I get to spend today and the next three days with all my family — my husband, our children, and our grandchildren — at the beach! This means we will have 9 children just barely-five-years-old and under all in one place for 76 hours!
So — I am making preparations! I’m going armed with Play-doh, tempera paints, cookie dough, and empty plastic Easter eggs to stuff with finger food for an Easter egg hunt lunch. We are also going to do a little Palm Sunday scavenger hunt. (We’ll see how that goes with a bunch of little guys! 🙂 )
Here’s my plan, in case any of you would like to take advantage of the work I’ve already done. Read the following passages aloud, stopping when you reach each word in bold. For young children, have them go find that object and come back to you. (All the words are listed below, with suggested items to find.) Then continue reading until the next bold word.
For older children, have them make a list as you read of all the items they will be looking for. When you have finished reading all three passages, have them look for all the items. This can be done as a group, or you may choose to liven things up a bit more by dividing into two teams to see who can finish first.
When all the items have been gathered, lay them out in order as they appear in the Scripture passages, and have the children retell the story.
1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. 3 Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. 8 For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at he mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.'” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road.
Matthew 21:8-9 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” Items to find:
- Perfume – Mary’s perfume (perfume, lotion)
- Denarii – Money they would have made selling the perfume (paper bills or coins)
- Moneybag – Judas’s moneybag (any type of bag)
- Olivet – Mt. of Olives (a can of olives, a picture of olives from a sales flyer, olive oil)
- Tied – Rope that tied the colt (any kind of string, yarn, rope, leash)
- Colt – Colt or donkey (a photo on the computer, a drawing, a stuffed animal, a plastic horse)
- Cloaks (coats, jackets, etc.)
- Branches – Palm branch (a branch from a bush or tree)
- Hosanna – cut out letters from newspapers and magazines and assemble into the word (or little guys can copy the letters of the word onto a piece of paper, or use stickers or rubber stamps)