February 22, 2012
Last Lent, as I was attempting to teach my then four and two year old the concept of sacrifice and spending extra time in prayer to prepare for Easter, I found this idea. One mom suggested using a jelly bean jar to visibly teach our kids what this season is about. Each color represents a different action in which the child participates. For instance, if Ben listens the first time, he earns a white jelly bean. A sacrifice of some kind earns a red one. Yellow represents a kind deed or word. Green is for sharing. In our home we drop a pink jelly bean in the jar when one of the kids overcomes a bad habit (like screaming or whining).
Last year we had separate jars for each child. This year we have a family jar. We are not going to lose jelly beans for bad choices, but instead limit to the ability to add to the jar for the rest of the day. On Sundays, if everyone is on their best behavior in Church, we can enjoy a jelly bean. On Easter, all the candy fills the eggs for our Easter Egg Hunt. The kids already are excited to fill up the jar.
What are some useful "Lent teaching tools" you use? Please share!