Activities & Lessons
Hippity, hoppity, Easter's on its way! That means people around the world will soon be coloring eggs, going on egg hunts, and consuming lots and lots of candy.
This year, Easter falls on Sunday, April 17. 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 classroom activities with your elementary and middle school students. They'll have fun while sharpening reading, writing, and STEM skills.
Easter Activities for Elementary and Middle School Students
These super-fun Easter ideas for remote or in-person learning are sure to put a spring in your students' steps. Try these activities in the classroom, or share them with parents to do with their kids at home.
1. DIY Easter 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.) This year, ditch the store-bought dye kits and make your own dye using natural ingredients you likely have in your kitchen. If you’re teaching remotely, share these instructions with parents so they can try this activity with their kids. If you’re teaching in person, you can make the color mixtures at home (or enlist parents to help) and store them in Mason 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:
- Choose the color(s) you'd like create. Use the chart below.
- Add two cups of water and the coloring ingredient (see chart above) to a small pot.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. This will help the eggshell absorb the dye.
- Let the dye cool.
- 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 game 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. If students are learning remotely, share these instructions and the “Where’s My Egg?” activity sheet with parents, and ask them to play the game with their child.
- Pass out the “Where’s My Egg? activity sheet to your students. Tell students they are going to hide an egg and then write the directions to the egg's location in the space provided on the activity sheet.
- Tell students to imagine the best hiding place in the classroom (or at home if students are learning remotely.)
- 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. Make sure that every kid finds a different hiding space.
- Next, have students use the activity sheet to write step-by-step directions leading to their hiding spots. Then they can partner up and trade directions.
- 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.
Allow time for students who play the game at home with an adult to report back to the class. 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. Do a Science “Egg-Speriment” (Grades 3–8)
Looking for hands-on, eggcellent science fun that your kids can do in person or remotely? 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
What You Need
- Raw egg
- Glass or jar (with enough room to submerge an egg)
- White vinegar
- Plate or container (used on the third day)
What to Do
- Carefully place the raw egg in a glass or jar.
- Completely submerge the egg in white vinegar.
- Leave the egg in the glass for three days. After the third day, the egg will become translucent.
- 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.
- 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!
5. Jellybean 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 jellybeans can be a fun tool for practicing math concepts.
Provide each student with a large ziplock bag filled with jellybeans. Then have them complete one or more of the following math activities.
- Estimate It: Have students write an estimate for the total number of jellybeans in the bag. They could also write an estimate for each color. Next, have them count the jellybeans. 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?
- Sweet Statistics: Have students graph the number of each jelly bean color in the bag. Remind them to write a title for the graph, label the x- and y-axes, and add a scale.
- Pattern Play: Show students how to create patterns (ABA, ABC, ABBA) using the jellybeans. Then have them challenge a classmate to continue the patterns.
- 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.
6. Make an Easter Mask (Grades Pre-K–4)
Challenge students to create Easter-themed masks using easy-to-find 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 a little 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 bunny ears, 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.
Once students have completed their masks, take a poll with a show of hands if you're conducting class in person, or use a tool like Kahoot! if you're teaching remotely. Whose mask is the most creative? The silliest? The most original?
Alternatively, you can throw an in-person or remote Easter-themed costume party! Give out holiday snacks if celebrating face to face (if remote, their parents or guardians can provide the treats). Decorate your classroom (or virtual backdrop) to match the festivities.
7. 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.
- Happy Easter, Curious George! by H.A. Rey
- The Easter Egg Is Missing! by Kathryn Selbert
- The Bunny Who Found Easter by Charlotte Zolotow and Helen Craig
- Ollie's Easter Eggs by Olivier Dunrea
- Easter Eggscapade by Henri Meunier and Nathalie Choux
After reading the book, ask: What is the main problem in the story? How is the problem resolved? Then have students imagine that they are authors. 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 their Easter stories with the class.
Share Your Easter Ideas for the Classroom
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. Email us at Shaped@hmhco.com or tweet us at @TheTeacherRoom.
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