I know I've said this before, but I love weaving in our Christian traditions and seasons into our school day. It sets a rhythm for our day and year.
For the season of Lent, we made our own "Lenten Garden." I know there are many different ways to do this, with different variations, but I thought I'd share what we did. It's super easy!
Let me first say that I recently bought Ann Druitt's All Year Round, a beautiful book that gives you tons of ideas to do with kids for all the holidays and seasons through the year (the product description on the amazon page describes the book perfectly).
So one of the ideas for Lent is to build a "Lenten Garden." In the book, the garden is built at the beginning of Holy Week, but we just went ahead and got our garden ready. I loosely followed the instructions in the book.
On our nature walk today, we gathered the necessary supplies: lots of moss, stones, rocks, and a small branch for our Lenten tree (my friend Lauren uses two sticks that make a cross instead of a tree). Back at school, we assembled the moss over some rocks in a pie plate. You could use any shallow dish you have!
We formed a "grotto" from clay that you bake in the oven, and placed it next to the tree. Then a patch of stones from the tree to the grotto was next. I squeezed in a small terracotta pot dish to make a "pond," with a piece of bark as the "bridge" over the pond.
We added some other rocks around and then I spritzed itreally well with water (and will continue to do so in the coming weeks). During Holy Week, we'll add the stone that gets rolled in front of the tomb/grotto.
And on Easter morning, the stone will be rolled away and the garden will be alive with flowers!
* We've been reading Helen Haidle's Journey to the Cross - I'm really enjoying it so far and would recommend it as a great Lenten reading to do with kids.