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TORN PAPER CROSSES
You will need: A4 sheets of plain paper; other sheets of paper in different colours and patterns; glue
Think about the dramatic events that take place when Jesus dies on the cross: the curtain in the temple is torn in two, the ground shakes and there is darkness. Yet, out of all this drama and destruction, something amazing happens because we can now be forgiven. Invite the children to tear strips from the collection of patterned and coloured paper. The idea is not to be neat and tidy! Glue the strips onto a sheet of paper in the vague shape of a cross. Think about how something beautiful can come from what seems to be a mess.
NAILS AND HEARTS
You will need: small strips of wood (the wood sold as kindling for fires is perfect); nails; a hammer; paper hearts
One of the hardest parts of the Good Friday story is when Jesus is nailed to the cross. This very simple craft helps children get really hands-on with the sounds of nails being hammered into wood, while also reflecting on the idea that what happened to Jesus happened because of his love.
Think about the sights and sounds of the crucifixion, and talk about the love Jesus showed by going to the cross so that we could have the hope of forgiveness and new life. Ask the children to carefully use the hammer to nail paper hearts to a piece of wood. This craft will probably take a bit more supervision than your usual activities to ensure that no one loses a finger, but it is a really satisfying one to do!
LOOSE PARTS COLLAGE
You will need: loose parts, such as buttons, glass pebbles, matchsticks, lolly sticks, pompoms, stones or shells; picture frames
Tell the children the story of Good Friday, and explore any questions they have or themes that present themselves. Give each child a picture frame and ask them to make a picture inside it using the loose parts. The picture can show a part of the story that really stands out to them or any ideas that the story inspires. Give the children a chance to share what they have made if they would like to, and be prepared for some amazing insights into what they have heard and processed.
You will need: water-soluble paper cut into strips (available online); pens; warm water; a large bowl
Good Friday is a day of great sorrow and tears for those who witnessed the death of Jesus. Very often we steer children away from sadness and things that feel painful, but this does them a real disservice, especially if they need an outlet to speak about loss. This craft gives everyone the opportunity to explore the things that make us sorry and sad, but also to alert them to the fact that Jesus’ death offers hope of a new beginning. Unfortunately, there will be nothing at the end for them to put on display.
Speak to the children about the things that make them sad and discuss how they find help when they feel that way. Ask them to draw or write things that make them sad on a strip of water-soluble paper and then place it in the warm water. The paper will begin to dissolve and will eventually be gone. Relate this to the sorrow of Good Friday, which will soon be replaced by the hope and new life of Easter Day.
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