Holy Week Activities

As we start the holiest week of the year, I wanted to share some of the activities we have planned.  All of them are quick and easy to put together (because that’s kind of where we are at in life right now) so even if you’ve waited until the last minute to try to do something for Holy Week, have no fear.  Just click the pictures for links to the directions and activities.

Holy Week Wreath

Wee Little Miracles created this beautiful wreath to tell the Easter story.  I had seen the same Oriental Trading activity she mentions and wished to do something similar but the author Erin did such a fabulous job, why reinvent the wheel?  Click the picture to visit her site for all the directions, downloads, and more great ideas.

 

Cross and Crucifix paintings

Last year we painted cross paintings that were beautiful and easy to make.  We simply made a cross on the paper using painter’s tape and then painted water colors over the cross.  We did this with another family.  Some of the kids chose to add words with crayons ahead of time; others simply painted around the cross.

So of course I can’t find any pictures of our beautiful crosses.  I’ll keep looking and update when I find them but in the meantime, imagine a white cross on a page of beautiful watercolors….

 

Similar to our cross painting, Do Small Things With Love has done a watercolor crucifix painting.  This week the kids get to choose which one they would like to make.  Just click the image to visit her page.

Easter Egg Printable

We created this printable a few years ago when our girls were little.  Now we have our son who has gotten old enough to make the Easter Eggs so they are back in the rotation again.  You can find all the directions here.

Hot Cross Buns

This Good Friday we will be enjoying traditional Hot Cross Buns.  On Friday we will simply score the buns with a cross as we will be fasting, but any buns leftover will be getting yummy icing cross for Easter.  Catholic Cuisine has a great recipe along with historical info about this Lenten treat.

 

Stations of the Cross

This is one of my favorite parts of our Catholic faith.  I love the Stations of the Cross.  Really, I love Good Friday.  Maybe that’s not quite the right emotion or not the right way to say it.  But I just love so many people coming together as a group to mediate on the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus, walking in his steps on the road to Calvary, venerating the cross.

It does get hard to keep the little ones quiet and focused during the Stations, however.  My go-to is coloring books of the Stations so that they can follow along while also staying occupied.  Here are a few different ones–just click the image to visit the different sites.

From Catholic Playground:

From St. Anne’s Helper (a great site for Catholic printables):

From Catholic Mom: Stations of the Cross coloring pages

 

And if you need help getting your kids into the Stations of the Cross, check out the Lego version here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bs5Z8TAVoGg

 

Happy Holy Week everyone!!

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Religious Easter Eggs

P1020337I saw these religious printed plastic eggs on Oriental Trading but I didn’t want to pay for them.  I wouldn’t say they were expensive but once you factor in shipping, they are a lot more than the dollar packs of plastic eggs you can get.  So I made my own.  On some I used paint pens and on others stickers.  All told it took me less than an hour and cost less than half what the others would have been.  Like I said before, I want this Easter to keep the focus on Jesus and this was just one more cute, quick way to do that.

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Easter Egg Printable

Easter Egg colors1With the Easter holiday approaching, I’ve really wanted to keep the focus on the true spirit of the holiday, Christ’s resurrection, but I certainly don’t want to toss out our family traditions of Easter egg hunts and baskets.

So, here is one attempt to make our traditions support our faith more.  I had my husband make this printable for us to accompany dying Easter eggs.  The girls colored each section and then we cut the pieces and turned it into a puzzle. (My girls had a very hard time leaving the white section blank).  I laminated the sections to help it last.

Download Easter Egg Colors Printable here

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Lenten Paper Chain

We are doing our Lenten Paper Chain again this year.  I already P1020171posted last year’s but I thought I would go ahead and share again because I changed it up a little bit this year and I like it better.  We still have a message written on every paper link, but after doing our Advent countdown I decided to focus on activities rather than just messages.  I still included some spiritual messages but overall I tried to have us do activities that would bring us closer to God during Lent and support our goal of doing good deeds.

When making the chain I used purple, the color of Lent.  For Sundays I used pink since they are not technically part of Lent and to make it easier to keep track of which day is which.  I tried to keep our schedule in mind when assembling and to mix up the activities and the prayers.

Here are some of our messages:

Activity stripsP1020164

Write a card for a grandparent.
Help Mama around the house.
Tell someone the story of Easter.
Make our Easter garden.
Help feed and walk Hero (our dog).
Bake cookies for a friend.
Do something nice for your sister.
Smile at someone who is having a bad day.
Read a book about Jesus.
Help plant in the garden.
Do an Easter craft.
Read a story from the Bible.
Play with our Stations of the Cross kit.
Do something to brighten a grandparent’s day.
Help to water and weed our garden.
Sing a song to celebrate the Lord.
Take a walk to look at the world God created.

Prayers, Messages, and Sundays

Say a special prayer to Mary.
God loves you so much!
You are God’s little princess!
God made you so you are special!
God made the mountains and the oceans.
Say a special prayer to Jesus.
Say thank you to god for all that we have!
God made the flowers and the trees.
Say a thank you prayer to Jesus for dying on the cross for us.
Be good at church today.
Say a special prayer at church today.
Light a candle for someone at church.

Holy Week

Hosanna!  Wave palms for Jesus!
Say a special prayer tonight at dinner as a family.
Pray the Stations of the Cross.
Tomorrow is Easter!  Celebrate Christ rising!  Alleluia!

 

Crown of Thorns

Since the girls can’t really give something up for P1020019Lent, we are instead focusing on doing things this religious season.  (Personally I’ve always preferred this approach anyways.)  Our Advent activity of adding straw to Jesus’s manager was such a hit in our house that I loved the idea of doing something similar this Lent.  I made this Crown of Thorns and during the Lenten season we will remove a thorn every time someone does a good deed.  Our goal is to remove all the thorns before Easter.

P1020016To make our crown, I purchased a small grapevine wreath at Michaels.  I then stuck toothpicks throughout it to make the thorns.  We used about 100, I just to a package and stuck a ton in there.  We are setting aside each of the “thorns” we pull out and will use them to make a cross towards the end of the season.  (The added benefit of this is that it keeps the girls from playing with the toothpicks they pull out.)

What kind of deeds count?  In our home it is P1020021anything that eases someone’s burden or brightens his day, which is exactly what we would want to offer Christ in his journey to Calvary.  It could be as simple as helping with dinner or sending a card to a grandparent.

As a kid I always thought Lent was one of the worse times of the year.  It’s only now as an adult that I can enjoy Lent as a time of focus and reflection to renew my faith.  While this is also a time of sacrifice and prayer, I want my girls to have a positive experience with Lent so that later they may be able to appreciate this time of year.

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