Family Easter Activity – Prayer Pretzels


“Taste and see that God is good” (Psalm 34:8)

PRAYER PRETZEL—Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane just before He is arrested.

Items needed: Enough biscuit dough for each child to have two biscuits, plates, butter to be melted in a microwave, spoons, cinnamon sugar or pretzel salt and garlic salt.

Did you know that the pretzel was originally about prayer?

Here’s the history of the Pretzel:

In Europe a few weeks before Christmas in 610AD, there was a monk (a man who had set himself apart to know God) named Brother Bachman, who was working in the monastery’s bakery. While he was working with dough, he was watching the village children play in the snow. He felt sad because these children weren’t interested in coming to church or learning to pray. In those days many times children would memorize prayers to help them learn to pray. Then, according to history, Brother Bachman had an idea. He took left-over dough, rolled it out into a thin length and twisted it into the shape of folded arms. In those days instead of putting their hands together to pray, they would fold their arms across their chest so that each hand was touching the opposite shoulder. This is the shape he created with the dough—the shape of the pretzel. He baked these and told the children that if they learned their prayers, he would give them a “Pretiola,” which means, “a little reward,” which is where we get the name Pretzel. Eventually the Pretiola moved into Austria and Germany and continues with us today.*

-Give each child a plate and enough dough for two biscuits.

-Tell your child to combine the biscuits together and then to roll the dough to create a long stick or snack. These can be as skinny or fat as they desire.

-Have students lay out their dough as if it were a smile on the plate. (Interesting that the beginning of this creation is a smile. Doesn’t it make you happy to know and follow Jesus?)

-Show them how to fold each end up and around (almost in the shape of a heart) to form the traditional pretzel shape.

-Show your child the shape of the shoulders (the smile turned upside down) and how it bends to arms that reach from shoulder to shoulder.

-Let your child flavor their pretzels with melted butter and either cinnamon sugar or pretzel salt (with perhaps even a touch of garlic salt).

-Cook the pretzels according to the baking instructions. While they cook, read Matthew 26:26-46 about the Last Supper and Jesus praying in Gethsemane.

-Let the pretzel remind you of how Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane before He was arrested, crucified and rose from the dead.

Since the pretzel is about prayer, pray before you eat your creations and thank God for sending Jesus to be the Savior of the world.


*There are a variety of sources that refer to this or a similar telling of this story concerning the origins of the Pretzel.


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