Christian Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday and ends with Easter Sunday. Crafts and activities can be a great way to involve children, teach them about the significance of each day and to start a conversation about what it means to be a Christian. You can use these or similar crafts year-round, or you can use these ideas as a springboard for some original crafts of your own.
Palm Sunday Bracelet
Use palm leaves to make a bracelet for Palm Sunday, when most churches give out palm fronds to commemorate Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem. Tear the leaf lengthwise into three sections. On one end, tie the three sections together with string. Then, braid the three sections for the length of the bracelet. Some braids may be longer or shorter, depending on the size you want the bracelet to be. Once you have braided the correct length, tie the end of the braid with string and cut off any extra. There should be two ends of the braid, each tied with string. To complete the bracelet, you can either tie the ends together with a third section of string, or you can attach them by tucking the ends into each other. Adding charms or beads to the string is a fun way to make this jewellery unique.
Holy Monday Easter Lily
Make an Easter lily with your own handprint. The Easter lily is a common religious symbol for the resurrection, and for Jesus. Trace your handprint onto a white piece of construction paper and use scissors to cut it out. Glue the base of the thumb to the side of the pinky so the handprint makes a cone shape and there is only a very narrow hole at the tip of the cone. This is the "flower" portion of the lily. The fingers should point outward, forming petals. Lay the yellow tissue paper inside the flower and push the pipe cleaner through the of end of the pipe cleaner, or glue the pieces in place. Wrapping each of the petals around a pencil will make them curl back gracefully.
Tuesday Decorative Candle
Decorate a candle holder with religious motifs or Bible verses in honour of Tuesday. You will need a candle, a candle holder, glitter glue and decorative materials you might want to attach to the candle holder. These could be beads, ribbon or construction paper. Combine your craft materials and create a decorative design, covering the outside of the candle holder. Use religious or personal symbols and add intricate or simple designs. Bible verses written on construction paper or ribbon and wrapped around the candle holder make an excellent finishing touch.
Wednesday Bead Necklace
Use beads to symbolise the silver coins exchanged between Judas and the Romans on Wednesday. For this project, you will need string, beads and possibly a jewellery-making kit. Using large wooden beads gives you a chance to attach decorations, or to paint and draw designs. Run the string through the beads and tie the necklace around your neck. If you have a jewellery kit, you can use it to attach a clasp to the back of the necklace instead of tying it. This will create a more professional look.
Maundy Thursday Last Supper
Bring all of your kids together to have a potluck in honour of the last supper. Have every student bring something from home, no matter how small. This is a good time to discuss that bread and wine were simple ingredients with a lot of importance. However, if you'd like to be more crafty or don't want to bring food from home, you can have students draw a piece of food, such as a loaf of bread or a piece of fruit, on construction paper. Ask them to write a favourite Bible verse, then cut it out. Once everyone has finished, share and talk about everyone's favourite Bible verses and see what kind of "meal" has been prepared.
Good Friday Prayer Cross
Make a cross with a written prayer and decorative background for Good Friday. You will need a colourful sheet of construction paper, a sheet of white paper, glue and any decorations you'd like to add. Glitter, crayons, markers, glue or beads are all possibilities. Draw and cut out a large cross from construction paper. On one side, decorate it with your materials. Draw a slightly smaller cross on the white paper and cut it out. You may want to write a specific prayer for all of your children, or let them choose their own prayer or Bible verse. Whatever you choose, write it on one side of the white cross. Glue the plain side of the white cross to the plain side of the construction paper so the sides with writing and decorations face outward. To display both sides of the cross, you can cut a small hole in the top and pull a ribbon through it. Make a loop with the ribbon and hang it up.
Holy Saturday Egg Dying
Boil Easter eggs the night before to have them ready for Saturday morning. On Saturday, you'll need an egg-dying kit and white vinegar, as well as crayons or Christian-themed stickers. Before you dye the eggs, you can use the crayons to decorate them with religious motifs. Follow the instructions on the egg-dying kit by mixing the dye with vinegar and soaking the eggs in the dye for several minutes. Allow them to dry for a few minutes, then attach stickers to the eggs. Refrigerate them after they've been decorated, then use them for an egg hunt or as part of a meal on Easter.