Kids in the Kitchen–Ash Wednesday

I have ceased calling this part of my blog “Kids in the Kitchen Friday” because I find our kitchen learning escapades do not always happen on Fridays.   As you see from the title, this one happened on Ash Wednesday, and it was not a dessert, although there will be sugar involved later.

One of our Lenten activities is the Salt Dough Crown of Thorns, which I found through this link on Faith and Family Live.  Ordinarily these crowns are braided and studded with toothpicks to remind us of the Crown that was plaited for Jesus by the mocking soldiers and which He wore to His death.  The activity part comes in that whenever the child does something good, he or she can take a “thorn” out of the crown and place it in a jar.  Ideally the dough crown will be rid of its thorns by Easter Sunday morning and then the jar full of toothpicks will instead be full of jelly beans.  Joy after Sorrow.  Resurrection after the Passion.  Sugar after Lent.  It’s all good.

Rascal and I mixed the dough but it became terribly obvious that when it comes to braiding dough, I am a rank amateur.  In addition, it was 8pm on Ash Wednesday and I still needed to bake the thing.  So, I made a nice round dough circle and then began to look through my kitchen shelves for the toothpicks.  I was certain they had been brought with the move–I even remembered seeing the box somewhere!  Mind you, two weeks after our move we are still getting lost in our kitchen shelves.  With the time constraint bearing down on me I thought of the next best thing–the craft sticks in the hall closet!  I broke them in to pieces and allowed Rascal and the Dinosaur to add them to the dough.  Later I added the jar with the picture to the center (the picture will be replaced with a suitable Resurrection print come Easter), and the children have had a regular examen at the end of the day to see what actions merit removing a thorn.  Here’s a few:

  • cleaning up toys/clothes right away without complaint (this is the most popular good deed).
  • helping Grandma/Mommy right away without complaint.
  • Reminding frustrated family members of the need to forgive (out of the mouths of babes)
  • Reminding me as we began our night prayers that we needed to pray “for Japan to be fixed.”

Now, the dough crown is on our kitchen counter for a few good reasons, all of which may be summed up in one line: Sunshine has reached her climbing phase.  Therefore the coffee table in our schoolroom was out, as was the end table where we keep our monthly “theme” books.  The dining room table is her favorite perch, so we keep that table clear as often as possible as she will inevitably climb there given half a chance.

Rascal was asked to explain this activity to his grandparents and aunts, who recently came back from a vacation.  He pointed to the jar and said, “Those sticks will grow into jelly beans.  I have no idea how they will do that.”

It will stump his practical little mind for the next few weeks. 😉

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