Holy Week is approaching and we are excited! We love to learn along with the liturgical calendar and a good portion of our home religious education is done through play.
A year ago in January, the peg doll craze hit our family when I started an online group that paints peg dolls and exchanges them through the mail. We started out painting well known saints and over the course of a year also made Mass sets, Nativities, the Apostles, and our Easter set is due back shortly before Holy Week. Since the peg dolls are our main characters in the reenactment of the Easter Story we thought we would share with you how we plan on playing our way through Holy Week!
First we start with the Palm Sunday procession! Here we cut a single sheet of green felt in half and then laid out “palms” and clothing which were also cut out of felt. The people welcoming Jesus to Jerusalem are Old Testament characters we had on hand as well as the Apostles.
A wooden castle will serve as part of the Jerusalem city. This scene is where Pilate is asking the people what they want to do with Jesus. (Pilate was my part of the Easter set that we just exchanged so we had him available for photographing but the rest of the dolls are still on their way.)
Here is the castle again where we are recreating the Upper Room for the Last Supper. The Apostles are not in order because our daughter was not home when I was photographing this blog post, but I can reassure you that all Apostles will be in there correct position according to the da Vinci painting during Holy Week. I love that she took it upon herself to memorize the Apostles’ seating arrangement!
Praying in the Garden. On the right you can see Judas with a soldier as the other Apostles sleep. The background is a felt play mat that I made, originally as a Marian garden but covered over parts of to fit the solemnity of the scene.
Our last scenes will cover the final hours of Christ’s Crucifixion and then Resurrection. We made a garden this year and will utilize it for Christ’s burial and Resurrection!
In addition to playing with peg dolls we also will be reading one of our favorite Easter stories, Benjamin’s Box. If you are familiar with the Resurrection Eggs this book covers the same principles but retold by a boy named Benjamin who takes mementos for his treasure box along the way. We purchased a box from Hobby Lobby and transferred the contents of our eggs over to the box last year and it has been a big hit! Children, boys especially, seem to be drawn to the special aspect of having a “treasure box.” If there was only one thing I could keep to educate our children about the true meaning of Easter it would be this book and box!
Our son is four and he found a larger stone this year to replace the smaller one that came with the eggs. He wanted me to be sure that you saw the large smooth stone he found.
The boy and his treasures! 🙂
If you are interested in getting peg dolls of your own for your family here are some resources on getting started:
To purchase dolls that are already painted and by our very own Ink Slinger, Erika, click here!
To join an exchange group click here.
To make your own without painting (much), click here.
And instructions on making your own Resurrection garden can be found here!
Our family wishes you the most Blessed Holy Week and we hope you are inspired to play a little through it!