Counting Down: In the past, we've used different calendars to countdown until Pascha: Jessica's, Orthodox Christian Craft Supply's Magnetic Calendar, and our butterfly calendar. I found a new idea on Rhythm of the Home's Spring Edition: A Visual Journey Through Lent. I'll adapt it to fit Orthodoxy and I think that I will try to figure out how to move the cross from stone to stone to create a countdown. We'll also be using the guide that came with our Magnetic Calendar since it was so very good!
Planning Ahead: With Western Easter falling so much earlier than Pascha, I will be trying to plan ahead. We'll need to buy our plastic eggs for our egg hunt, Paschal outfits need to be sorted out, and we have to get some delicious Paschal candies. Hopefully much of this will be on sale! Also, we've begun to save onion skins so that we can dye our eggs red naturally this year. I also need to replenish our battery operated candle stash for the nights when the faithful hold candles in church and the little ones don't want to be left out. We'll be sprouting wheat grass again this year on Palm Sunday and we'll also need to order our Paschal Candle!
Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving: We are going to work on three things daily this Great Lent: prayer (by learning a short prayer by heart), fasting (by placing one favorite food- one per child- into a basket each day and then emptying the basket in our church's food pantry box each Sunday before Liturgy), and almsgiving (by adding coins to a bank each day and emptying them into our church's poor box each Sunday before Liturgy). These are all simple ideas that I am hoping that I can follow through on that will hopefully help our little ones these next six or seven weeks.
I would love to hear about anything that you are doing with your little ones this holy time of year.
Also, if you are not Orthodox and are wondering what I am talking about, you can learn about Great Lent here and find out why Orthodox Christians fast, here.
sounds like some great plans! :) blessed end of Butter Week to you and family!
Thank you for the great ideas!
Thanks for the timely reminder to get out our calendar and set it up!
That water color path looks lovely, in the past we have used two craft magnets, they are strong enough to stick even through laminated paper, one can be attached to the back of your cross and one just sits behind the page. they should just slide.
I hope that makes sense.
Thank you, Melinda!
It helped me to remember too, Michelle:)
GREAT idea, Chrismated! I will definitely use that tip!
Thank you for your always-invigorating ideas!
My children are grown now - oh how wonderful it would have been to have all these resources at my fingertips! It's nice finding things for my grandchild. :)
Regarding counting down - I recently found an activity for a "Holy Week Clock". http://churchyearforchildren.blogspot.com/2010/03/holy-week-clock.html
Thanks for sharing these lovely ideas! The watercolor countdown is so beautiful! I'm planning to do the same this with the cross--using an extra metal cross we already have with a magnet behind the paper as well.
I stopped by Target today to pick up a candle like yours (loved that idea of your too) and saw some painted nesting eggs, and it had me thinking about our kids' Pascha baskets. So that I don't have to worry about getting to the store in time for the Western dating and because they're much prettier than the plastic ones, I'm planning to purchase some plain wooded nesting eggs to fill and reuse in years to come.
Praying you have a blessed Lenten season.
I love the idea for the Holy Week Clock, Wendy! Thank you! I am also happy to have found your blog:)
I will definitely check out the wooden nesting eggs, Leah! I love that idea and hope that our Target has some!
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