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How to introduce the Easter story to a 2 year old?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
So Easter is upon us, and I'd like to start introducing the Easter story to my son (27 months). The thing is, I'm not sure he's ready for the whole crucifixion part yet... he has zero experience with the concept of death. I'm not even sure he's known a plant to die. But the crucifixion is obviously integral to the entire Easter holiday. We do visit the Easter bunny, get baskets, hide eggs, etc too. I have one book called What is Easter? and it basically just says that Easter is not about eggs, etc but is about Jesus. Can anyone recommend any other books that might tell the story in an appropriate way for a young child? Or should I just leave it be for another year or two until he can understand it better.

For what it's worth, he's a very verbal, intelligent boy who listens and understands everything. It's not like last year when he was pretty oblivious to the holiday with the exception of all the candy his grandparents brought him.

ETA: Cross posted in toddler forum.
post #2 of 10
My kids are all grown up and I haven't read these but I searched on Amazon for Easter and childrens book and saw some really good picture books for young children.

J Is for Jesus: An Easter Alphabet And Activity Book

The Week That Led to Easter - Arch Books

The Very First Easter
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
My kids are all grown up and I haven't read these but I searched on Amazon for Easter and childrens book and saw some really good picture books for young children.

J Is for Jesus: An Easter Alphabet And Activity Book

The Week That Led to Easter - Arch Books

The Very First Easter
Thank you! I especially like the first 2 books. Do you think 2 is too young for the subject matter? Or is it better to start young so that he knows no other meaning of Easter as he gets older? I know every child is different, but I'm just struggling with how to handle this. I will definitely be ordering those books though.
post #4 of 10
I looked at what sample pages were available on the first book. I have a feeling that they avoid specific detail about the crucifixion, and I can't think of a way of gently discussing it with a 2 year old. Hopefully some of the other traditional Christian moms will come post on how they handle it. I was Jewish when my dd was that age so I have no first hand experience trying to explain it to a child that young. Heck I still have trouble just wrapping my head around the enormity of it now as an adult. I agree with you that it's important to teach the true meaning of Easter at a young age.
post #5 of 10
I experienced this same problem with my ds a few years ago. I really did not know how to handle Easter either. I spoke with my pastor about it and he advised us to focus on the fact that He lives. Call it "Jesus lives day", talk about Jesus's life, miracles He performed, and that God came to live with men. I was glad for this little bit of advice because the crucifixion is too graphic and awful for little people to comprehend. Hope this helps.
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittykat2481 View Post
Or is it better to start young so that he knows no other meaning of Easter as he gets older? I know every child is different, but I'm just struggling with how to handle this.
This is one of the reasons our family doesn't celebrate Easter with the Easter Bunny and eggs. To us, no offense to anyone who does, it seems to muddle up the true meaning of His death and resurrection. I like what Backwoods mama said about focusing on He lives. At this age we focus on being thankful. Her prayers are all, Thank You Lord Jesus for _________.
post #7 of 10
I struggle with this too. But to be honest, even at 4.5yo, it's hard to talk about death with my ds1. It's like if he knows about death then his innocence is lost. At least, I think that's how I feel. But, how will our children ever get Christianity if we never mention the death part? It's impossible. So, now that I have a 4.5yo and a 3yo, I read them all the parts. I say the words. If they have questions about the words, I will explain. My 3yo will probably hear the words death and crucify, but not say a word. My 4yo will probably ask for an explanation. And I will do my best to answer. I think at age 2, you will be saying the words, and although he may not get what you're talking about, the language will become familiar so that in the future he won't be uncomfortable with the language, and neither will you. I wish I would have started earlier.
post #8 of 10
We're not Christian although we do honor Jesus's sacrifice (go figure!) on Easter. We are in fact Pagan so we celebrate the bunnies-eggs-etc. on Ostara - though this year it was snowing so we didn't feel up to it, we might just do a "Spring Day" later in the season when it feels like Spring.

Anyway.

My 2 year old is very matter of fact about death. I don't feel it takes away from his innocence.

I heard that children are able to accept the violence in fairy tales better simply BECAUSE they are innocent. Don't get me wrong, fairy tales are not the same thing as telling of a real man's execution. I wouldn't drag my kiddo out to see The Passion or anything. But I don't think a simple "Jesus voluntarily died because he wanted to help everyone including you and me" (or however you want to phrase it) is innocence shattering. Perhaps it's not quite as deep of an understanding as an adult might have but at least it won't be a shock a year or two down the line when they figure out what the deal with Easter is.
post #9 of 10
I told my kids that Jesus was hurt so badly that he died. After he died, he went to heaven and opened it up for everyone. Then he came back to earth to tell us about it. My kids are deeply devoted to the passion & crucifixion of Jesus.
post #10 of 10
OK, DS is almost 4, and here is how we have explained things.

We have been reading bible stories for quite a while, so he has a very basic understanding of creation, the exodus, noah, jonah, daniel, david, jesus's birth & his miracles. We explained that God sent his only son to the world to live to teach us how to live because people did things that were wrong. We also told him that Jesus took our punishment so that we could live in heaven when we die.

For Easter, we explain that Jesus died, but then he rose again and that is why we celebrate. That by following his teachings and having him in our hearts we can go to heaven and be with him. We fill in more details of all the stories as he gets older.
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