I told the story of the Holy Family using the nativity. The wondering was very animated. When I asked what we could leave out and mischieviously removed a figure, each and every figure - person and animal was very staunchly defended. If it had been a balloon debate I don't think we could have thrown anyone out!
One of the mothers kindly lent me her olive wood nativity from Bethlehem, but we are slowly making our own...it takes time and a few legs getting cut off by mistake! I am learning which way to have the grain of the wood going and how to be less afraid of the jigsaw blade! My husband made the baby and the sheep for me. They proved irresistible to a visiting child last week, which made me very happy. I am also very happy with the risen Christ figure I cut from an old ikea desk that friend was throwing out. New life indeed! Together we made a very sweet donkey this afternoon - although it took us a few goes and a few missing limbs to get it right...
Instead of an open response time - something I will offer next week - I suggested the making of Lent 'gardens' as a way of getting ready for Easter. We talked about the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert and the children filled dishes and trays with sand. I had provided some bare twigs and most of them decided to make a cross with them. They enjoyed using a small hammer and nails. Everyone filled a dish with pebbles - it was mild enough to go outdoors to hunt for them. When they go home they can put a pebble in their desert for each day between now and Easter.
I also let them choose a roughly cut out figure to represent themselves.They have some sandpaper to work on it, and we talked about how God's love works in out lives, transforming us and smoothing off our rougher edges. They took these home with some readings for each day.
I also told the Mystery of Easter story. Some of the children chose to work with some paper crosses or to take one home.
We finished with a very un-Lenten feast! But it was wonderful, as one of the families had made us cakes and peppermint creams to share, and was really enjoyed. After sweeping up all the sand, we now have a pair of desert gardens to grace our kitchen table. Watch this space to see how they develop!