Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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blairb4
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Posted: March 26 2007 at 11:06pm | IP Logged Quote blairb4

I'm leading our homeschool group's First Friday activities for preschoolers (~3-5 yrs old) which will be held this week. We usually read a book, sing some songs, have a snack, do some kind of craft, and watch a CCC movie if we have extra time. The class is 1.5 hrs.

I don't like doing Easter activities before Easter but am having a hard time coming up with something for Lent/Holy Week. I was hoping maybe some of you ladies had some ideas?

Thanks!
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guitarnan
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Posted: March 27 2007 at 6:06am | IP Logged Quote guitarnan

We just acquired the book More Than Matzah. The authors suggest creating a "pin the plague on Pharaoh" game using posterboard. Preschoolers could make the little plague pin-ons and then play the game.

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Dawn
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Posted: March 27 2007 at 7:11am | IP Logged Quote Dawn

A few ideas:

You could do a little lamb craft and tie in the old saying "March goes out like a lamb." Maybe have lamb outlines on paper plates they can fill in with cotton balls. (Or to develop the lamb theme, clean sheep's wool.) A story book about Easter with lamb images/symbols would be nice. So would Pelle's New Suit. Discuss the tradition of wearing new clothes for Easter.

You probably wouldn't want to sugar them up too much but I found a set of Lindt chocolate lambs for the boys on Saturday. (I found them at the supermarket.) Or lamb cupcakes would be cute and not too hard to assemble.

You could also do something for Palm Sunday, like have paper plates ready with the words Hosanna! at the top. Dip the children's hands in green paint and apply to plate. Punch a hole at the top and tie up with yarn or raffia so the children can A. hold it and have a little procession (singing perhaps) and B. take it home to hang for Sunday.

Do you go outside at all? You could have a Praise Walk - basically look at all the good things in the beautiful word and Thank God all along the walk.

Whatever you do, have fun!

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JennGM
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Posted: March 27 2007 at 8:51am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

I like talking about the upcoming events of Holy Week and doing things or making items that will remind the child of the events in Jesus' life.

I can see your time is short. I'm just throwing out ideas.

I love having the sensory additions to Holy Week. The Resurrection Eggs and Stations of the Cross Box from Irene are fabulous, and can be found here:Lent and Easter. The book Benjamin's Box is great reading with these activities.

Making dioramas of different scenes of Holy Week, particulaly Palm Sunday?

A Holy Week Mobile, with symbols representing events that happen during different days. I can elaborate with a list of suggestions if you wish.

Create a standing display for Holy Week. This was a suggestion in one of my books, but I'm adapting it a little. Have sturdy posterboard or something, and have one 8 1/2 x 11 page for each day of Holy Week, Sunday through Holy Saturday. Attach the pages on the long side with holes and yarn to create an accordion type display. The child then draws or colors a scene from the events of the day on each corresponding page. To speed up the process, you could use some coloring pages with figures that they could color, cut and paste.

If there's time, have the backs of the display different illustrations of Easter: Christ risen from the dead in the center, the words Alleluia on one, spring time scenes, lambs, Easter eggs, etc. Then when Easter arrives the display can be turned around for Easter.

This is a little "Eastery" but I did this project with Kindergarteners one time. I had some cream or white contruction paper cut into large egg shapes. Each child colored designs on the eggs with crayon, the darker the better. This would be a perfect time to discuss Christian symbols of Easter, and draw them on the egg.

Then the eggs were placed in trays of food coloring water, so we "dyed" the eggs, then hung them to dry. They turn out very nicely, and the colors, especially white stand out against the dyed pastel, spring colors.

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JennGM
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Posted: March 27 2007 at 9:36am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

I remembered something else. Mary Reed Newland (and it's also included in Catholic Parent Book of Feasts) has this Jonas (or Jonah) project. Jonah is a great type of Christ being in the belly of the whale for 3 days, like Jesus in the earth. Here's the discussion from Mrs. Newland about Jesus and Jonah.

I've been using Peter Spier's (we're big fans)The Book of Jonah this week and plan on doing this project.

ETA: the reviews say buy the older version since it using actual Biblical text rather than 2000 version.

