Today is Ash Wednesday. Yesterday and today Hazel and I put together a Lenten table to help us think about the meaning of Lent and prepare for Easter. We pulled out many of our projects from past years. Some of these projects Hazel does not remember, so we are working on redoing some of them. We missed going to our church's pancake supper for Shrove Tuesday. I knew one of the activities they were doing with the kids was to decorate an "Alleluia" to put away in the box. Since "alleluia" is not used during Lent. I had Hazel do one at home.
Our church uses Godly Play for the Sunday School. I have been trained to be a storyteller and love the Mystery of Easter story. I decided to make Hazel the pieces of the story or at least most of them. The Mystery of Easter story has a puzzle that makes a purple cross and then displays how Easter flips everything upside down by creating a white cross on the other side. The script is found in the Volume 4 book of The Complete Guide to Godly Play. (The actual story pieces can be bought here.)
In church after the story the kids can choose to play with a story or do a craft of their choosing. The original story has the pieces in a reversible bag but we put ours in a basket on our Lenten table.
On our table are various books about the story of Easter and a print-out of the Last Supper, which is part of the Godly Play curriculum. I also put a battery operated candle and some printed pictures in little frames. I also used a tray which I covered with purple tissue paper since purple is the color of Lent. On the tray we included a basket with olive wood hearts from the Holy Lands, scripture and blessing engraved rocks, and Hazel's sparkle egg.
prayer, scripture and poem cards from Wildflower Ramblings. I let Hazel pick which ones to place in the basket and plan to switch which is on top each week or so.
We also put on our crown of thorns that we made a few years ago. We used never drying clay so we could add the thorns again. We pulled out the things we need to grow a Resurrection Garden again. Now I just need to get some grass seed for it.
preschool Resurrection eggs which Hazel still remembers well.
I added my wooden cross that I got as a child in my church and our blessing tree. We also had to include Amon's Adventures which we reviewed last year.
We added so many books that we needed to take some off the table. I put them in Hazel's wooden manger that we usually only have out at Christmas time, but I thought it would be a perfect connection to remember why Jesus came to earth. For ideas of books to use check out these books for the young ones, books for various ages, Legend of the Sand Dollar (I think I will add a sand dollar to the little basket with rocks and things), books for elementary school children, multicultural books. For younger children this toilet paper roll characters of the Crucifixion and Resurrection story. We also looked at our Last Supper model and Hazel did not remember it so we are going to do a new one. She couldn't wait to start coloring it at first.
Some craft ideas are beaded crosses, candy wrapper cross, Lent bracelet, and a fun activity is Resurrection rolls. I also have to find our Holy Week decorations (we tried to find the finger puppets as well but did not find a full set yet) from last year. For some other Easter and spring craft ideas check out here.