Thursday, March 17, 2011

Practical Life Exercises in Lent

At the beginning of the year I wrote about why we have practical life in the atrium, and I shared some photos of practical life exercises we had on the shelves at the time. Practical life changes regularly, and we try to make our practical life exercises point to the liturgical season as much as possible. I thought today I would share some photos of practical life exercises from the Good Shepherd Atrium this Lent.

This is a sifting exercise, where the child sifts the larger stones from the
smaller ones and puts them in the glass bowl. In Lent we try to use
 natural materials as much as possible.

This water transfer exercise is now done with a medicine dropper. We
incorporate the color of the Church year into our practical life
 works so in this season of Lent we are using purple. 

This is a transferring work, where the child moves an item from one
basket to the other using the whole hand. We have several types
 on nuts in this work now, which the children like to explore.

This is a work I made to highlight the colors of the year.  The children
 have already learned to use their pincher grip and attach clothes pins
 around the outside lip of a bowl. With this work the children match
 the colored clothes pins to the liturgical color wheel. 

This work is two sided - children who read can use the other side of the card
and clips to complete the work, and children can self correct by flipping
the wheel over for comparison.

In Church in Lent, we use arrangements without flowers on the
altar to acknowledge the more penitential and reflective aspects of
the season. During Lent in the atrium, parents bring greenery
purchased at the store, evergreens from their yards, pine cones,
or pussy willows for arranging into vases.  

This idea came from a great blog called Itty Bitty Love a few years ago. I cut
up the pages of a calendar and covered them with contact paper. This is
a beautiful calendar with images of sheep and the words of Psalm 23 which
calls to mind the Good Shepherd works for the children.

I also cut out and covered the tiny pictures from the back of the
calendar and affixed a velcro dot to each one.

The children match the small photo to the large one and attach it. When
they are finished they return all the small pictures to the basket. 

I have finally finished my Lenten preparations at home, and will share what my family is up to in my next post. Check back soon! 


  1. Thanks so much Sheila! I'm so glad we found each other! I'm really enjoying your blog and I appreciate your support so much.

  2. All of these activities are so lovely! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Thank YOU Anne for all of your inspiration over the years! I love your blog! And thanks for stopping by!


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