These crown of thorns are so cheap and easy to make, you can make them with your whole classroom! (They’re also great for at home, but easy enough for a classroom environment) Every child takes one home at the beginning of lent. Each time that child does a good deed or makes a sacrifice during lent, they get to remove a thorn from the crown. Check it out!
What you need to craft these Lenten Crown of Thorns:
- Cheap Play-Doh
- Small paper plates (something sturdy, like Chinet brand or Sryrofoam plates)
Sound too easy?
Get yourself some really cheap Play-Doh. I got mine from the Dollar Tree. I got 1 can of yellow, 1 red, 1 blue, and 1 green for $1. Then, mix all of the colors together so you have a bunch of brown. (Because blue is such a strong color, you might only need to add half the can of blue. Try half first- you can always add more.) The basic concept behind mixing brown is mixing all 3 primary colors (red, yellow, and blue). Once you’ve mixed your brown, put it back into the containers.
Now take your box of toothpicks and cut them all in half. This can be easily done with scissors, but don’t use your favorite scissors for this. Cut several at a time- it will go faster than you think.
When you’re ready, give each child about half a can of Play-Doh, and have them roll it into a long coil. (That’s right, I said “coil” and not “snake” because you may as well take the opportunity to introduce your children to art vocabulary, am I right?)
When the coil starts to get really long, break it in half and keep rolling until the coils are about as big around as your finger. Then, place the 2 coils beside each other, and twist them together. (If you’re working with older kids, you can make 3 coils and braid them together.) Form the twist into a circle, and pinch the ends together. We set ours on small paper plates when we were finished.
Now it’s time to add your toothpick “thorns”. Push them into the Play-Doh pointy-side-out so they look nice and sharp. Give each one a little bit of a wiggle when you insert it so they’re not too hard to pull back out when the Play-Doh dries.
That’s it! Send each student home with the crown of thorns and directions to remove one with each good deed or sacrifice he or she makes. The Play-Doh will dry within a few days, but you can start using it before it does.
I did this with a lot of success with an entire classroom full of 2 year olds! They loved it, and so did their parents. Although my whole preschool class made these with no problems, check out what my 3 year old insisted on making:
Since I don’t believe in making children craft a “right” way, this is what Julian’s crown of thorns looked like. And you know what? It worked just fine!