Sunday, January 8, 2012

Celebrating Epiphany: A Photographic Journal of Celebrating the Feast Day with Young Children

Happy Epiphany Sunday!

We celebrated Little Christmas on its traditional date this past Friday with such things as read-alouds, crown-making, dramatic play, prayers and coloring.  However, since I misplaced our camera and, therefore, cannot share pictorial ideas with you from this year's festivities, I have decided to rewind to 2010 and 2011...

Below, please find photos and explanations of some of the ways we have honored this wonderful feast day with our little ones for the past few years  Perhaps our simple ideas will inspire you to tap into the richness of this day in ways that speak to the young children in your lives.


Some scissor skills...
small paper shapes and glue...
a few stickers...
and a scarf make for one proud I-can-do-it-myself king!
Add a little chalk...
and it's time to bless the chalk and home.
A teddy bear is chosen to represent Baby Jesus so the kings can bring gifts.
Each child-king selects something they think the Baby Jesus will enjoy.
Then, the fun continues with loving, praying and talking to and about the newborn king.

Later, we used the crowns to decorate our liturgical table, which also had a paper star we had made.
And, on the wall above it was one of Luke's artistic representations of the Epiphany.
Through craft, prayer, art, stories and dramatic play, our children were introduced to the feast of the Epiphany.  They deepened their understanding of the Epiphany story and its significance the following year.


We began the day by letting the children use their skills and imagination to make and decorate our now traditional paper crowns.
Not only did they delight in creating the crowns, but Luke and Nina also had fun crowning our "Baby Jesus" as King..

Dramatic play ensued as the children acted out being camels.
Later in the day, they also enjoyed playing the kings upon (Clifford) camel...
...and bringing gifts to a sleeping "Baby Jesus".

Between crown-making and dramatic play, we enjoyed a simple Saints Day Breakfast "tea", which included star-shaped pancakes over Baby Jesus figurines for each child and golden pineapples for all.  During the tea we examined our three wise men figurines and discussed the significance of the gifts they brought to Baby Jesus.  We also read two stories about the kings.

The stories and hands-on objects spoke to Nina, inspiring her to break into spontaneous prayer.

For fine motor fun, the children enjoyed some coloring pages and dot-to-dots.
For tactile input, we played with play dough...
...cutting out numeral 3's and stars, for early math skills...
...and letting creativity shine through, such as with Luke's self-sculpted camel.
We also acted out the Little Christmas story with play figurines.

On a non-Epiphany note, thank you to Cheryl at The Diary of a Sower for linking up last week with a wonderful young-child-friendly Advent meditation.  It is certainly one to bookmark for next year.  If you have a post -- old or new -- that touches on how to speak to the hearts of young children about our faith, please consider linking it up anytime this week!  (You needn't do it on Sunday.  truth be told, I take an Internet break most Sundays, pre-setting posts up to publish.)


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