I found this Easter cooking illustration for kids and it was really the best way to talk to Caroline about Easter in terms she could understand. There is a hands on element to it and a tangible illustration, so it was better than just reading her Bible stories about Easter or trying to explain to her the reason behind Easter. I'm not sure all of it comes together cleanly enough for a 3 year old anyway; I often have a hard time wrapping my head around it all! But, maybe that says more about me than anything else . . . ?
If you can get to the store and do it today or tomorrow, I highly recommend it, or put it in the file for next year. After you read through the linked page, this will make more sense, but Caroline's response to each part of this was really funny. The basic recipe is to dip marshmallows in melted butter then roll them in a sugar and cinnamon mixture and finally wrap the "spiced up marshmallow" in a crescent roll and bake for about 11 minutes or so. The marshmallow represents Jesus and the crescent roll represents the tomb. In the baking process the marshmallow "disappears" just as we celebrate Jesus' resurrection from the tomb. When we pulled the end product out of the oven (delicious by the way, so try it even if you don't have kids to do it with), Caroline picked up one of the rolls and looked through a tiny hole and said, "Hello? Jesus are you in there?" Then looking up at me with wide-eyes, she exclaimed, "Oh, no! Mama, he's not in there! He rose!"