15 Ways to Observe Holy Week with Your Family
- Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Make It Real for Little Ones
Young children are not abstract thinkers. To learn, they need to see. Experiences like growing seeds or bulbs give them a concrete image, providing a bridge into the abstract concept of new life.
Books with lots of pictures are a must for children to understand Jesus’ death and Resurrection. For preschoolers, go easy on the torturous events leading to the Crucifixion as they could be too intense and upsetting. Concentrate on the tomb -- finding it empty holds a lot of drama for children.
For even more excitement, make the story three-dimensional.
Using clay or papier mache, construct a tomb and a stone. Create a scene, as simple or elaborate as you wish, of Jesus’ burial site. Make or look through the toybox for plastic figures to represent Jesus and the guards. Wrap Jesus in a shroud (gauze from the medicine cabinet is perfect), place him in the tomb on Friday. Roll the stone in front of the opening of the tomb, using appropriate vocalizations to show how heavy it is. Now station the guards in front. No one is to touch the stone, although with the children’s help, the guards may march back and forth to stretch their legs.
On Easter morning the children should find that during the night the stone was rolled away. The guards are lying outside the tomb, the gauzy shroud is inside, but Jesus is gone!
Read whichever Biblical account fits your children’s ages or attention spans -- some gospels have more information than others. Then “discover” the Jesus figure nearby. Now the words have meaning: “He is risen!” “He is risen indeed!”
Barbara Curtis has 12 children - including three adopted sons with Down syndrome - and 10 grandchildren so far. She is also an award-winning author with nine books and 800+ articles in print publications including Focus on the Family, Guideposts, Christian Parenting Today, and The Washington Times.
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