Let me preface this by saying that this is not a crafts blog. And yet here I am trying to show you how to be crafty?
Ah, there's a catch. And it might seem weird...
My kids, like all other kids, adore crafts. And they almost never get to do anything beyond whatever they can manage with our stash of construction paper, tape, and colored pencils. We let the twins play with play dough the other day and I'm pretty sure they would have played for hours if I hadn't cut their time short.
See, the problem is (and I know I can't be the only one with this problem!), with the crafts comes the MESS. The stained clothes, paint in the hair, play dough on the rug, glue on the fingers kind of mess that I just can't stand. Not because I particularly care about the mess, but because I start getting all sorts of anxious and impatient when things start to stray a little bit from the desired outcome, because I can't stand not being in control.
And in thinking and praying about what my Lenten penances will be this year, I came to the conclusion that maybe the best way to show my kids I love them, practice patience, and mortify myself just a little bit would be... To let them do the crafts they love. And to lead them through crafts that might actually relate to this liturgical season.
I've got some guest posts lined up from ladies with great ideas - I'm so excited to be drawing on their expertise and I'd love it if you'd join me!
Here's a sensory bin you could create, a free printable coloring book, a lacing cross tutorial, a candlelit prayer card, and an alleluia banner to prepare for Easter.
Even though Lent hasn't begun yet, we made our prayer chain today because we had extra adults to help out. This is the easiest and most effective observance of Lent that I've found with the kids over the years - it helps focus our nightly prayer, and serves as a visual reminder of just how long we have until Easter.
What you need:
7 sheets of construction paper (6 purple and 1 pink), cut into 7 strips each (you'll end up with a few extras)
Stapler or tape
I started out by having the kids write down their prayer intentions. This very quickly turned into John Paul whining about having to write...
Cecilia wrote DAD and MOM on her own... And then repeated by writing them again, since it was either those words or CAT.
And the pink links are for Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent!
We stapled them into loops (do you really need instructions? I'm pretty sure you know how to do this!)...
And eventually Dad took over writing the intentions, because coming up with 46 of them really is hard!
Cecilia's multiple "MOM" and "DAD" intentions apparently didn't make the cut...
And now it's taped to our mantle, ready for use with nightly prayers!
Want to join in the fun (or "fun")? I've got a Pinterest board with ideas here - I know we'll be using the calendar here for the big kids, and you can find printables for a prayer chain here. You can find lots of other ideas at Equipping Catholic Families, Campfires and Cleats, and Two Os + more. And tons of other Lenten posts at Blessed is She this week!