Lent is a time of prayer and reflection upon the Passion of Our Lord as we await the celebration of His Death and Resurrection on Easter Sunday and once again sing ALLELUIA!
While this may seem daunting to some, throughout the years, there have been a few items that we have found useful to aid the children in praying the Way of the Cross.
Here is a look at what our family will be utilizing this year in order for our children to understand the magnitude of Jesus’ gift of salvation.
Stations of the Cross Montessori Box
When my daughter was a toddler, we first introduced the Stations of the Cross through a simple Montessori Box.
(Some of you noticed that it wasn’t mentioned, but was found hanging out around the baskets on our family hearth — Good eyes my friends!)
Nothing more than a re-purposed container, wrapped in the penitential violet color of the season, it contains a few found objects that were already laying about the house for each of the fourteen stations.
The contents are as follows:
Along with all of these little objects, tucked away inside the Stations of the Cross Montessori Box are the printable Stations of the Cross Montessori cards from Family in Feast and Feria. And last year, the addition of the Stations of the Cross Montessori Cards for Preschoolers were added for my toddler son.
Both sets of cards are laminated using my Scotch Thermal Laminator to help make them a bit sturdier and to last throughout the years of play they receive.
Together, the contents of the box are able to be manipulated by little hands to match to the appropriate cards.
Both of my children have delighted in being able to tote this little box along to Stations of the Cross at our parish— not only are they able to pray along with the rest of the congregation, but it also helps to keep little hands busy and squiggly bodies occupied. The Stations of the Cross Montessori Box has proved to be a gentle yet effective way for them to visualize and learn the grandeur and significance of the Lord’s Passion.
(*Print your own FREE sticker cover for the Stations of the Cross Montessori Box)
Much like the Stations of the Cross Montessori Box, another way to introduce the Way of the Cross to children is through the use of Resurrection Eggs, (also known as Holy Week Eggs or Paschal Mystery Eggs).
Twelve Plastic Easter Eggs, (a familiar sight during the Lenten and Easter season), are filled with tiny trinkets each representing one aspect of the pivotal moments in the life, death and resurrection of Christ. They are able to be opened and reopened, again and again, to discover the symbol(s) contained inside.
This will be the first year that our family will use Resurrection Eggs since in years past my son was a little too eager to make the trinkets disappear! Instead of purchasing a ready made kit, I employed my daughter to make our own for the family. All of the contents were all able to be scavenged from the children’s toy boxes.
Their contents are as follows:
I also purchased the book Benjamin’s Box: The Story of the Resurrection Eggs to be read along with the eggs.
All three together allow for the children to be able to visualize the occurrences of the last days of our Lord.
(*Print your own FREE sticker cover for the Resurrection Eggs Carton!)
Stations of the Cross Coloring Pages
The addition of Stations of the Cross Coloring Pages has always been welcomed as my children have gotten older. In years past, we have purchased various Stations of the Cross coloring books, but I was able to locate these free to print from St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.
These pages will be placed into a three ring binder along with a zippered pouch
of colored pencils. At home, the coloring pages will be used to discuss the events surrounding each station every few days during Lent. They will also be toted along to the parish Stations of the Cross and used as a quiet meditation while the rest of the congregation prays.
By the end of the Lenten season, each child will have their own colored Stations of the Cross keepsake to remind them of their Lenten journey this year.
Stations of the Cross Audio CD
The folks over at Holy Heroes offer a wonderful audio CD for children which we enlist during these times. My children have enjoyed listening to these Stations of the Cross, as they are narrated by children, and are accompanied with sound effects and music, helping to make the listening time an enjoyable experience.
It is just one more small way that our children are able to fully engage in the Lenten season.
Looking for other ways to engage your children this Lenten season?
Or do you have a fun and interactive way to pray the Stations of the Cross with your children? Please share!