Thursday, December 10, 2015

Celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe with an Instant Challenge

Are you looking for a hands-on, creative way to engage your children for Saint Juan Diego or Our Lady of Guadalupe's feast days?  Maybe you'd like to try the instant challenge we enjoyed this morning. 

The challenge I designed made for a wonderful faith-engineering-sensory experience

It also included teamwork for Jack and Dad during a second round.


And spontaneous tests for strength against wind.... well as against earthquakes by Engineer Luke.

We'll definitely be doing more saint-connected instant challenges in the future.  Maybe you will, too.

If you'd like to get started now, just follow the plan below.


Our Lady asked that a shrine be built.  Your task is to build a self-standing shrine on the base given.  Your shrine must have four sides, a cross, and a hanging image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

(All of my children chose to use four-sided pyramid shapes with crosses either hanging or standing in the middle.)


You will have five minutes to build your shrine. 

(Or longer.  We did not set a limit, but technically instant challenges have one.)

Set Up

In the middle of the working space are marshmallows and spaghetti to share.  On your base tray is one piece of tape and an image of Our Lady.

(Set up can or course, be modified to suit your space.)


Use the materials to build a shrine. You will be warned when you have one minute remaining and 30 seconds remaining.

In order for your shrine to receive a score, it must stand on the given base on its own for at least ten seconds.  No part may hang off the base and no person may touch or support the shrine.

(We chose not to time nor to score, but I included this portion of the challenge information for those who want to make it more official.)


  • marshmallows
  • spaghetti
  • 1/2 inch of tape
  • a small paper image of Our Lady of Guadalupe
  • a base 
(We did not limit materials, but, of course, limiting the amount of marshmallows or spaghetti pieces each person or team may use can level this challenge up.  For the bases, we used the back sides small sturdy whiteboards.  You could simply tape a 12 x 12 inch square on a table though.)

You will receive:

  • 10 points for each clearly visible wall up to four walls
  • 10 points for a visible cross
  • 10 points for a hanging image or Our Lady up to 30 points for creative use of materials
  • up to 10 points for teamwork (if working in teams)

(As I already said, our family chose not to score, but rather just to enjoy building time.  I'd love to hear what your family or students do.)

Recommended Resources


(Note:  Some of the links which follow are affiliate ones to Amazon, Holy Heroes, and CCC of America.  Should you click through one of these and make a purchase, we may receive small income at no extra cost to you.  Anything we make goes right back into things we share here.  Thanks!)

I created this Our Lady of Guadalupe Instant Challenge after the kids and I watched Guadalupe - The Miracle and the Message (
which is currently 27%), read Our Lady of Guadalupe (which is currently 44%), enjoyed a symbolic-foods breakfast, chatted about how we might model ourselves after Juan Diego, and shared what things we know about Juan Diego, Our Lady of Guadalupe and the times they lived in.

We have enjoyed all of those resources and experiences, and the following ones, too, so far this year.  Should you like to know more about any particular one, simply click through the links for general information or comment here or on our Training Happy Hearts Facebook page with specific questions about our thoughts on them.

Image Credit: Holy Heroes
Image Credit: Holy Heroes
Image Credit:  CCC of America

How do you get hands-on with saint day celebrations?  Might spaghetti structures with crosses play into your next feast day plans?


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