It's that time again - with Lent on the horizon - to reflect on how to observe this time of penance, alms giving, and prayer. As parents, grandparents, or godparents the little souls with whom we are entrusted come to mind. When I created this idea (a couple years ago), my babies were young (2 – 6). Now they are older but the ‘doing’ and ‘praying’ categories are still very relevant.
The resulting EGG-straordinary Rosary Project reinforces/teaches all of the prayers of the Rosary. Since most will know the basics (Sign of the Cross, Our Father and Hail Mary), even the very young will have a way to participate. Yet older children will be able to relate as well. Using the EGG-straordinary Rosary can be a transitional addition to their customary nighttime prayers – reciting a decade of the Rosary, while concentrating on a particular mystery each night.
This simple, inexpensive and effective craft combines reciting a nightly decade of the Rosary with some good actions and creativity thrown in for good measure:
EGG-straordinary Rosary Project Materials
Colorful curling ribbon or pipe cleaners
Paper and markers/crayons
Tongue depressors or Popsicle sticks
Glitter glue, puff paint, stickers or other embellishments
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
EGG-straordinary Rosary Project Construction
Plastic Easter Eggs (1 larger egg for the Our Father and 10 smaller eggs for the Hail Mary)
Thread pre-cut sections of pipe cleaner or small strips of ribbon through the holes on both ends of the small plastic Easter eggs, until you have a chain of 10. Tie a knot in the ribbon or bend a ‘knot’ into the pipe cleaner and hot glue inside each egg to secure.
Add one larger Easter egg to your chain for the Our Father to complete the decade.
For the cross, shorten one of the tongue depressors and then form into a cross shape. Secure with hot glue and embellish with a sticker, if desired.
EGG-straordinary Rosary Project Use
Say one decade of the Rosary each evening using your Easter Egg Rosary and add your offerings (good deeds, petitions, or coins) for that day. This is a good time to discuss behavior, sharing and giving.
Chose a petition, good dead, or prayer for each member of the family and write/draw on a piece of paper.
You could also have your little ones earn pennies to share with the poor.
Place these papers or coins inside a plastic Easter egg.
On the weekend you may choose to draw or color pictures depicting the mysteries you have prayed during the week and make a booklet to go along with your newly completed Rosary.
At the end of a 5 day week you will have said all five of the respective mysteries and by the end of 4 full weeks you will have said all 4 sets of mysteries…and the COMPLETE Rosary. You should now have corresponding booklets with pictures of the all 20 mysteries.
You may now move on to coloring pages of the Stations of the Cross as your activity. Continue to use the Rosary you have made for praying a decade every evening as a family, as is now your practice. Last year, 3-year old Simon and 1-year old Rachel learned all of their rosary prayers this way. The family developed a nightly rosary ‘habit’.
On the evening before Easter Sunday, parents may wish to fill each egg with a treat or surprise and then hide the eggs for the traditional Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday. Or you could keep them intact and still fill with treats. Your kids will have had a chance to count down the 40 days and reap a reward for their patience and efforts, seeing a tangible result! Hopefully you will also have enhanced your family prayer habits. God bless you…and may we all have a fruitful Lent.
Let us all pray for one another!
Here are some links to coloring pages for use with your EGG-straordinary Rosary Project for Lent:
*Note: you could also do the above project using a paper chain much like those that are made during Advent to adorn your Christmas tree. Each ‘link’ in the chain could be a Hail Mary and a larger ‘link’ could be added for the Our Father. You could write on the slips of paper before creating the links.