Preparing for Advent, I’ve been thinking about how to make this time meaningful for my little guy, Junior. Since he loves pictures, I made him a collection of art cards that depict the Christmas Story. And since he loves nursery rhymes, I added short little poems to go with each picture. The verses are very simple and repetitive, so he can understand and repeat the words. My hope is that by looking at the pictures and saying the verses, Junior will see the beauty of the Christmas story. Sacred art really has the power to draw us into contemplation.
Come take a peek:
When I had finished making the cards, Christina Rosseti’s poem In the Bleak Midwinter came to mind. How fitting the last verse of the poem would be for this set of cards. So I added one more card:
As usual, this project turned out to be much more time consuming than I anticipated. Finding just the right pictures in the public domain is like searching for needles in a haystack. For example, I looked high and low for a picture of Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem but could find nothing in the public domain that would work. So I had to settle for the mosaic of Mary … this is actually a depiction of her traveling to see Elizabeth. Hopefully your little ones won’t notice that she doesn’t look pregnant. But making these cards was a joy to make, and I hope your little ones will enjoy them.
Here are some ways to use them:
- Let your child look at and and explore all the cards.
- Point out the people in each of the cards. Name them. What are they doing? Are they happy or sad? How do you think Joseph feels? How Mary feels?
- Is the background dark or light? Is it day or night?
- Find all the angels in each picture.
- Identify all the animals in the pictures.
- Find all the halos in each picture. Explain what the halos represent.
- Ask your child to find and show how Mary holds her hands when she is praying.
- Read aloud one verse at a time. Encourage your child to repeat the verse. (Or, if necessary, help your child repeat two words at a time.)
- Elaborate on what is happening in each picture.
- Stick them in your purse and bring them to Mass
- Allow the sacred art to draw you and your child into prayer.
Here’s a PDF of all the cards:
Have a blessed Advent and a joyful Christmas!