Activities & Lessons

9 Fun Easter Activities for Elementary and Middle School Students

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Hippity, hoppity, Easter's on its way! That means people around the world will soon be coloring eggs, going on egg hunts, and exchanging Easter baskets.

This year, Easter falls on Sunday, March 31, 2024. The 2,000-year-old celebration has biblical roots, and for many the day signals the start of spring. Read more about Easter's origins. Then try out these Easter activities for elementary and middle school students. They'll have fun while sharpening reading, writing, and STEM skills. (Note that these activities may not be appropriate for some students because of their religious beliefs.) 

Easter Classroom Activities for Elementary and Middle School Students

These hands-on Easter activities for school are sure to put a spring in your students' steps. Try these activities in the classroom, or share them with parents and caregivers to do with their kids at home. 

1. DIY Egg Dye (Grades Pre-K–8)

If you’ve ever dyed an egg at Easter time, you’ve taken part in an age-old tradition. (Read all about the ancient art of egg decorating, including examples that go back tens of thousands of years.) This year, ditch the store-bought dye kits and make your own dye using natural ingredients you likely have in your kitchen. You can make the color mixtures at home (or enlist parents and caregivers to help) and store them in glass jars or other containers with lids. Ask kids to bring in their own hardboiled eggs to class. Make sure eggs are at room temperature before dyeing them.

Directions for making the dye:

Step 1: Choose the color(s) you'd like create. Use the chart below.

INGREDIENT

AMOUNT

COLOR

Turmeric

1 Tablespoon

Yellow

Spinach

1 Cup

Green

Shredded Beets

1 Cup

Pink

Blueberries

1 Cup

Blue

Dried Black Beans

1 Cup

Purple

Yellow Onion Skins

1 Cup

Yellow

Ground Coffee

1 Cup

Brown

Step 2: Add two cups of water and the coloring ingredient (see chart above) to a small pot.

Step 3: Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes.

Step 4: Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. This will help the eggshell absorb the dye.

Step 5: Let the dye cool.

Step 6: Submerge eggs in the dye for up to eight hours. The longer the eggs remain in the dye, the more vivid the color.


2. Where's My Egg? (Grades K–5)

This Easter game for school is a twist on the traditional Easter egg hunt and teaches students how to write clear directions. Before getting started, have your students decorate a cutout cardboard egg to hide. Another option is to use a plastic egg and have students write a special message to leave for the finder.

Follow these directions to play the game at school.

Step 1: Pass out the “Where’s My Egg?” activity sheet. Tell students they are going to hide an egg and then write the directions for the egg's location in the space provided on the activity sheet.

Step 2: Tell students to imagine the best hiding place in the classroom.

Step 3: Next, have students use the activity sheet to write step-by-step directions leading to their hiding spots.

Step 4: Ask students to close their eyes. Allow one student at a time to hide their egg. You might want to set a time limit of 30 seconds

Step 5: Finally, give students time to follow the directions and find the eggs. To conduct this game as safely as possible, allow only one or a few kids to hunt for their eggs at the same time. Once students find the eggs, have them take a seat.

Ask: Was your partner able to follow your directions and find the egg? How long did it take? Did you have to use gestures, like pointing and nodding, to help?


3. Easter Egg Roll (Grades Pre-K–8)

The springtime Easter Egg Roll at the White House—a race in which children use a spoon to push an egg through the grass—has been a tradition for more than 100 years.

On Easter Mondays in the 1870s, Capitol Hill was a popular place for children to roll painted eggs. Unfortunately, all that activity made a mess of the lawn, so in 1876, Congress passed a law forbidding play on Capitol grounds. President Rutherford B. Hayes rescued the sport with an 1878 order declaring that children were welcome to roll their Easter eggs on White House grounds. Presidents have hosted a White House Egg Roll on the Monday after Easter ever since. Find out more about one of the oldest annual celebrations in White House history.

Get students in on the egg-rolling fun. Have them bring in their own colored hardboiled eggs, or try the “DIY Easter Egg Dye” activity with your class first. Then try one or more of these activities in a grassy area of the schoolyard or a nearby park.

  • Ready, Set, Roll! Students will need a long-handled wooden spoon and one hardboiled egg to play. Find a grassy area of the schoolyard and establish clear start and finish lines. Demonstrate how to push the egg through the grass using the wooden spoon. Then separate students into groups of five for the race. You might provide a small prize (a chocolate bunny?) to the winner of each race.
  • Extreme Egg Toss Have students partner up to play catch with one of the hardboiled eggs. The distance between partners should be the same for each team. After each toss back and forth, partners should each take one step back, then toss the egg back and forth again. If the egg drops, but doesn't crack, the team remains in the game. But if the egg cracks, the team is out. The last team standing with an intact egg wins the game.
  • Play Hot “Potato” Separate students into groups of five. Have each group stand in a circle and toss a hardboiled egg to each other as music plays. The player in each group who is holding the “hot potato” when the music stops is out. The game continues until one player—the winner—is left.

4. Jelly Bean Math (Grades Pre-K–3)

According to historians, brightly-colored jelly beans became an Easter staple in the 1930s thanks to their egg-like shape. Their sweetness marked the end of Lent, a six-week period leading up to Easter in which Christians pray and fast. Tell students that jelly beans can be a fun tool for practicing math concepts.

Provide each student with a bag of jelly beans. Then have them complete one or more of the following math activities.

