...because we all have our motley moments!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hands-On Lent for Preschoolers: The Resurrection Cross

This is our son, then age 4, making his resurrection cross last year for Lent. We made a big batch of white playdough, then colored a few balls of dough for decoration. I let him fashion the cross, cut the hearts with a cookie cutter, and recreate the scene as he saw fit.
There is a candle for each week, but it's done in reverse of the Advent wreath, extinguishing a candle for each week leading to Good Friday. I think we lit the whole cross each week, then blew out the appropriate number of candles until Good Friday, when all the candles were extinguished. Jesus died on the cross, and the world was plunged into darkness. On Easter Sunday, all the candles were lit again, representing Christ's resurrection and the Light of the World.
The colorful lumps around the bottom of the cross were the people who shouted mean things to Jesus, according to our son. His four-year-old interpretation of the crucifixion scene brought tears to my eyes. The crown of thorns at the top was his idea, as well as the red (pink) hearts where Jesus' hands were nailed to the cross.
We'll definitely be repeating this tradition this Lenten season. For older kids, perhaps they could give something up for each candle they extinguish, one per week, lending lots of opportunities to talk about Christ's ultimate sacrifice. His love was so great, He gave up His life for us.
How do you learn about or celebrate this religious season with your kids?


Karly said...

What a great idea! I have never thought of celebrating Lent like the Advent season, but backwards. This has started the wheels in my mind a-turnin'.

Great pix! I am really impressed at your son's own artist interpretations. It just goes to show that kids take in so much more than you think.

Thanks for sharing! Do you do anything else as a family to celebrate the Lenten season?

Teresa said...

Donna, I completely forgot about this? I remember that you did this last year!

We have started a family devotion in the morning. And each night, when we read the Bible, we talk about the season that we are in (Lent) and what Jesus was doing at this time.

Donna said...

Karly, I'm interested to hear about what those spinning wheels turn out!

Teresa, thanks for the reminder that the easiest way to tell them about God is to set a time for it, every day, and read about it right from His word. We probably all have at least one children's bible to read from (I think there are 3 or 4 here at my house!). After mealtime is a great time to incorporate devotions.