Saturday, February 27, 2010

7 Quick Takes (Almost-Still-)Friday (Vol. 4): Lent with Little Ones

So, here goes with my 7 Quick Takes Friday – just past the Cinderella strike. (At least I am not doing it on Sunday like last week.  This week, I am focusing on some of our Lenten activities
Lenten Bean Jars:

We made our Lenten Bean Jars with cousin Cat last week and, this week, the kids continue to be really excited about putting their beans in them each night. Nina always asks to put Daddy’s or min in and Luke and Nina both confess when they have broken their “Fast” promises, making it so they can only get their “Pray” and “Give” beans. Indeed, unfortunately, there have been a few bites, pinches and hits around here this week, but, fortunately, there has also been owning up by the kids!

The Temptation Dioramas

The word “devil” really caught the kids’ attention in last Sunday’s gospel reading at Mass. They kept whispering to me, “Mommy, why is he talking about the devil?” So, Monday, we began focusing a bit on the Temptation, which led to a brief study of desert habitats. For this, I found some desert flashcards in a box of Target Dollar Spot cards that we had and we noted the lack of water, as well as the plethora of sand, rocks and cactus plants in the photos. Then, since the kids wanted to color, we printed out some shoe box diorama desert pictures at the American Museum of Natural History site and the kids went to town on these, adding cut out drawings of Jesus and Satan and a pickle-with-stick-pricklies cactus each (as inspired by a craft listed in one of our Catholic Children's Treasure Box books) to complete our diorama. Once complete, the kids decided we should put the diorama on our liturgical table, which was fine with me. We just moved the bean jars over a bit.

Sand and Water

 Luke, especially, immediately took to dramatic play with the diorama and wanted to add to it, so Tuesday, when the weather was good, we all bundled up for some outdoor time, eventually collecting some rocks and sand to add to our Temptation diorama. Granted, later in the week, the kids decided the desert should be less dry and more beautiful and tried to water it so things would grow. So, we now have a small muddy oasis in our wilderness!

Lenten Embertide Weather Predications and Prayers to Our Lady: Wednesday was the first day of Lenten Embertide, and true to our Menu Plan for the week, we had breakfast by our living room window so we could observe and give thanks for nature, as well as make predictions for next month’s weather (which apparently will be warm, but rainy) based on traditional folklore. We also enjoyed some books about Our Lady, including a Mary story from one of our Catholic Children's Treasure Box books, as well as a reading of Just Like Mary. Plus, we said special prayers to Our Lady, asking her to help us do what God wants us to do.

Book Studies: During reading times, we have also been A Story of Three Trees and the Story of the Cross as our book study selections of the week. Luke must be impressed by when the trees in the first book get cut down. For, he asked Grammy today if he could cut down her “Grandpa Tree”, a scraggly pine in her yard that holds special personal meaning. I had to explain to her why he would say that – he wants it to point to God forever.

Giving Can Be Hard: The kids have been favoring giving love and kisses as their “Give” goal each day. But, we’re working on other types of giving, too. As such, Luke had a bit of trouble parting with his and Nina’s old bed today. It took a bit of convincing and a small meltdown before he understood that it should go to someone who needs it and can use it now while we are all set with his and Nina’s new bunks (Thankfully, Nina slept through the whole thing!)

Purgatory Print Outs?: Before we even got to today’s Lenten Embertide focus, which includes prayers for the souls in purgatory, Luke and Nina somehow overheard and became attached to the word “purgatory”. Indeed, Luke has asked Daddy and me to explain purgatory to him and has added “purgatory” to the list of things of things he asks Daddy to print out for him and Nina to color. We’re talking, “dinosaurs, sharks, unicorns...and purgatory” Anyone know a preschool-friendly line drawing of purgatory? I’d appreciate a link!

So, as you can see, we have been learning, laughing and sometimes shaking our heads as we observe Lent with little ones. If you have ideas for observing this liturgical season with kids, please share. Leave me a comment, a link, a thought. Thank you!

And, to see others’ 7 Quick Takes, check out the links at Conversion Diary.


Mindy said...

It's always a pleasue and inspiration to read about your activities. Your kids are very eager learners and that's such a delight to see.

Martianne said...

Thank you! Sometimes they are more eager mess makers than learners though. ;) Thus, one of the reasons I have been posting little lately. With my current work contratcs, lie in genereal, learning activities and picking up lots of messes, time is short... Ahh, the seasons of Motherhood. God blesses us with them all, but some are more challenging than others.


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