Post your ideas and lesson resources for teaching during Lent.




Ash Wednesday "Soap" Ideas

"Create in me a clean heart"

Lectionary passage: Psalm 51:10

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me". 

Oddly enough, old-fashioned handmade soap is made from ashes. I wouldn't make it that way for kids because the ash-soap making produces lye which can be caustic, but making your own soap with ashes was the way many of our ancestors did it. Interesting how ashes can be associated with cleaning/cleansing, penitence and mourning.

IDEA 1: Kids create "clean heart soap" to take home

1. Shred bars of ivory soap in a food processor (don't worry, it cleans up nice and clean!)
2. Reform shredded soap into "soap balls" using a little bit of water.
3. Roll out soap between two sheets of wax paper using a rolling pin.
4. Press into shapes/cookie cutters. Heart shapes, gingerbread (me) shapes. etc.
5. Press-draw letters/words from the verse into the soap surface about 1/4" using tip of a plastic knife.

Soap can be colored in advance or after it is rolled out using soap gel colors (search online, such as Amazon).  

Experiment "rolling ropes" of different colored soap together then rolling flat and cutting into shapes.

See photos of the process at https://kidfriendlythingstodo....riendly-thing-to-do/

To Make Soap Paint you need,

3 parts Pure Soap Flakes combined with 1 – 2 parts Water (you want your Soap Paint to begin as a sloppy consistency as the soap will soak up the water), then just mix in a few squirts of Washable Kids Paint or Soap Gels made for coloring soap.


Psaint the Psalm with Psoap

Ingredients

  • Clear Liquid Soap
  • Cornstarch
  • Food Dye

Instructions

  1. Mix liquid soap and Cornstarch (2:1)
  2. Portion out into individual cups
  3. Add Food Dye and stir.
  4. Paint!
  5. Speed dry with a blow dryer.

I wonder what soap-paint would look like painted onto a "sponge" to go home.

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Last edited by Neil MacQueen
Original Post

I'm posting this "Rocks of Lent" idea which is based on the "The Rocks of Holy Week" lesson posted a while back.

In that Holy Week lesson/children's sermon, the story/activity was about the rocks found in all the major stories of Holy Week.

  1. Palm Sunday stones will sing
  2. Jesus teaches in the Temple built on the rock
  3. Gethsemane's rocky garden
  4. The rock of Calvary
  5. The Rocky Tomb
  6. The Stone that got out of the way
  7. Ascension from the rocky top

For LENT, I'd simply adapt the Rocks of Holy Week Lesson to teach Lent-Confessional lesson about the Rocks in our lives. 

  1. the HEAVY things people carry in their hearts,
  2. the WEIGHT of sin (how long can you hold that rock in your outstretched hand?)
  3. the OBSTACLES to loving/forgiving,
  4. the ROCKS that threaten to crush our spirit. What's your breaking point?
  5. the STONES WE THROW at others when we ourselves live in glass houses
  6. the DUMB AS A ROCK things we do and say
  7. the ROCK covering the Tomb (our faith) that needs to be rolled away.

    What other ROCK metaphors can you think of??

    How do we remove them? Get help? 
    Jesus is a Rock Taker, a Rock Breaker. Come to me...and I will give you rest from your rocks.
    "Light as a feather" demonstration (lifting something too heavy by getting lots of help).

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Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Lent Art Project for class or church event.

I posted this photo of our Psalm 8 "When I look to the heavens" decoupaged jar, and it dawns on me that it could easily be redesigned as a "Lenten Journey Jar" with the symbol of a "path" on it, along with other Lenten symbols.

Inside the jar could be slips of paper with "things to do/pray today" or use it to collect some of those "40" ideas suggested here.

Decoupaging here simply means "gluing" pieces of tissue paper to a surface, such as a plastic jar. Mod-Podge brand glue is great for this and dries to the touch in 20 minutes and to a hard sheen in hours.

For our "jar" we purchased a case of see-through acrylic "cans" from Oriental Trading Co. You can find other plastic jars online.

The "journey" could be represented by a winding path made of different strips or colors of tissue. Notice that in our Psalm 8 jar above we added to pieces of tissue that look like people (and they are). 

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Here is a commercially available lesson with an Ash Wednesday Labyrinth Meditation  from Illustrated Ministry. The description says it can be used for groups as well as for individuals.

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You can also check out our (free) labyrinth prayer ideas and lessons here.

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This article is a great suggestion for at home family worship and learning.

Lent in a Bag: “small bags – cloth, paper, or ziplock bags – with symbols of the season to assist individuals and families in practicing Lent at home. In addition to the items in the bag, we include instructions and reflections (on purple paper of course) to go with each item.”

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 The suggestions given could be expanded into a spiritual practices workshop lesson or into an inter-generational event. 

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