.kidsofcouragevbs.com/kids-of-courage-china.pdf

___ Friday: Matthew 27:1-10, Acts 1:18-19
How did Judas feel when he realized what was going to happen to Jesus? How did he respond? Both Peter and Judas messed up big time, but they both responded in different ways. Peter allowed Jesus to forgive him and he went on with his life, later becoming one of the greatest witnesses for Jesus ever. Judas, on the other hand,  could not forgive himself and ended his own life. How do YOU respond when you make mistakes? Do you get back up again or do you stay down? A fun video for today:

Additional Activities: Invite some of your friends to church with you, Take a stand for Jesus by telling someone about Him, Write your own Psalm, Make your own music video to go along with a song about standing up for Jesus.

Week Four

___ Monday: John 18:28-40
Who did Jesus appear before in these verses? Where did Jesus say His kingdom was from? Jesus told Pilate that He came to testify to the truth. How does Pilate respond to that? Pilate says, “What is truth?” Today, many people say the same thing. Many people think that they can decide for themselves what is true and what is not. However, the Bible gives us truth and the Bible never changes. What are some of the truths of Scripture that are under attack today? How can you be sure that you are following the Truth? Here is an excellent article from Focus on the Family that you might want to read about this very topic (it is best for older children/teens).

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/teens/absolute-truth

___ Tuesday: Luke 23:6-12
Who did Pilate send Jesus to? Why? How did Herod respond to Jesus? What happened between Pilate and Herod on that day? Here is a short video to go with these verses:

___ Wednesday: Matthew 27:11-26
What was the tradition of the people during the feast of the Passover? Who did the people ask Pilate to release to them? Why? The people demanded that Jesus be crucified – which is what had to happen. In the middle of this, however, one person was given a second chance at life. In all likelihood, had it not been for Jesus,  Barabbas would have been crucified instead. If you were Barabbas, how would you have felt at this time? Our God is a God of second chances, isn’t He? Spend time today thanking God for always giving YOU a second chance.

___ Thursday: John 19:1-16
What did the soldiers put on Jesus? What did the Jews tell Pilate about their law? Why do you think Pilate became more afraid when he heard this? Do you think Pilate could have wondered if Jesus truly was the Son of God? What does Jesus say to Pilate about his role in the crucifixion? Make a crown of thorns snack today to
remind you of the crown of thorns that Jesus wore.

http://www.freefuneaster.com/easter-recipes/crown-of-thorns-snack/

___ Friday: Mark 15:16-21
What did the soldiers do to Jesus? When they took him out to be crucified, they needed to find someone to carry the cross for Jesus. Who did they find? How do you think you would have felt if you had been forced to carry Jesus’s cross? Write a journal entry from the perspective of Simon of Cyrene and share it with your family.

Additional Activities: Do an indepth study on absolute truth, Act out a court trial, Write a play about the events you read this week, Draw pictures to represent the events you read about this week.

Week Five

___ Monday: Psalm 22
This is another Psalm of David that served as a prophecy of Christ. What prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus from this Psalm? One thing you will notice is that Jesus quotes from this Psalm while He is on the cross. As soon as He started quoting this Psalm, the religious leaders would have recognized it – and they should have recognized that it was being fulfilled right before their eyes! Be watching for these prophecies to be fulfilled in our reading this week. Here is a video of this Psalm:

___ Tuesday: Matthew 27:33-44
What did they give Jesus to drink? What did they do with His garments? Who was crucified with Jesus? What are some of the things the people yelled out at Jesus?  Jesus COULD have come down from the cross at any point. Why didn’t He? If He would have come down from the cross, our salvation would not be possible. We would be lost forever. Spend time today thanking Jesus for staying on the cross. Make your own cross craft to remind you of the sacrifice that Jesus made for YOU. Here are some ideas from Learn, Play, Imagine:

http://www.learnplayimagine.com/2013/03/cross-crafts-for-kids.html

___ Wednesday: Luke 23:39-43
How did the two criminals that were crucified with Jesus react to Him? Notice, they showed two opposite reactions. How did Jesus respond to the criminal who asked Him to remember him? Even at the very end of His life, Jesus was still giving second chances to people! I believe we are going to see this person in heaven! Make your own dipped pretzel crosses to represent today’s reading. Here are instructions from Almost Unschoolers:

http://almostunschoolers.blogspot.com/2012/03/sunday-school-easter-snacks.html

___ Thursday: John 19:23-27
Who did Jesus see when He looked down from the cross? What did He say about His mom? Jesus wanted to make sure that someone took care of His mom, and so He gave that responsibility to John. Even at the very end, Jesus was obeying the command to “honor your parents”. He was honoring His mom! How do you honor your parents? Look for ways to show them love today! Make a card for your mom and dad expressing your love for them.

I wonder if Mary was thinking about any of this while she watched Jesus on the cross:

___ Friday: Matthew 27:45-56
What supernatural events took place in these verses? Why was it significant that the veil of the temple was torn in two? This showed that we no longer have to rely on a priest to go before God on our behalf. Thanks to Jesus, we can have a personal relationship with God! That is exciting! Here is a short video for you today:

And how about a snack for today? Make a “temple veil” out of fruit roll ups! Tear it in two as a reminder that the veil was torn in two and we can now have a personal relationship with God!

Additional Activities: Make a cross necklace. Make two and give one away! Do something special (in secret) for your mom and dad, write a newspaper article from the point of view of the Jews about the temple veil being torn in two.

