One of our favorite Easter activities is making Empty Tomb Rolls. They are really easy to make, a fun way to tell the resurrection story, and you end up with a tasty treat – can’t beat that! This is a great visual for younger kids to help them see the miracle and excitement of the empty tomb.
I was a little hesitant to make them this year; after all, we have reached the “cool” teenage years, but as we got into the process I realized that you are never too old to be amazed at the empty tomb. And that certain parts of the story (such as the burial spices) hit in a different way as you get older. It turned out to be one of our best years since he is really beginning to understand the sacrifice, so to me it’s a great activity for any family!
I usually do the first one while we are telling the story, then I let Collier do the rest of them. That’s also a great chance to have the kiddos repeat the story back to you as they walk through the steps.
The ingredients for this activity are pretty basic:
- One can of crescent rolls
- Melted Butter
- Cinnamon and Sugar Mixed
- Take the crescent rolls and separate each triangle. Flatten it a little so that you have plenty of dough to wrap around the marshmallow. As you are separating and flatten the dough, talk about how it represents the tomb they laid Jesus in. Read Luke 23:50-54.
- Talk about out how the marshmallow represents Jesus. Read 1 Peter 18-19. Discuss what it means that while he was without blemish, he willingly took on our sins even to death.
- Dip the marshmallow in butter and then roll it in the cinnamon and sugar. Read John 19: 38-40. Talk about how the butter and sugar represent the spices and oils that were used to prepare Jesus for burial.
- Place a marshmallow in the center of each roll and wrap the dough around the marshmallow. Read Matthew 27:59-60. Talk about how the tomb was completely sealed. Roll the dough in your hands to make sure the marshmallow is completely covered and all of the dough is sealed.
It is important that all of the seams are sealed up or the marshmallow will leak out. If the kids are doing their own it is probably a good idea to go behind them on this step.
- Place the rolls in the oven and cook according to crescent roll package instructions, usually 13-15 minutes. While the rolls are baking we talk about what it must have been like for the apostles and other followers of Jesus in those days after his death. How did they feel? Were they scared? Were they confused? What do you think you would have done?
- After the rolls have finished baking, take them out of the oven and let them cool down for 5-10 minutes. The cinnamon makes the kitchen smell amazing and the kiddos will probably want to cut into them immediately. This is a great time to talk about how hard waiting is. Remind them that just like we can’t rush to eat food that’s too hot, we can’t rush God’s plans either.
- After the rolls are cool enough to handle, let them break one in half. The marshmallow has melted and the tomb is empty! Read Mark 16:2-6. Talk about what the empty tomb means to each of you.
While I love how perfectly this activity helps explain the empty tomb, the rolls are also really good! Collier and I finished all eight rolls at one time. You can’t really go wrong with any recipe that includes crescent rolls, butter, and sugar!
The only tricky part to this recipe is making sure all the seams of the dough are sealed VERY good. Since the marshmallow liquifies, ANY part that isn’t sealed tightly will break open and allow it to ooze out. You can also put them in a muffin pan instead of a flat cookie sheet, that can help keep them together better and puff up more. If you have a few that break open just save those for your late night snack!