I first did this activities when my children were toddlers using The Easter Story book from The Book People. However, those books are no longer available, so I’ve made a set of GodVenture Easter puppets you can either download and print or buy a book printed on quality card.
All you need to do is cut out the pictures and glue them onto either the card stocks in the book, or use lolly sticks or (my favourite) paper straws.
This set has 16 pictures which gives you lots if you want lots, or you can pick your favourites and just use those,
If you’re doing this with younger children, you might want to make the puppets in advance, or at least cut them out, as the fun bit of this activity is the story telling (and re-telling!).
You also might want to give the children a choice of which puppet they would like to hold then have a chat about who they are and what they do in the story.
The Easter story board included in the set gives you a 3 minute simplified version of the Easter story, including Jesus arriving in Jerusalem on a donkey and the last supper.
Use the puppets to ‘act’ the story as the story is read, or read the story then use the puppets to re-tell the story.
Don’t forget to leave the puppets out for further playful exploration. Children often explore their ideas about Bible stories and how they relate to them in their play, inventing their own words for characters and sometimes introducing other characters, or taking the Bible characters to other ‘worlds’. This is fascinating to watch, and even better to join in with!
My children are now the 8-11 bracket, so they could cut them and create them easily out themselves. They also enjoy taking photographs and filming stories they ‘act out’, and there are more ideas for older children inside the book, including:
- creating you own puppet theatre using blankets and a couple of chairs or a small table.
- taking pictures of each scene so you can them to re-tell the story or share it with others
- chatting about the story using open-ended questions such as:
I wonder what is your favourite part of this story.
I wonder what the most important part might be.
I wonder where you might be in this story.
(These questions can be answered by adults and children!)
- making a mini-film of the story with someone working at the narrator while others do the puppets
- leaving your puppets out, perhaps with additional props for your children to play the story again in their own play time
- offering extra card and sticks for anyone to add additional puppets to the story (my children added a rooster!)
- reading the story from a children’s Bible story book and ‘act’ it out using your puppets.
- cutting up the story board and laying a challenge to see if the children can put the pictures in the right
- Retell the story using some toys. Which toys could you use? Who will be Jesus? Can you make a scene for them to tell the story in?
- Listen to an audio version of the story from the Bible at biblegateway.com (click here for links – the shortest gospel (Mark) is <30 mins!)
- Use your puppets to ‘act’ out the story as you read the story from a Bible using the references on the story board.
- You could even get up early to see the sun rise on Easter Sunday morning! Take some hot chocolate and hot cross buns for a picnic breakfast!
You could, of course, also use the puppets to tell the Easter story in a group setting, either online or face to face. To get the most out of it, it would be great if all the participants could hold and use their own puppet as part of the telling. It could lead easily into a chat about what each character did, how they might have felt and more.
If you’re thinking of printing out lots of copies of the download, you might like to consider buying a pack of the books where the puppets come printed on quality card, and the cover can be used to store them after use.
Get your set here