I firmly believe that it is never too early to teach your child about the Bible. I have been praying with my son since day one and, by two years old, he had a handful of scripture verses memorized.
Although a toddler may not be able to fully understand some of the big concepts connected with Easter, I believe it's important that Christian parents are intentional about teaching their young children what Easter is about - Jesus the resurrected Savior, not the Easter Bunny.
This is not to say that you can’t dye and hunt for eggs or give your child an Easter basket. I believe these things can add to the celebration but, again, the focus should be on the meaning of Easter.
So, how exactly do we teach toddlers the importance of Easter on a level they can understand?
Before I go further into how to explain Easter to your toddler, it's important to understand these three facts about toddlers:
Toddlers don't understand figurative speech and metaphors. They are very literal.
They don't have the vocabulary that older children have - like "sin" or "forgiveness".
They process violence they see on screens as if it is happening to them.
The main focus for young children should be that we celebrate Easter because Jesus is alive!
Yes, there are many more details but this is ultimately why we celebrate and this is where the focus should be. This is not to say that you should not address the other details. In fact, your child most likely has seen pictures of Jesus on the cross in his Bible or at church.
And it is important that the cross is not portrayed as a scary thing.
Your child may experience sadness over seeing Jesus on the cross and hearing the Easter story. And that’s ok! You can validate your child’s feelings of sadness but remind him that Jesus is alive!
My final tip for talking to a toddler about Easter is to follow her lead! You may surprised at how much your toddler may want to know or talk about. Be mindful of your verbiage but don’t hesitate to tell the full story of the crucifixion if your child is open to it.
My son has heard bits and pieces sense birth and at 3 years old, he made a comment about how it was sad that Jesus died on the cross. I asked him if he knew why Jesus died and that led into the complete salvation story, at the end of which he accepted Christ.
I wholeheartedly believe that children’s hearts are sensitive to God and that they even have a closeness to him that we may not understand. If your child is asking question, don’t be afraid to answer but the most important detail at this age is that we celebrate Easter because Jesus is alive!
About the Author
Hi! My name is Inez and I am the owner of fortheloveofmom.org, a website dedicated to helping women pursue better in life & motherhood. As a children’s minister, I am most passionate about helping moms feel better equipped to raise mature Christ followers!