“Mommy, why do people eat and drink at Mass? Why can’t I have any?” Your little one might not understand why she can’t participate in the Eucharist or that it's based on the Last Supper. Crafts and activities help her understand the history and meaning of the Last Supper, even if she still doesn't understand why she can’t participate yet.
1. Dramatize It
Watching a dramatized history helps your little one to see the Last Supper as it might have happened on Maundy Thursday. Invite him to dramatize the Last Supper using puppets or by enlisting some of the classmates in his Sunday school class or family members. If your toddler or preschooler doesn’t feel able to dramatize the Last Supper, you might watch the cartoon version produced by “Jesus Storybook Bible,” “New Testament Bible Stories Series” or the “Greatest Heroes and Legends of the Bible.” After the dramatization, ask your child, “Why do you think Jesus used bread and wine at the Last Supper?” Ask, “Does the Last Supper remind you of the Eucharist?”
2. The Bread
“Jesus would have used unleavened bread instead of the kind of bread you have in your sandwich,” you tell your toddler or preschooler. Use a piece of matzah to show her what Jesus and his disciples probably ate. Compare the matzah to a communion wafer. Let your child help you make matzah and say, “The matzah has stripes when it’s baked, as Jesus was striped by the lash. It is pierced as Jesus’ forehead was pierced by the crown of thorns and it is unbroken as Jesus’ body was after the crucifixion."
3. Foot Washing
Jesus washed his disciples’ feet at the Last Supper. Read the passage from John 13:1 to 17. Give your little one an apron and a baby wipe and let him wash your feet. For a craft, place your child’s foot on a piece of paper and draw around it. Write, “Jesus washes me clean” on the foot shape and let him decorate it.
4. Last Supper Seating Chart
Your child might enjoy creating a seating chart made from the bottom section of two egg cartons. Cut the tops of each egg carton off, and cut slits inbetween the egg cups on the bottom of one end of one of the egg cartons. Place the end cups of one carton over the cut end on the second carton and glue the cartons together to create a table out of the upside down cartons. Your child can color pictures of each disciple and Jesus and glue each man to a cup. Help your child arrange the men according to da Vinci’s “Last Supper” painting. Glue a long scrap of plain fabric to the cups in front of the figures to create a table cloth. Alternatively, your child can color a picture of the Last Supper or make stick puppets for all of the celebrants.
- DLTK Growing Together: The Last Supper
- Ministry-to-Children.com: “The Last Supper” Video for Kids
- AllRecipes.com: Matzah
- Bible Gateway: John 13:1-17
- The Preschool Worker’s Encyclopedia of Bible Teaching Ideas New Testament; Group Publishing Company
- CatholicIcing.com: Holy Thursday / Last Supper Craft
- Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images