Since there are many different events in the Bible that people believe happened that last week of Jesus' life, I decided to use the devotionals I found on Willow Creek's website to guide which stories we focused on.
Sunday - Triumphal Entry
Read Mark 11: 1-11
Talk about what Hosanna means. It is a word of praise, but it also means "Save us!"
My kids are making palm branches at church, so we can use those to act out the story.
Have a praise party. Kids can wave palm branches. My kids also like to wave streamers or scarfs or things like that. Turn up some music and dance - praising God who is our king and savior. Hosanna!
Here are some of the songs the kids have been singing at Engedi Kids:
Monday - Clearing out the temple
Read Mark 11: 15-18
This is a fun story for kids to act out. Talk with them about how Jesus didn't want the church to be a place about rules and regulations and buying the right things. He wanted it to be a place of worship and prayer. In fact, Jesus says he wants it to be a place of prayer for ALL NATIONS.
Get out a map or a globe and look at all the nations. There are people all around the world in so many different countries. Our church is connected with 4 countries: Zambia, Turkey, Guatemala, and Nepal, so we will find those countries. We will also look for other countries that our family has connections with. Then take a few minutes to pray together for people in those countries. Pray that they would know God and be able to gather together to pray and worship him.
Tuesday - Annointing
Read Mark 14: 1-9
The kids learned this story at church so they may be able to retell it on their own.
Ask the kids what they might have seen/smelled/heard/felt if they were there that day.
In this story, Mary was honoring Jesus - she was giving him her best. Our kids can give God their best too. Print out this perfume bottle picture. The kids can color it or decorate it with stickers, tissue paper, or whatever you have. Then on the perfume bottle help each child to write one or two ways they can honor God and give God their best. Hang the picture up in the house. You may want to have them add a star or a sticker to the page each time over the next day/week that do what is says on the paper.
Here is a great devotional you can read together: http://www.seedsofthekingdom.com/devotionals/0585/an-act-of-worship.php
Wednesday - Jesus taught
Read Matthew 22: 34-40 (For older kids you may want to read more sections from Matthew 21-25).
Jesus spent a lot of time on his last week teaching people about God and the ways they should live. Once he was asked what the most important thing people could do was. This is what he answered.
There are two songs the kids sing at church about this verse:
Cut out a heart together. It can be a lot of fun for kids to see how you can fold a paper in half and cut out the half heart, open it up, and see a whole heart.
On one side of the heart write Love God. On the other side write Love Others. For older kids you may even want to write out the sections of the verse that go with each love statement.
Thursday - The Last Supper
Read Mark 14: 12-31
Get out a family photo album or look through some old family pictures on the computer. Talk about all of the fun things you can remember because you have the pictures to look at.
Jesus knew that he was going to die on the cross and leave this earth. He shared a special meal with his disciples before he left and asked them to remember him. By sharing the bread and the cup together he was leaving a picture for his disciples so that they could remember what he was going to do for them on the cross. We can remember what Jesus did today when we celebrate the Lord's Supper.
Share the Lord's Supper with your family. Break and eat some bread together, and drink some juice together. Read or retell the story while you do this. Talk withe your kids about communion and what it means when we as a church celebrate it together.
Friday - Crucifixion
Read Mark 14:32-15:47
This is a long passage. If you have younger kids you may want to read just a section of it or read it from a toddler Bible.
As you read the stories, take some time to act them out with the kids. At each story talk about how it was a sad day for Jesus - it hurt him very much. But he did it because he loves us - he loves you! He loves you so much he wanted to do this so that you could be forgiven and live with him in heaven forever. Read together John 3:16. When you tuck your kids in to bed tonight, tell them, "I love you, but Jesus loves you the best!"
There are also a lot of cross craft ideas here:
Saturday - Death
Saturday, Jesus stayed dead all day. As he was dying he said on the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me." This is a quote from Psalms.
Read together Psalm 22
Also read Matthew 27: 62-66
Build a tomb together. You could use blocks or playdoh. Or make a tent with blankets and then find something to block the entrance. Or go outside, dig a cave, and put a rock in front of the cave. Remind the kids that in the story, the rock was huge and too big for someone to move on their own.
Sunday - Resurrection
Read just the beginning or the whole chapter of John 20
Go back to the tomb you made yesterday. Together roll the stone away and let the kids say, "He is risen, just as he said!"
Help the kids to write out an Easter memory verse on a small piece of paper. From our church the kids had Romans 6:9. Take an easter egg and put the verse in the egg. Take turns hiding the egg and letting someone else find it. Open the egg and say together the memory verse.