This is a new tradition I'm excited to share with my family. While not a countdown activity, it's a great activity to share with your family to teach them the importance of Lent.
An important component of Lent is about self-sacrifice so that we can prepare ourselves for Easter Sunday. There are so many ways each day we can sacrifice...we can put the $3.50 we were going to spend at Starbucks into the collection basket (almsgiving), cut out a favorite food (self-denial), say the rosary weekly with our family (prayer)...the list goes on and on.
This activity focuses on the sacrifices we make, and is perfect for doing together as a family.
FIRST: set the stage. Talk to your family about the crown of thorns that Jesus wore on the day of his death, and how the soldiers made him wear it as a mockery of him "claiming" to be King of the Jews. Not only was the mockery in and of itself painful, but having to wear a crown made of thorns must have hurt a lot. It is only one of the sacrifices Jesus made for us. Tell your family how we can help lighten Jesus's load and pain by making sacrifices throughout Lent and preparing ourselves for his rising on Easter Sunday.
SECOND: make the crown. It's very easy:
WHAT YOU NEED
- 4 cups of flour (any kind)
- 1 cup of salt
- warm water (or, coffee) to moisten dough
- Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl
- Add enough water/coffee to make the dough tacky as shown in the photo below
- Mold the clay into three strands of dough
- Braid the dough
- Bake in the oven at 350-degrees for 35-35min (or until hard and dry)
- Remove from oven, allow to cool
- Place "thorns" (toothpicks) in crown
- Place crown in a central location in your home
THIRD: once the crown is in your home, you can begin removing a crown each time a significant sacrifice is made. This is a great way to teach your children - depending on their age - what a sacrifice is and why we make them.
We will be putting our crown out (the one shown above) this weekend as part of our First Sunday of Lent activity. Each time a thorn is removed, we will be replacing it with a small purple flower. We chose purple flowers as a) it was a purple garment that the soldiers put on Jesus just before he was crucified (Mark 15:17) and b) it really *does* symbolize royalty and the coming of newness with the resurrection.
While there aren't any flowers on our crown, I purchased a bunch similar to these (shown below) at the dollar store. They'll fit nicely into each hole left by a thorn.
NOTE: This project & post were also highlighted at the Sunday Carnival and Catholic Inspired