We're also using Tomie dePaola's Bible Stories and other books for a compare and contrast of the story of Jonah.

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onemoretracy
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Posted: March 27 2007 at 3:06pm | IP Logged Quote onemoretracy

I am gathering crafts/activites for a Kids Camp thing on Thurs/Fri and Sat of Holy Week. I really want to do the Jonah project with the paper figures etc...but I am so visual and I am having a difficult time following along the direction in the like for Catholic Culture. Does anyone have a picture of this?

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JennGM
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Posted: March 27 2007 at 3:23pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

onemoretracy wrote:
I am gathering crafts/activites for a Kids Camp thing on Thurs/Fri and Sat of Holy Week. I really want to do the Jonah project with the paper figures etc...but I am so visual and I am having a difficult time following along the direction in the like for Catholic Culture. Does anyone have a picture of this?


Yes, I was working on that today, because I thought it needed a visual, also. I can't get it uploaded on the CC site, but I have it here:



And this one is the Catholic Parent Book of Feasts closeup:


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onemoretracy
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Posted: March 27 2007 at 7:00pm | IP Logged Quote onemoretracy

Jenn thanks! It really helps me to see it.

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blairb4
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Posted: March 27 2007 at 9:18pm | IP Logged Quote blairb4

Thank you all for the wonderful ideas! You guys are great. I think I'm going to do some sort of palm activity like Dawn mentioned, for Palm Sunday. But keep the ideas coming, especially if you have book or children's song ideas!
~~~
Blair in TX
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MaryM
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Posted: March 27 2007 at 9:39pm | IP Logged Quote MaryM

This book - The Donkey and the Golden Light is one that I just found this Christmas, but it is either or Christmas or an Easter (Palm Sunday) story. It is beautifully illustrated - gilded with gold. Anyway, it is the story of a donkey born in a Bethlehem stable on Christmas, then accompanies a mother and baby to Egypt. Many years pass and their lives cross again when he is chosen to carry a man (who seems familiar) into Jerusalem. It's about the golden light he remembers from the stable and encounters again at Easter. It really is a touching story and because of the focus on Palm Sunday would be good for your class.



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blairb4
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Posted: March 27 2007 at 11:20pm | IP Logged Quote blairb4

Perfect! They have it (the Donkey and the Golden Light) at my library. I'll head over there tomorrow! You ladies have been so incredibly helpful; I really appreciate it!
~~~
Blair in TX, wife of Steven '01,
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and little saints Agnes '04 and Augustine '07
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JennGM
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Posted: March 30 2007 at 8:44pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

MaryM wrote:
This book - The Donkey and the Golden Light is one that I just found this Christmas, but it is either or Christmas or an Easter (Palm Sunday) story. It is beautifully illustrated - gilded with gold. Anyway, it is the story of a donkey born in a Bethlehem stable on Christmas, then accompanies a mother and baby to Egypt. Many years pass and their lives cross again when he is chosen to carry a man (who seems familiar) into Jerusalem. It's about the golden light he remembers from the stable and encounters again at Easter. It really is a touching story and because of the focus on Palm Sunday would be good for your class.


I just got a copy today, and it's beautiful. My only criticism is that Jesus rode a colt, not an older donkey. But that's just minor, right?

Have you seen The Colt and the King by Marni McGee? I recommend it with reservations. The pictures are nice, and it's told through the eyes of an old donkey, when he was a colt gave Jesus a ride through Jerusalem's gates. The Palm Sunday scene is wonderful.

But it's the conclusion that leaves me headscratching and cliffhanging. I think it's intimating Jesus being enthroned in our hearts, and our Heavenly goal, but it skips Jesus' death and resurrection. The intro has some statement about "But what does a young donkey know of towns and crowns and kings? Our little colt knows his hillside, but most of all, he knows about peace."

The donkey wanted to take him away from the crowds, to his peaceful life. After Palm Sunday he never saw Jesus again, but he still listens for his voice, and knows he will come some day. The ending: "My hillside will be a throne for him, and at night the strs will weave him a crown."

Don't you just hate it when you think a book will be perfect and it's just not quite there?

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