I wonder if every other mom at Mass on Palm Sunday was thinking the same thing I was. “It’s only a matter of time before someone slices someone else’s cheek or eye with the edge of a palm frond.”
It’s a good thing I already know the Passion, since my thoughts were elsewhere. Namely, wishing I remembered how to fold a palm into a cross. That would have solved my concentration problem. Or at least one of them. My GI Joe had Army training all weekend, so wasn’t at the longest Mass of the year with us. Not that I would ever point that out to him or anything.
The biggest hooligan loves origami, so I knew he’d be eager to help fold them. When we got home, I Googled it and found a great tutorial at the KidsSundaySchool site. The directions were easy to follow and we made our crosses in no time.
The little ones didn’t see the crosses last night, so their big brother was so excited to give them to them this morning.
Since we were entertaining ourselves this weekend, and it was a bit cold and dreary, everyone wanted to do a craft project. As I was idly surfing the web while watching a chick flick last night, I saw a great cross “painting” that I thought was easy enough for even the three-year-old. And I was right…they all made great pictures. If you’d like to see the original, it’s at Housing a Forest, which is a blog filled with great ideas for crafts with kids.
Here’s our version.
First, cut a piece of scrap paper in half, so it’s 5-1/2” x 8”, then cut a cross out of it, as tall as the paper is. Color around the edges with oil pastels (put it on another piece of scrap paper). By the way, on a totally unrelated note, Spot Shot will quickly remove oil pastels from formica. My rainbow-loving kid did his coloring in rainbow order, but the rest of us did not. I have to admit, his did look a little cooler.
Everyone did well at this. The pastel needs to be right on the edge in a fairly thick layer.
After the edges are completely colored, lay the cross on a piece of white cardstock. Use your finger to go all the way around, pulling the color off the cross and onto your paper. Hold the cross firmly in place with your other hand. The little ones needed some help with this step, but it’s a pretty forgiving craft.
After the cross was done, we cut an arched piece of paper, colored it with shades of green along the edge, and pulled it onto the white paper to make a hill. Remember not to pull it where the cross is, so it looks like it’s behind the cross.
As a last step, we painted the sky and hill using watercolor paint. The kind the kids use at school, 8 colors in a little tray, not real watercolors an artist would use. The oil pastels resist the paint, so you don’t have to be super careful here.
We were all thrilled with our results, and it was a perfect way to bring a rainbow into a cloudy, cold Palm Sunday, while keeping in mind the meaning of the day. We even had a discussion about the Passion, which of course no one heard much of at Mass because they were too busy whipping their palm fronds around!