Week Six

___ Monday: John 19:31-42
Did they break Jesus’s legs? Why not? What prophecy did this fulfill? What did they do with Jesus’s body? In this passage we see two secret followers of Jesus – Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. Both of these men were afraid to be seen with Jesus in his life, but now that He was dead, they stepped forward and showed their  commitment. How are YOU showing your commitment to Jesus? Do people know that you follow Jesus or are you trying to be a “secret” Christian? Pray for courage to be bold for Jesus! Here’s a fun music video (your parents might like this one 🙂 )

___ Tuesday: Matthew 27:62-66
Why did they make the grave secure? What were they afraid would happen? So now Jesus is in a tomb, the tomb is sealed, and the tomb is heavily guarded! Things seem impossible, don’t they? But remember, NOTHING is impossible with God! Is there anything that you feel is impossible in your life today? Spend time praying about it! Then find a rock and decorate it as a reminder that nothing is impossible with God.

___ Wednesday: Isaiah 53
There were many, many prophecies in this passage that we have seen fulfilled in this week’s readings. Can you find them all? Make a list of all the fulfilled prophecies that you can find. This passage talks about sheep a lot – we are compared to sheep in that we have lost our way and need Jesus to bring us back. Make some sheep snacks to go along with this passage.

Healthy fruit snack from Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons:
http://www.kitchenfunwithmy3sons.com/2014/04/sheep-fruit-snack.html

And some sheep cupcakes from The Creative Vault:

http://thecreativevault.blogspot.com/2012/03/shaun-sheep-cupcakes-tutorial.html

___ Thursday: John 20:1-18
And here we are at my favorite part of the Easter message! What happened in these verses? Jesus was no longer dead! He rose from the dead, and He appeared to Mary! This is a fun time, so let’s make a fun snack! Here are two choices:
A snack using donuts and cookies from Catholic Icing:
http://www.catholicicing.com/meaningful-easter-activity-for-kids-empty-tomb-snack/

A snack with crescent rolls from Oh Amanda:
http://ohamanda.com/2009/04/10/good-fridayeaster-food-craft/

You can also make this cool craft for your garden:
http://carlajbehr.hubpages.com/hub/ResurrectionGarden

___ Friday: Matthew 28:1-15
How did the chief priests respond when they heard that Jesus was no longer in the tomb? Yes, the chief priests PAID the soldiers to lie! Today, some people still believe that the disciples stole the body, but if that were really true, the soldiers should have been executed. After all, they didn’t do their jobs! We know that Jesus rose from the
dead! Unfortunately, there are many people who don’t believe. Spend time today praying for those people who refuse to believe that Jesus rose from the dead.

Additional Activities: Color Easter eggs as a reminder of the empty tomb and the new life in Jesus, Make Easter cookies for a neighbor, invite a neighbor or friend to church, share your faith with someone!

Week Seven

___ Monday: Luke 24:13-35
What happened to the disciples who were walking on the road to Emmaus? What did they do as soon as they realized that they had been talking to Jesus? I love this story – the two men had already walked seven miles. Then, they discover it was Jesus, and they turn around and walk back seven miles again to let the others know! They were that excited to share Jesus with others! How excited are YOU to share Jesus with others? Would you be willing to go out of your way to share the Good News with your friends? Ask God to give you that kind of excitement today!

Here is a rather fun video about the road to Emmaus:

___ Tuesday: John 20:19-31
Who did Jesus appear to in these verses? Who was missing? What was his response? How did he respond when Jesus finally appeared to him? In verse 29, Jesus says that those who do not see but still believe are blessed. He’s talking about us in those verses! Jesus knew that some day we would believe in Him, even though we have never seen Him in person, and He calls us blessed! When we believe, we are showing that we have faith. Try this fun experiment about faith with your hard boiled Easter eggs:

Fill two glasses half full of water. Dissolve three tablespoons of salt in one of the glasses. This is the glass that represents “faith”. Put one hard boiled egg in the glass with salt (faith) and the other in the glass without. The one in the glass with salt should float. When we have faith, we can do amazing things!

___ Wednesday: John 21:1-17
What did Jesus do for the disciples in these verses? How did Peter respond? Later, Jesus asked Peter the same questions three times. Why do you think He did this? Jesus was showing Peter that he was forgiven for his earlier denials and that he was to now take responsibility for sharing the Good News with the world. In the end, Peter (and all the other disciples as well) would take this task very seriously – Peter would never deny Jesus again. Check out this timeline to see what happened to Peter (and the other apostles, too):

http://amazingbibletimeline.com/bible_questions/q6_apostles_die/

___ Thursday: Matthew 28:16-20
These verses are often referred to as “The Great Commission” and they are for us, too. This should be our job! According to these verses, what should we be doing?  What are some ways you can do your part in fulfilling the Great Commission? You are pretty important in the Great Commission! Check this out:

___ Friday: Acts 1:1-11
According to these verses, for how many days did Jesus appear to His disciples?  Right before Jesus went back into heaven, He gave one more command. What was it? This was basically a repeat of the Great Commission with a promise: we would be given the Holy Spirit. Guess what? If you are a Christian, YOU have the Holy Spirit living inside of you! That’s pretty exciting stuff! Gather some balloons and then have fun blowing them up. Balloons that are filled up can remind us of how we can be filled with the Spirit. When we have the Holy Spirit in us, we can soar! (Have fun playing with the balloons. If you have younger siblings, include them and have a fun balloon toss game!)

Additional Activities: Attend a Good Friday, Sonrise Service and Easter Service this week to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

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Author: Cheri Gamble

Cheri Gamble is a minister's wife and mom to five boys who lives in Southwestern Lower Michigan. She and her husband, Tom, have been married for over twenty years and they have been involved with vocational ministry for just as long. Cheri enjoys working with the children and youth at her church as a Sunday School teacher, children's worship leader, and children's music and drama leader. She also works as the Project Manager at the local Pregnancy Resource Center. In her free time, Cheri enjoys reading, writing, working on her blog, and watching football with her boys.

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