Two Easter Egg Hunt Games for All Ages
that are also teaching moments about the Easter Story
Run to the Empty Tomb!
This classic relay-game-with-a-twist can be played by any age, and should include adults if at all possible.
Before you play, make a list of "ways to run" numbered from 1 to 7 in large numerals on a flipchart that you can display at the race (suggestions below). At the race, line up competing teams and assign each player a number that corresponds to the numbered "ways to run" on the flipchart. If needed, demonstrate each running style.
Create an "Empty Tomb"* at the other end of the course. When a runner arrives at the "tomb" they must go in, shout "He is Risen!" and then run back to tag the next runner on their team and shout to them "He is Risen!"
1. Run hopping on one foot
2. Run backwards
3. Run in giant leaps
4. Run skipping
5. Run carrying a friend or small child
6. Run shouting "I love you!" at the top of your lungs at least 3 times up and 3 times back.
7. Run waddling, flapping, and peeping like a baby chick
Give three cheers to the winning team, but reward everyone with a small token of Easter candy—because when God chose to demonstrate his love for us while we were yet sinners we all won.
*The Empty Tomb can be a camping tent with a painter's drop cloth covering it or a canvas tarp string between two chairs which the runners must duck under to get "inside."
If you have small children, pair them with older kids to run together. Adjust the number of teams and size of teams for your group size and age. Award extra pieces of candy to some of the cuter, slower, and goofier runners.
Before you play the game, explain what the Empty Tomb means to us, as well as how to use it in the game. Explain that we all "come to our belief in the Risen Christ" in different ways, some hopping, some backward, some slow, some fast, some being carried/encouraged by a friend. Some by going to church, others by music or scripture. Some when they are young, some when they are old. God works in mysterious and amazing ways (like empty tombs and Easter egg hunts) to get his message of love and salvation in front of us. (Add more if you like.)
Get Those Disciples to Emmaus! (and back to Jerusalem)
This classic "balloon batting" relay game is a fun indoor or outdoor game that kids of any age can play, including adults.
Form two or more teams and have the teams line up. On "go" one player from each team must bat or otherwise herd their balloon to a distant box marked "Emmaus." They may not carry it. If the balloon touches the ground or pops they have to start over (though you might adjust this rule for younger players). The next player on a team can only go when the player ahead of them has gotten the balloon into Emmaus. Once all the teams have gotten their balloons into their "Emmaus" box, pause and tell them the story of Jesus appearing on the Road to Emmaus.
When you get to the part where the disciples "returned to Jerusalem," announce that all the balloons must return to Jerusalem—but this time, everyone goes at the same time (which will be fun and quick chaos). For extra fun, have a volunteer move around with the "Jerusalem Box" making it harder (or easier) to get balloons into it. (Yes there are "obstacles" and "things that make it difficult to follow" even on your way to Jerusalem!)
"Back" to Jerusalem is a nice teaching metaphor. The disciples were wandering off after Easter wondering what it all meant. But they were called back to join the other disciples and carry out Christ's mission. This resurrection of faith and purpose is also part of the Easter message. (Add and fill this out as you like.)
Tip: If a balloon pops, quickly give them a new one and keep playing.
Tip: Use the same box for Emmaus and Jerusalem, just write Jerusalem on the other side.
I hope you like these games and have fun teaching with them.