FREE EASTER PRINTABLES AND FUN EASTER ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS

If you want to print out one of the free Easter printables below
just click on its image to open up a pdf file.

You will also find Easter Games for kids at the bottom of this page.






















































































































Why Do We Celebrate Easter?


Easter is an ancient holiday that is celebrated in many countries. For Christians, it is the commemoration of the death and rebirth of Jesus Christ. However, Easter has deep roots and traditions that go back well before Christianity (which is 2000 years old).

The word Easter comes from Eostre, the ancient Germanic goddess of spring (popular from the 6th century BC). Eostre found a colorful bird that was too injured to be able to fly again, so she turned it into a rabbit. Amazingly, the rabbit kept the ability to lay eggs. To say thank you, the rabbit gave Eostre a basket of her colorful eggs as a gift. In kind, followers of Eostre honored spring with gifts of colorful bird eggs. This tradition spread throughout Europe and did not change until the mid 1800's when European manufacturers began to produce chocolate eggs. The chocolate was very popular and the custom evolved, so that today it is common to give baskets of chocolate Easter eggs. Migrants to the United States, Australia and other countries brought the folk tale and tradition with them.

If you look even further back than the legend of Eostre, you can find plenty evidence of ancient cultures decorating and giving eggs in Spring. For more than 3000 years, the Chinese have been painting eggs red for spring festivals, the Zorastrians (Middle East - 2500 years ago) offered colored eggs on their New Year's Eve which is at the start of spring, and the Druids (Western Europe - 6000 years ago) used them in ceremonies held on the spring equinox (when day and night are of equal length). Incredibly, a large stash of 60, 000 year old ostrich egg shells found at Diepkloof Rock Shelter in South Africa had detailed patterns scratched onto them.

Today, Easter is celebrated in many countries, in many ways.

- In Eastern Europe people use wax and dye to create detailed designs on hard-boiled eggs.- In the Netherlands and Germany Easter fires are lit at sunset on Easter Sunday.- In Bermuda kites are flown.- In Nordic countries, the Easter holiday is associated with murder mysteries. Major TV stations run crime and detective marathons and publishing houses release novels just before Easter.- In Finland, Sweden and Denmark small children dress as witches and go door-to-door collecting chocolate eggs.- In Switzerland (the land of cuckoo clocks) the cuckoo brings the eggs.- In Westphalia (a region of Germany) a fox brings the eggs.- In the United Kingdom egg knocking competitions are held. Competitors line up and knock eggs together. If an egg is cracked the competitor is out.- In the United States of America, an Easter Party for children is hosted by the President. A highlight of this event is the egg rolling race.- In Australia people also give Chocolate Easter Bilbies. The bilby is an endangered native Australian mammal that looks similar to a rabbit. Some of the proceeds of each sale go to the protection of endangered species.- In France, children throw eggs in the air and catch them. If you drop your egg you're out.- In Egypt, Easter Monday is a public holiday that marks an ancient spring festival. Egyptians spend the day in parks and gardens.- In Florence, Italy an enormous 300 year old cart that is decorated with flowers is dragged through the streets. At the end of its journey, it is bombarded with fireworks and explosions to ensure a good harvest for the year.

However, in most countries that celebrate Easter, two customs are honored; people give decorated or chocolate eggs as gifts and children hunt for hidden eggs.

Click here for a printable pdf version of this article.




EASTER GAMES FOR KIDS


These traditional easter egg games can be played in the classroom or playground.

Egg Dance

This is common in Germany and in the United Kingdom (where it is called the Egg Hop).

Eggs are laid on the ground or floor and the goal is to dance among the eggs without damaging them.

In the classroom use paper eggs made from scrunched up newspaper.

Give each student a sheet of newspaper and some sticky tape and let them shape an egg.

Younger students would be happy to simply dance to music while trying to avoid the eggs.

Challenge older students by asking them to walk blindfolded (one at a time) through a "field of eggs" without stepping on them.



Bowling Eggs

This is played in egypt.

Children bowl red and yellow eggs towards another row of eggs.

Whoever cracks one egg can claim them all.

In the classroom, use hardboiled eggs that have been colored red and yellow.

Students can color them with crayons or food dye (use a metal spoon to hold eggs in a mixture of 1/2 tsp of food dye, 1 cup of water and 1tsp of vinegar).

Students take 2 eggs (one yellow and one red) and mark them with their initials.

The yellow eggs are placed on a line (draw chalk on concrete or use masking tape on carpet).

Each student takes a turn to roll their red egg with the aim of knocking yellow eggs off the line.

After everyone has had a turn, those students whose yellow egg is still on the line can have a second turn and so on, until one yellow egg is left.



Egg Rolling

This is popular in Scotland, Northern England, Northern Ireland, Germany and Holland.

Coloured eggs are rolled down hills.

In most countries the egg that rolls the fastest is the winner.

In Holland the egg that rolls the farthest is the winner.

In the United States of America the egg is pushed along the flat ground with a spoon.

In school, all three versions are great fun.

Choose a suitable slope in the playground and mark out the race track with cones or rope.

Run heats of 4 to 6 students, semi-finals and a final race.

Easter Egg Hunt

A popular Easter activity everywhere.

Eggs are hidden and children race to find them.

In the classroom, use cardboard eggs that the students have cut out and decorated.



Egg Tapping

This is played in Northern England, Eastern Europe and Southern United States of America.

Pairs of competitors line up to knock the tips of eggs together.

If the shell of an egg is cracked the owner is out.

The challenges continue until one egg remains.

In the classroom, its safer to use hardboiled eggs.

You can also control the strength of the knocking by asking students to keep their elbows by their side.

Click here for a printable pdf version of this article.




Easter Printables To Home Page