Last year our kids were 3,4 and 6 and we felt 40 days to give up one thing was a bit long for them. We came up with this idea instead to go along with the jellybean prayer and it was a hit at our house. The kids are excited to do it again this year.
On Ash Wednesday we set out a glass jar for each child with a small copy of the jellybean prayer taped to it. We determined a behavior to go with each jellybean color (corresponding with the prayer). Each day the kids could earn a jellybean of any color they followed through on. They could not eat the jellybeans until Easter. The kids could not earn white jellybeans, these represented the Grace of Christ, which is a gift not earned ourselves. On Easter morning, the kids woke to find their jars filled up where they were still empty (lacking) with white jellybeans (Christ's grace)
This is how we interpreted each color. You can make your own ideas based on ages and needs of your children.
- Red is for the blood Christ gave (each morning we chose something to sacrifice that day to earn the red jellybean. It had to be something they would have had the opportunity to have or do on that day)
- Green is for the palm's cool shade (green jellybeans were earned for good deeds. It was a good dead to provide shade for Jesus with the palm)
- Yellow is for God's light so bright (yellow jellybeans were earned for sharing God's light through kindness to others)
- Orange is for prayers at twilight (orange jellybeans were earned for attentive behavior during bedtime prayer time and night time bible story)
- Black is for sweet rest at night (these were earned for going to bed good. we used blue though, as our kids are not fans of black jellybeans)
- White is for the Grace of Christ (these we could not earn as mentioned above)
- Purple is for His days of sorrow (we earned these through apologizing to anyone we hurt with our words or deeds that day)
- Pink is for each new tomorrow (pink jellybeans were earned when we forgave those who apologized to us for hurtful behavior)
During the course of 40 days the kids did not tire of this activity and have talked about how fun it was throughout the year.
Of course, the Easter bunny might not want to bring any more jellybeans for the baskets!!
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