I have fond memories of Holy Week. I grew up in a Christian home, so we would celebrate Easter with as much gusto as Christmas! New dresses and suits, egg coloring, Passion plays, Good Friday services, Easter baskets, family dinners (ham…mmmmm!), etc.

The memories that stick out the most involved relationship and the process of making. Making, when paired with information and relationships, creates lasting memories and experiences that children will carry with them their whole lives.

In Art and Faith: A Theology of Making, Christian father and artist Makoto Fujimara expresses something about “making” that struck me. “I have come to believe that unless we are making something, we cannot know the depth of God’s being and God’s grace permeating our lives and God’s Creation.”

This is the benefit to giving our children (and ourselves) opportunities to make things that reinforce the information that we want deep in our hearts. I’ve gathered a couple of creative “making” activities that can be adapted for all ages and really span the range of those who consider themselves “artistic” and those who wouldn’t touch “artistic” with a ten-foot pole.

1.  Walk of Repentance:  The purpose of this activity is to remind us that our sins are heavy and are meant to be laid at the cross. It also helps us have a better understanding of what carrying all our sins to the cross was like for Christ. The activity can take anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours depending on the ages of your children and the whole family’s physical comfort levels.

Each person needs either pockets or backpacks. For your walk, choose a path that has rocks of all sizes which you can pick up and use. As you go, pick up rocks that can represent a sin you have done. Littles can put their “sin rocks” in their pockets. Take time to talk about your rocks as you walk. Have your kiddos take notice of how the heaviness of the rocks in their pockets or packs makes them tired or makes them struggle. This is what unforgiven sin is like. When you get to the summit of your hike or the halfway point of your walk, take time to cast all your rocks on the ground at an imaginary “foot of the cross.” Remind your children of how Jesus took all the weight of their sins with him to the cross so they no longer have to carry that burden. This helps children see that repentance is not a shameful act, but a beautiful one that brings life and lightness. It is an act of worship as much as singing is. Everyone can walk back home with no more “sin rocks” because of what Jesus has done. Take time to talk about what that feels like and to thank Jesus for what he has done.

Ages:  Any and all! If you have a kiddo who can’t walk the whole way, bring a child carrier or a wagon.

2.  Kintsugi:  Mending What is Broken:  Kintsugi is the Japanese art of mending broken porcelain or ceramics with gold and adhesive so that vessels can be used once again. I was introduced to this artform by Makoto Fujimara’s books, and I love how it points to the restorative work that Jesus does in us through his work on the cross. We are all vessels broken by sin. What Jesus does on the cross is mend us with his Holy Spirit and bring about the making of a new vessel that carries the scars of the brokenness but shows them as redeemed. This second activity is a great project to help your family see the beauty of the restoration that is made possible by Jesus’ work on the cross.

This video does a great job of showing the process used to practice Kintsugi:   https://youtu.be/RqWyKFZbPzI.

Materials needed:
  — a broken porcelain or ceramic vessel (cup, bowl, plate, pot, etc.). (You can find very cheap teacups and ceramics at any thrift store and break them into 2-4 pieces at home. I tapped on the side of the cup with a hammer. If you do this part in a cardboard box, it helps contain the mess!)
  — two-part epoxy glue
  — gold mica powder (You can find this at most craft stores or online via Amazon.)
  — disposable cup for mixing the epoxy
  — popsicle stick

Ages:  This project is best for 3rd grade and up. I would recommend adult supervision through the whole project.

3.  Wordless Book Paint Pour:  This project uses the same colors as the wordless book but turns it into a painting project that your kids will love. I would recommend doing this project outside, or you can use disposable 9×13-inch aluminum pans to catch dripping paint. 

Here’s what you will need:
— canvas or chipboard (You can find this at any craft store.) If you’re working inside, be sure your canvas is smaller than your disposable pan –  6 x 6″ or 8 x 10″, for instance. 
— paper cups
— Craft acrylic paint (metallic gold, green, red and white) 
— Floetrol (Home Depot) or pouring medium
— Coat hanger (This will be placed on top of your pan to hold the canvas/board.)
— black gesso or black paint (Coat your canvas or chip board with this before starting.)

For this project, you’re going to start with a black surface which symbolizes who we are before we come to know Jesus. We are covered in sin, a mere shadow of what God designed us to be.

Set up your black canvas on top of the disposable pan and coat hanger.

Mix your paints: Each color should have a 1:1 ratio of color and floetrol.  Mix each color separately and stir completely. 

Use this time to talk about what each color means:
— Red is for the blood of Jesus that he spilled on the cross to cover our sins. 
— White is the color Jesus makes us by what he did on the cross. He takes our sins and washes them white as snow. We are now seen as pure and holy in God’s sight. 
— Green is for how we grow in Jesus as we walk with him after he becomes our Savior.
— Gold is for the new creation God is making us and also for the new earth and heaven that we will get to enjoy with God someday when he returns. 

After you talk about each color, pour the four colors into a single larger cup. Flip the cup onto the top of the canvas/board and let it sit for 10 seconds. Then pull it up and you will see the colors start to intermingle and mix. You can explain that when we take all the things that God has done for us and let it pour over us, we become new creations. No longer flat, lifeless boards of black but complex, layered and beautiful reflections of the master Artist.

For help with the pouring process, you can check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc4iGow4sFY. This video also has a link to instructions you can read…they are a little more in depth.) 

Ages:  1st grade and up

4.  Resurrection Eggs:  The gal on the website below has a great tutorial and instructions for making resurrection eggs. I loved doing this with my boys when they were younger. I would recommend having your kids make the eggs with you. This will help cement the truths that these eggs contain. Yes, this is a bit involved and can be kind of frustrating, but I promise, it’s worth it.  

https://www.faithgateway.com/making-resurrection-eggs-easter-story/#.YFJ4Ma9KhPY

Ages:  All ages!

Amelia Furman has been a member of Faith for eight years. She is a professional fine artist and teacher who specializes in mixed media art.

At Faith, Amelia serves on the writing team and encourages others in blessing people with their creativity. She loves telling meaningful, thought-provoking stories that shape imaginations and minds for God’s glory. 

Amelia is from Pennsylvania and enjoys painting, reading, running, hiking, and laughing.

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