Sunday, April 6, 2014

Planning A Hands-On Holy Week

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Our 2013 Holy Week and Easter Wall

Last night, my children and I began refocusing on our post-dinner through bedtime routine.  Or, perhaps I should say, we focused on replacing bad habits we have found ourselves forming for that part of our days with better ones.

Included in those better habits is renewing our commitment to spending time together experiencing something we all enjoy -- intentionally going for a walk, doing art, playing a game, investigating science, or the like.  What we chose last night was creating art using watercolor pencils.  So fun, creative and relaxing!  

Art as a family in the evenings works for our family.

So, as I look ahead to Holy Week, I am thinking about media to use for Holy Week posters, a hands-on tradition we began last year which simply involved reading Bible passages each night after dinner and doing a related art project which we hang on the wall to mark the final journey to the cross and the glory of Jesus rising again.

The Art of Holy Week


Our 2014 Palm Sunday poster will also include collage and copywork as our 2013 one did.

Of course, we will read about Jesus' entry into Jerusalem and the palm branches people threw down before him.  Then, this year, instead of examining pictures of palms in Lent and Easter books and creating our own free-hand water color ones as we did last year, I hope to have us examine the shape of the actual palm fronds we receive at Mass and then use Watercolor Pencils to sketch and paint our own green palms, plus a figure of Jesus on a donkey.  

Using Watercolor Pencils this year instead of paint brushes as we did last year will offer us an opportunity for more control and detail.

These, we will then cut out and paste together to create an image similar to last year's Palm Sunday collage, complete with a copywork caption.


I like the creative art the children did last year after reading about Mary anointing Jesus' feet and drying them with her hair.  

Thread hair, a hand drawn perfume jar and cut-out painted feet became the features of last year's poster.

So, after this year's reading, we will likely do a similar thing:  We'll make "fist feet" by inking the sides of our fists and then using fingerprints for toe prints.

Ni a painted Daddy's fist last year because we could not find our ink pads.

Then she painted on toe prints instead of using finger prints for them. (And, in the end, the kids did not even choose to use these baby footprints in their poster.  But, Nina had fun making them anyway, as we will again this year!)

Then, we'll get out thread, glue, tape and let the creativity flow to create the rest of our poster.


We had fun last year using Crayola Color Sticks to design cocks crowing and, then, cutting and pasting these onto a poster that we added pencil details to.  
Last year, Luke loved adding the detail of the apostles at the table thinking about the cocks crowing.  Nina liked tracing hands to make a her bird.

This year after reading about Jesus predicting the denial, I intend to put out Cray-Pa Oil Pastels and watercolors to see what happens.


It took stamina (and Mom and Dad's help) to get 30 coin rubbings cut out and pasted last year.

The kids loved the rubbing last year, but not so much the cutting and attaching.

I'll put out coins, soft-led pencils, de-papered pencils, glue, tape and scissors on Wednesday night after the readings and see what the kids want to do.  that I love to encourage fine motor skills through scissor use, I may encourage the kids to do the rubbings right onto the poster paper so as to avoid potential complaints.  We shall see...


Post-dinner time at the end of Holy Week last year got a bit crazy, so our last three days of posters were, um, less than impressive.

This year's final posters, we hope, will be less rushed than last year's were.

After this year's Holy Thursday readings, I am thinking that making a multi-media collage might the way to go.  Perhaps a piece of cloth, scissors, glue, tape, markers and Watercolor Pencils will inspire the kids.


After Friday's readings, the kids can create their own image of a cross on a hill behind a tomb or whatever else they wish.  I am thinking paint, sponges and oil pastels might be the supplies.  (I think sponge painting may create an interesting effect for the tomb while the oil pastels can be used for resists for the crosses.


After Saturday's readings, I want easy, mess-free artwork since we will also be preparing for Easter morning.  So, we will likely use only colored pencils and paper to draw whatever the children feel inspired to depict.

If things get too hectic on Holy Saturday (which we hope they will not, but realize they may), we may just use one of the crayon resist sunrise empty cross paintings that we made after burying our Alleluias.
More Hands-On Activities

We will also be enjoying our Holy Week Eggs again.

... as well as deciding on a night to go egging in order to share news of Easter joy as we did last year.

How do you engage your little ones in learning about Holy Week and sharing the good news?

   Feel free to share about them here in a comment or on our Training Happy Hearts Facebook page.  If you leave a link to an idea, I will pin it on the Training Happy Hearts: A Call to Faith Formation in Young Children Pinterest board 

We wish you a blessed and meaningful remainder to your Lenten season and a blessed Holy Week. 
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