Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Jesus Tree :: A Lenten Craft and Bible Study

First Communion BibleLenten Jesus Tree Verses

This is the 10th Lenten season since I created a Jesus Tree to use with our children during Lent! I have really loved using it over the years as a Lenten Bible Study picking up when our annual Advent Bible Study leaves off.  So many wonderful (and funny!) memories over the years... 

Last year, since we were traveling during some of Lent and Holy Week, I didn't end up pulling it out to use with our little ones, and this year our schedule has been so packed that I decided to just keep things simple and we've been focusing on our annual Lenten calendars, Stations of the Cross every Friday night, and additional books (including books for the older children) when we can fit them in each day. 

Yesterday afternoon, after getting home from work, I decided to print out the new Jesus Tree Lenten Activity Printable from Do Small Things With Great Love and work on it with our two youngest children. They are really enjoying this fun and educational craft and are already back to coloring more of the ornaments this morning as we catch up! 

I didn't have any poster boards large enough for the crosses, so we just printed them out on card stock and glued the four sections together. I'm pretty sure our little guy used a different shade of brown for each section.. lots of variations in the wood of his cross!

While they were working on coloring their crosses today I pulled out some additional books to read with them during these last couple weeks of Lent and displayed them on our portable library! (I'm really loving this new addition to our homeschool!)  One of the older girls helped set up some of our Holy Week/Easter themed toys for them as well! 

He Is Risen! Easter Puzzle with Jesus and Mary Magdalen from Naturally Catholic 
Jesus, the New Adam and Mary, the New Eve from Almond Rod Toys
Last Supper Wood Blocks and Wooden Mass Kit from Almond Rod Toys
Lent and Easter Blocks from Almond Rod Toys
(You can also buy the craft sheets and make the Lent Blocks yourself!) 

Looking for the perfect shade... 
While they colored each ornament I read through the various bible verses provided for each image from the Gospel of Matthew. 

Occasionally we'd take a break from coloring and add in some extra stories and discussions, including the section on The Incarnation from My Path to Heaven and Lesson 55: The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes from Chat's With God's Little Ones.  These are both such excellent resources and I highly recommend them for young children. 

The pretzel I had picked up at Trader Joe's a couple days ago didn't "multiply" but it did end up being plenty big enough for the two of them to share with three of their older siblings! ;) 

Before tucking them into bed, we also read through The End of the Fiery Sword and Into the Sea, Out of the Tomb. These are a couple of my favorite Catholic picture books.  

That's where we left off, even though they were ready for me to read though all the rest of the books on that shelf... We will definitely be reading more today! 

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