Below are some at-home activities that families may want to do to help celebrate and prepare for Holy Week.
Read the Bible Story
Read a Gospel account. The story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem can be found in all four Gospels: Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19, John 12. You will read from four different perspectives.
Bake Palm Branch Cookies
Kids will enjoy making and eating these cookies. To make the dough, you’ll need:
- 1/3 cup shortening,
- 1/3 cup sugar,
- 1 egg,
- 3 cups sifted flour,
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda,
- 1 teaspoon salt, and
- 2/3 cup honey.
Sift the baking soda with the flour. Mix all the ingredients and refrigerate. Have children roll the dough into 1/4-inch-thick “snakes.” Have each child make a simple palm branch design on aluminum foil. Transfer the foil to a cookie sheet.
You can add a little food coloring to make them green or crush something green in it like lollipops, if you have these items. Bake at 375 degrees for about eight minutes. Watch the cookies carefully as baking time will vary according to the size and complexity of the design. While the cookies are baking, read aloud Matthew 21:1-11. Let baked cookies cool. Then peel the foil from the back of each palm. The dough should feel firm to the touch before you try this. If you do this, please take a photo and send it to Cindy Caporaso.
Servant Sandals – Maundy Thursday
As an alternative to a foot-washing service experience on Maundy Thursday, have children make sandals for one another. Form pairs. Have partners trace around each other’s feet onto heavy cardboard. Then cut out foot shapes. Punch six holes in the cardboard—two near the toe, two near the center, and two near the heel. Thread yarn laces through the holes from the underside to the top. These sandals can be tied onto the feet of one partner by the other. Afterward, discuss with children what it means to be a servant.
For younger children
Here are some helpful links:
The PCUSA has provided activities here at no cost. Each week we’ll be providing via email a free story with corresponding activities and a pack of five coloring pages and the activities change from week to week.
The folks at Flyaway Books have a full list of free and downloadable activities like an origami butterfly, a paper airplane, parable-themed coloring pages, and more. The provide a list of books with extended activities and conversations. You may be familiar with a few or even have some of them.