  • Estimate It: Have students write an estimate for the total number of jelly beans in the bag. They could also write an estimate for each color. Next, have them count the jelly beans. How close were their estimates?
  • Sort It Out: Tell students to sort the jelly beans by color. How many of each color do they have?
  • Graph It: Have students graph the number of each jelly bean color in the bag. Remind them to write a title for the graph, label the axes, and add a scale.
  • Pattern Play: Show students how to create patterns (ABA, ABC, ABBA) using the jelly beans. Then have them challenge a classmate to continue the patterns.
  • Sweet Symmetry: Have students design one half of an egg or bunny shape using the jelly beans and then challenge a classmate to complete the other half.
  • Do the Math: Challenge students to come up with another way to use the jelly beans to practice math concepts and share their idea with the class.

Students can use jelly beans for so many math activities, such as building a graph to see how many of each color they have, creating ABA, ABC, and ABBA patterns, or sorting by color.

5. Jelly Bean Science (Grades K–8)

Here’s a simple Easter-themed experiment that you can do to spark students’ curiosity and critical thinking. Start by generating predictions. Ask: What do you think will happen if you put jelly beans in water? What about vinegar? Then do the experiment to test the predictions.

Jelly Bean Science Experiment

Supplies You’ll Need:
Jelly beans
Water at room temperature
Distilled white vinegar
Plastic plates
Cups to hold the liquids
Timer

Step 1:
Have students place jelly beans around the edge of the plate.

Step 2: Fill each cup with equal amounts of water and vinegar.

Step 3: Make a prediction: Which liquid will dissolve the color from the jelly beans the quickest? Have students record their predications.

Step 4: Pour the water into the center of the plate. Start the timer.

Step 5: Wait for the colors to run over the entire plate, and then stop the timer. Record the time.

Step 6: Repeat Steps 4 and 5 with the vinegar on a new plate.

Have students record their observations. Ask: Which liquid dissolved the colors the quickest? What other liquids can we test? Make a list. Tell students that jelly beans are made up mostly of sugar. Sugar dissolves in water. It will also dissolve in vinegar, but a bit more slowly. Encourage students to try the experiment at home with supervision using a new liquid from the list and report their findings to the class.


6. Do a Science “Egg-Speriment” (Grades 3–8)

Looking for hands-on, eggcellent science fun? Try the “Bouncy Egg” science experiment. It teaches kids about chemical reactions. (Younger students will need adult assistance if doing this experiment at home.)

Before doing the experiment, tell students they're going to find out what happens to a raw egg that is submerged in vinegar for three days. Have students make a prediction in their science journals and note the changes they see happening to the egg on each day of the experiment. Revisit student predictions on the third day. Ask: How do your predictions compare with what actually happened to the egg? Challenge older students to research the science behind the chemical reaction that occurred in this experiment and report their findings back to the class.

Bouncy Egg Science Experiment

Supplies You’ll Need:

  • Raw egg
  • Glass or jar (with enough room to submerge an egg)
  • White vinegar
  • Plate or container (used on the third day)

Step 1: Carefully place the raw egg in a glass or jar.
Step 2: 
Completely submerge the egg in white vinegar.
Step 3:
 Leave the egg in the glass for three days. After the third day, the egg will become translucent.
Step 4: On the third day, carefully remove the egg from the glass and rinse it under tap water. While rinsing, gently rub the outside of the egg to remove the white film and reveal a rubbery, translucent egg.
Step 5:
 Lift the egg one to two inches in the air over a plate or container. Let the egg go, and watch it bounce!

Ask your students: What will happen if we lift the egg even higher in the air and let it drop? Test this question out and watch the egg go splat!

Here's a video with helpful information about the “Bouncy Egg” experiment. And check out these other egg experiments you can do with students.

7. Make an Easter Mask (Grades Pre-K–4)

Challenge students to create Easter-themed masks using common supplies, such as paper plates, paint, crayons, cotton balls, construction paper, buttons, pipe cleaners, and glue. Let them find inspiration in nature or online for their designs. However, if they need help getting started, the paper plate bunny below should help.

Challenge students to explore other Easter or spring-related themes besides bunny rabbits when crafting their masks. How about a floral headband or a paper plate chick mask? What can they use to make these masks or headbands that they might already have at home? For example, buttons can work as an animal’s eyes or a nose. Pipe cleaners or strips of paper can serve as whiskers.

Now to make this an even more fun Easter activity for elementary students— throw a costume party! Give out holiday snacks if celebrating face to face. Decorate your classroom (or virtual backdrop) to match the festivities.


8. Tell an Easter Tale (Grades Pre-K–8)

Students of all ages can find a little joy listening to a picture book read-aloud. Plus, picture books can provide a quick and easy way to familiarize students with story structure before asking them to spin their own tales. Provide students with a “Story Map” to fill out as they listen to you read one of the following Easter-themed picture books.

After reading the book, ask: What is the main problem in the story? How is the problem resolved? Then challenge students to write another story with the same characters. Ask: What other problem might these characters face in another story? Remind them that the problem should have an Easter theme. Make a list of student ideas. Have students choose the idea they want to write about. Older students can write and illustrate the story independently and younger students can draw the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Remind them to describe a problem that is resolved in the end. Allow time for students to share or even act out their Easter stories.


9. Celebrate Springtime (Grades K–5)

Easter often falls near the start of spring. So why not celebrate the season with these spring activities for elementary students? Your class will have fun making a flip book based on a time-lapse video of a plant growing, learning about spring festivities around the world, following directions to create a spring scene, completing a spring-themed word search, and much more. For hands-on fun that will teach kids about nature, animals, and the environment, be sure to check out our spring science experiments and activities

Share Your Easter Activities for School 

Have more ideas for Easter classroom activities? Or maybe you've got some top-notch Easter lesson plans up your sleeve? We'd love to hear your ideas. Share them with us on Facebook, Instagram, or via email at shaped@hmhco.com.

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Find more lesson plans and classroom resources on Shaped.

This blog post, originally published in March 2021, has been updated for 2024.

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