Each month I change the theme of our worship shelves for Little Bee to enjoy hands-on Bible lessons for learning and play. We have enjoyed Jonah and the Whale, the story of the Nativity, and Noah's Ark. For an overview of how we use our worship shelves - visit Christian Montessori Shelves. This month our shelves are Montessori Inspired Christian Easter Shelves with an emphasis on Jesus death and resurrection.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time." 1 Peter 1:3-5
Arts & Crafts
Little Bee loves to get messy with his finger paints and I actually find the whole messy process amusing... most of the time. The finger paint mess turned into a beautiful blue cross that I tacked onto the wall above our worship shelves.
Next, I traced Little Bee's sweet hands onto brown card stock paper to create the praying hands pictured below. I taped this free praying hands printable onto the traced hands and cut them out. Then I laminated the hands for durability. Even laminated the hands easily fold together to create praying hands.
I found these gorgeous Holy Week 3 part cards on the "Tired, Need Sleep" blog. With these cards, I showed Little Bee the story of Jesus death and resurrection and we concentrated on Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane while presenting the praying hand craft.
On top of Little Bee's worship shelves, he also has a picture of a small boy praying for his close examination and imitation. All of these representations of prayer help Little Bee understand the deeper meaning of worship.
Little Bee has a gorgeous Montessori inspired basket with the picture of Jesus, a small wooden cross, and a giant toddler safe bolt (to represent a nail.) I thought this hands-on basket was a great way for Little Bee to learn the story of salvation. I printed a Jesus on the cross coloring page as another way to give Little Bee a visual understanding of Jesus dying for our sins.
Little Bee helped me create this sensory learn and play Easter garden. It was inspired by an image on Pinterest and also from the "We are that Family" blog. Please visit "We are that Family" blog for step-by-step instructions. I will briefly explain how we made our Easter garden. We filled a large terra cotta plant saucer/tray with soil and small rocks with a small terra cotta pot placed in the middle of the tray. We planted fast growing grass seeds into the soil and also made three crosses out of sticks with pipe cleaner wire holding the sticks together in a cross shape. Lastly, I found a big rock for the tomb opening.
This living Easter garden created a wonderful hands-on learning experience for Little Bee and the story of the resurrection. He removed the rock and placed his hand inside the empty tomb. I told him the tomb was empty because Jesus was alive and in heaven. He held the angel and touched the cross. We talked about each part of the story as he explored the garden. For a step-by-step tutorial on how to craft your own peg person angel, please visit - 7 Christmas Craft Angels.
"After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” Matthew 28:1-10
A tray on our worship shelves this month is a Plant Life Cycle printable with matching cards from Education.com. I also included the Safari Ltd Plant Life Cycle of a Green Bean Plant. I love that the resurrection Easter garden teaches the story of new life in a practical hands-on way. The garden requires soil, seeds, water, sunlight, and tender care to grow. The end result is a living green plant full of vibrant new life.
"We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." Romans 6:4
Another tray on our shelves is a practical life "folding" tray. You may wonder how this fits in with the Easter story. After Jesus was resurrected and before he left the tomb, he carefully folded his linen grave clothes that had been wrapped around his head. "Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself." John 20:6-7 Isn't this a beautiful part of the story of Jesus resurrection? It's wonderful to teach our children that even our Lord and Saviour took the time to fold his "clothes" before ascending to heaven.
Displayed in the photo below are the beautiful Holy Week 3 part cards that I mentioned above. I love the art work and the wording used in these 3 part cards. Little Bee is a toddler, so we did not use these cards in the 3 part method. I created a book out of the cards in the order of the resurrection story. That way he can begin to learn the sequence of the story. The book was created by hole punching the corner of the cards and attaching a little ring to hold them together. The cards in the little book can easily be taken apart for matching work.
I added spring flowers to our shelves for added matching work. I thought the flowers were a beautiful ending to our hands-on learning experience of Jesus resurrection story. After all, many believe that Jesus is referred to as the "Lily of the Valley."
"I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys." Song of Solomon 2:1
Please visit, Christian Easter Hands-On Activities for several more kid friendly Christian Easter learn and play ideas.