>> Friday, February 08, 2008
Our kids love to count down (or up!) to important events. We make paper chains and block calendars with them. This year, we made a matchbox Advent Calendar, too. It was a big hit! But we hadn't done anything for Lent before this year. I needed to make something inexpensive and fast. I came up with this:
Below is a little tutorial on how to make one with your kids. Don't worry, it's not too late if you haven't got one. You can whip one of these up in no time. You'll need:
A piece of posterboard (violet is great!)
A white marker or paint pen
Green construction paper
sequins or flat backs
coloured tissue paper
I mounted my posterboard onto an old bulletin board that we had handy, but you can just mount your finished calendar directly to the wall with florists fix or thumb tacks.
First, using your paint pen, write "Our Lenten Journey" (or whatever you like) evenly across the top, leaving a bit of space to the right of the title for your butterfly. Then make a winding path down the poster board. Mine has 4 circuits, which I think looks good.
Next, make your butterfly and affix it to the top right-hand corner of the board. I used a decoupage image printed on cardstock for my butterfly, but you can make a beautiful one out of construction paper or even tissue paper! For the decoupage version, cut two identical butterflies and stick one down completely using a glue stick or paste. Glue flat backs or sequins on the second butterfly and fold the wings up. Using fabri-tac, or a similar glue, fix the second butterfly directly on top of the first butterfly, leaving the wings free.
Using your green construction paper (I used two shades of green cardstock), cut 40 olive leaves. Mark your leaves 1-40. Paste or glue them evenly onto your winding path, beginning at the lower right corner.
Next, cut your chenille stems to a length of about 1.5 inches. I've used sparkly white and gold stems, which I twisted together to get a fatter caterpillar. You can also use the thick-and-thin style chenille stems.
Each day, your child can place one caterpillar on that day's leaf until you get to the top. You can use glue or a stapler, whichever you prefer. Keep your waiting caterpillars in a baggy, envelope or pouch that is stapled or tacked to the board.
On the eve of Easter, you will remove all of the caterpillars and glue onto each one a pretty piece of tissue paper that has been accordian-pleated into a pair of wings. Tie a piece of string around it's middle and hang it, and all its friends, in a door way, or from the ceiling. The surprise comes on Easter morning when they find that ALL of the caterpillars have turned into butterflies!
It's a wonderful visual representation of the transformation that takes place during Lent.
1. Instead of writing a number on each leaf, write a virtue or a sacrifice for your child or children to practice each day.
2. Instead of making separate leaves and caterpillars, you could simply make 40 paper caterpillars and stick one to the path each day.
So many more ideas... I'm sure you'll come up with some excellent ones to share!