Jesus is Alive!

Each time your child takes a Bible Quest in Guardians of Ancora, there’s a collection of activities, games and things to make and do together, all of which extend and expand the in-game fun beyond the app. Look through this collection and choose one or more ideas to help your family discover more about ‘Jesus is Alive!’.

Here are some great questions to start you chatting about any Bible Quest:

  • What sort of thing has this Bible Quest reminded you of, that you knew before?
  • What new things have you discovered, as you’ve played this Bible Quest?
  • Is there anything you’re going to keep thinking about, from the Quest?

New activity ideas are added for each Bible Quest, as well several collections of activities about prayer, stories and so on. Look out for more Family Activity downloads, as your child plays more Bible Quests.

A quick introduction to spiritual styles

Family activities from Guardians of Ancora are devised to inspire varied ways of knowing God:  four distinct avenues for connecting with him through word, emotion, symbol, and action. These ‘spiritual styles’ are broad approaches to spirituality and faith, through which children experience God and make sense of their lives in the world around them.

If you want to find out more about spiritual styles, this article is a helpful introduction to a fascinating topic:

http://www.faithformationlearningexchange.net/uploads/5/2/4/6/5246709/saturation_spirituality-creating_environmentsthatnurtureallchildren_-_csinos.pdf

Tomb readers

Bible link

John 20:1–10 (also Matthew 28:1–10; Mark 16:1–8; Luke 24:1–12)

What you need:

a cemetery!

the words of John 20:1–10

What you do:

If you have a local cemetery, or even a small graveyard (some old churches have them), take your child to look around. While you are there, read the story of Jesus’ burial and what happens when his friends come to visit his grave.

Encourage your child to be respectful and also be clear that this is not a scary or creepy place.

For children who like action, look for the oldest grave and the newest grave.

For those who are always asking questions, chat about how being in a graveyard helps you imagine the story. Has your child ever been in a graveyard before? What do they notice about the graves?

Different people associate different feelings and emotions with death and burial. Prompt your child to notice the graves that are extremely dark and sad, as well as the graves that are highly decorated, almost celebrating! Perhaps you could use this checklist of possible grave types and challenge your child to find an example for each category.

  •       Sad
  •       Plain
  •       Mysterious
  •       Serious
  •       Decorated
  •       Humorous
  •       Flowery
  •       Religious
  •       Honouring
  •       Peaceful
  •       Loving
  •       Surprising

Children who are interested in symbols will find much to fascinate them. Help your child look for symbols that show different beliefs or cultures. For example, many Christians have crosses on their graves; sometimes the letters “RIP” (Rest in Peace) are engraved on a tombstone; other graves may have stars, angels, crests or other pictures.

This activity will intrigue children with word-, emotion-, symbol- and action-centred approaches to knowing God.

Eye witnesses

Bible link

Matthew 28:1–10; Mark 16:1–8; Luke 24:1–12; John 20:1–10

What you need:

the words of all four Gospel stories of the empty tomb

highlighters

table of questions (below)

What you do:

The four stories of finding Jesus’ empty tomb in the Bible are all a little bit different. This is because when people report on amazing, unexpected and emotional events, each person tells the story in their own way, emphasising what was important to them in what happened.

Suggest to your child that they can be an investigator and compare the stories of the four witnesses. Spread the investigation out over a few days or even weeks, adding to the chart, bit by bit.

Matthew Mark Luke John
Number of people who visited the tomb
Did they bring anything with them?
What weather conditions or time of day are mentioned?
Who did they find at the tomb?
Was there any conversation?
What burial items are mentioned?
What was the emotional state of those who went to the tomb?

This activity will involve children with word- and action-centred approaches to knowing God.

Surprise!

Bible link

Mark 16:1–8

What you need:

a packet of pull-string party-poppers

What you do:

This activity is best done with a small group of people, so gather your household and distribute the party poppers.

Perform a “surprise” reading of the Bible story, inviting people to listen out for words beginning with the letter “S”. If they hear a word beginning with “S”, they are allowed to pop their popper, but once one person has “popped” the others shouldn’t: the poppers should last to the end of the reading.

If your child is an enthusiastic reader, let them read while others pop. If they are not keen to read in front of other people, let them “organise” the poppers and explain the activity, but have someone else read.

Follow up chat:

  •       Do you like surprises?
  •       What has been something that has been a great surprise for you?
  •       What did you find surprising in the story of Jesus’ empty tomb?
  •       What do you think has happened to the body of Jesus?
  •       How many different possibilities are there for explaining the surprise of the empty tomb?

This activity will excite children with word-, emotion- and action-centred approaches to knowing God.

Gingerbread Jesus

Bible link

John 20:1–10 (also Matthew 28:1–10; Mark 16:1–8; Luke 24:1–12)

What you need:

a gingerbread recipe (such as www.foodinaminute.co.nz/Recipes/Gingerbread-Men)

gingerbread man shape cutters

plain icing

cornflour

ground spice (cinnamon or mixed spice)

currants for eyes (optional)

What you do:

Help your child mix a batch of gingerbread dough, roll out and cut out with gingerbread man shape cutters. Cook and allow to cool.

Mix a stiff mixture of icing with a little cornflour. Roll out into strips.

Wind the strips around the gingerbread men to make “mummified” Jesus biscuits.

Sprinkle with a little extra cinnamon or mixed spice. Add currant eyes (optional).

Your child might enjoy giving away some “Gingerbread Jesus” biscuits as Easter gifts.

Remind your child that Jesus was buried in this way – there is no doubt that he really died – but that makes it all the more amazing that his friends then saw him alive again!

This activity will encourage children with symbol- and action-centred approaches to knowing God.

Adverbs

Bible link

John 20:19–25

What you do:

One person should go out of the room. When this person comes back, he or she will ask questions, eg “What is your name?” or “What colour is your shirt?” The others will answer in a certain way – the way they agreed while the questioner was out of the room. (It could be sadly, angrily, cheerfully, as though they’re bored, or politely.) The questioner must try to guess in what way they are answering.

Play the game a couple more times.

Then read John 20:19–25 together. While Thomas was out of the room, something happened to change the other disciples who had been sad and scared. In what way might they have said, “We have seen the Lord!”? In what way did Thomas reply?

Now read the rest of the story, verses 26–29. In what way might Thomas have said, “My Lord and my God”?

This activity will interest children with a word-centred approach to knowing God.

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