The first Act of our resurrection puppet play is the Triumphal Entry of Jesus. This story can be found in Matthew 21:1-11. It is a very readable story, so I just read it to my kids out of the English Standard Version. This way they know it is a true story that comes from God’s word, not just one mommy is making up. The key players in this act are Jesus, two disciples, a donkey, and a crowd with palm branches. Most of my puppets will be made out of toilet paper rolls, decorated with construction paper. But for large crowds I used a manilla file folder cut into the shape of people’s bodies and colored it with a sharpie. This crowd is saying Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
I talk with my kids about why Jesus had to ride on a donkey (to fulfill the prophecy in Zechariah), and why the people were praising him (because he was the king that God had sent to save his people). If your children are less familiar with the bible you might also want to talk about what disciple means (Jesus’ special friends that traveled with him wherever he went and helped him in his ministry).
Here are some activity ideas to reinforce the lesson:
1. Have a parade with your children and shout, Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! You can cut palm branches out of paper plates and bang pots and pans together. If you wanted to have your parade outside, cut down some tree branches and let them wave them while they shout.
2. Play pin the tale on the donkey. Ask your children what part the donkey had in the story. Who went to get the donkey? Why did Jesus ride into Jeruselum on a donkey?
3. Practice scripture memory. Put actions to the verse, you would be suprised how much a 2 or 3 year old can remember! Try Matthew 21:9b Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Practice the verse all week during meal times.
Hope you enjoyed Act 1! How is your family preparing for Easter?
Have a blessed day!