Monday, April 18, 2011

Stations of the Cross Bags and Pretzels for Lent

A couple of weeks ago, I taught our Pre-K through 2nd grade homeschool children at our monthly gathering. I first read the book, The 3 Trees, which is a beautiful story and I highly recommend it during the Lenten or Advent season.

For the craft idea, I went to Lacy's blog at Catholic Icing for ideas and inspiration and as usual I was not disappointed with the wealth of resources she shares.  So using the ideas in her post here and the link she had to here, I came up with my own version of the Stations of the Cross bags for the children to make.
I could not find purple (the liturgical color during Lent) bags so I bought small white bags and tied a purple ribbon around the bags as pictured above.  On the outside of the bag the children cut out the image of Jesus as the Divine Mercy and glued it to the bag. It's difficult to see from the picture above, but on the bottom of every Divine Mercy image there is the phrase, "Jesus I trust in You," which were the words that Jesus gave Sister Maria Faustina along with how the image was to look.  Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated the first Sunday after Easter Sunday. On the back of the bags the children glued information about the Divine Mercy image that I compiled from information on a couple of websites.
I gave each child a ziplock bag of symbols that represented each station of the cross.  We used the black and white fold out booklet that I assembled from the link here to review each station and then they had to find the symbol in their ziplock bag and put it into their white bag.  Here is a picture of the symbols a friend and I gathered for the bags.  In the background is the stations bag with the accordion folded black and white pictures and names of each station:
The white table had dirt spots on it so this isn't the prettiest background for this picture :( Anyway from left to right in the photo each of the 15 children in attendance had:

Station 1: Jesus is condemned to death. We used a piece of brown yarn to symbolize the binding of Jesus' hands
Station 2: Jesus carries his cross. At the Dollar Tree my friend found an egg filled with small white candy crosses so each child got a small cross (I wouldn't recommend this kind of cross since some of the crosses got crushed or the kid's ate them! :)
Station 3: Jesus falls the first time. Symbolize this with a band-aid with a "1"
Station 4: Jesus meets his mother. For this, each child had a holy card of Mary holding the rosary that I created by finding the image on the computer, copying and pasting into a word document, printed, then laminated.
Station 5: Simon helps Jesus carry his cross. praying hand shaped note paper that a friend found in the Dollar Tree and I wrote "helping hand" and laminated
Station 6: Veronica wipes Jesus' face. Just take a scrap of white fabric, but I didn't draw Jesus' face on it (there is only so much time in a day! :) ) and said the children could do that at home.
Station 7: Jesus falls the second time. A band-aid with a "2".
Station 8: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem. A tissue to dry their tears.
Station 9: Jesus falls the third time. Draw a "3" on a band-aid.
Station 10: Jesus is stripped of his garments. purple piece of felt
Station 11: Jesus is nailed to the cross. 3 nails.
Station 12: Jesus dies on the cross. Symbolize this with another holy card of Jesus on the cross. I found a crucifix image on the computer that I liked, copied and pasted into a word document, printed, then laminated.
Station 13: Jesus is taken down from the cross. A picture of Michelangelo's Pieta that I copied and pasted into a word document, printed, then laminated.
Station 14: Jesus is laid in the tomb. We symbolized this with a rock- for sealing the tomb. 

I also gave each child a sheet of Stations of the Cross stickers that I found at the Dollar Tree thanks to Lacy blogging about this good find here. Part of these stickers are pictured in the bottom right corner of photo above. I know one Dollar Tree in my town had the stickers and one didn't.  I took a picture of all the Catholic religious stickers since I felt like I hit the jackpot! Thanks Lacy for the tip! I really just wanted to buy the whole display, but instead I bought one of each of the 8 kinds! :)

After the children assembled their stations of the cross bags, we had a snack of pretzels and I read them the story, Walter the Baker by Eric Carle, another cute and highly recommended book.  At the end of the story, it gives a little history about pretzels.
It says, "The word pretzel comes from the Latin word bracchium, meaning "arm".  The pretzel was originally a simple bread eaten during Lent.  Its shape is based on an ancient position for prayer in which the arms were folded across the chest and the hands were placed on opposite shoulders."
At the beginning of Lent, we made some pretzels following this simple recipe from Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure.

You can read Lacy's Pretzels for Lent post for further ideas and links. (Can you tell I think Lacy's blog is awesome?!!? :) ) By the way, I link up to other blogs, like Lacy's, to share so many fantastic ideas with my visitors and to give credit where credit is due, but I also link up so I can refer to these links in the future from my own blog here. 

Here is a picture I took of our pretzels:
Please join Lynda, Anna-Marie and myself for April's No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH). You can link up any or all your posts for the entire month of April. The blogger with the most posts will be awarded a Star Blogger Award!  Click below for details!


Unknown said...

Good Morning Tracy,

This is a great craft. I love it! It is really a great way for the the kids to be able to actually put their hands on the symbols of The Stations, rather than just looking at pictures. I am going to have to try this craft this week. I am also going to head over to Dollar Tree to see what I can find. It looks like they have a great supply. Thank you so much for sharing and have a great day!

Melissa N. said...

What a great idea! I love them...such a great learning tool! Thanks for sharing.!

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting your Stations of the Cross bags...and with all the links! I love the Nippert Artworks clipart, but had lost the link!

This is a fantastic activity. Really brings the message home for children (and even for me). Not sure I can gather everything up this week since it is already late Tuesday but I would love to do this with my own children. We were talking about Palm Sunday at breakfast(on Palm Sunday)and explaining the meaning to the kids. Super idea.

HI Kimberly,
I always enjoy looking at all of Lacy's great ideas and links and I was glad to find this one. It was a bit time consuming to gather the materials and copy, laminate and cut the ones that used images, but the kids really did enjoy it. Hope you find the stickers at your Dollar Tree! They are great at a great price! I hope you are having a blessed Holy Week!

Hi Melissa,
Thanks for stopping in and commenting! I know I learned a lot from preparing the craft for the children :) Hope you are having a blessed week!

HI Monica,
Glad you enjoyed this post and useful links! Thanks for stopping in and hope you are having a blessed Holy Week!

Thanks Anna-Marie for stopping by and commenting! I hope you get a chance to make these with your children someday!

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