As we move into this third week of Lent, I want to share with you a little activity you can do with your family that can help keep you on track of focusing on that very special preparation we participate in during Lent… preparing our hearts for the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
I pray that this simple Fig Tree Art Project can help bring your children’s focus back to the Word of God, brought to us in Sunday’s Gospel from Luke 13:1-9: the Parable of the Fig Tree.
And he told them this parable:
“There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard,
and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none,
he said to the gardener,
‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree
but have found none.
So cut it down.
Why should it exhaust the soil?’
He said to him in reply,
‘Sir, leave it for this year also,
and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it;
it may bear fruit in the future.
If not you can cut it down.’”– Luke 13: 6-9
The picture book, Psalms for Young Children by Marie-Helene Delval is so wonderful for breaking the Psalms down into kid-friendly language. I used this book to go along with the art project because it has a perfect summary for Psalm 103, and this Psalm paired with the Gospel reading from Luke for the third Sunday of Lent.
Here is what we used to make this art project:
White card stock for template
White school glue & scissors
Purple paper (plain or painted) for figs
Kwik Stix: light & dark greens, brown & black
9″ x 12″ green heavyweight construction paper
12″ x 15″ colored background paper (I used pink)
Grab the template and more by filling out the form below!
Here is how it all came together:
- Print off the Fig Tree Template (freebie download) onto card stock. Using black and brown Kwik Stix (paint sticks) color in the tree and let dry for a few minutes.
2. On the green heavyweight construction paper, draw a large cloud shape taking up most of the paper with a black crayon or oil pastel. This will be the leaves for the fig tree. Cut out and set aside.
3. Add some dimension to the tree by coloring different shades of green Kwik Stix onto the paper.
4. Cut out the tree trunk. Glue the green paper to the colored background. Then, glue the tree trunk on top of the green paper.
5. On the pieces of purple paper, draw a tear drop shape for the figs. Stack a few pieces of purple paper together and cut out the shape. (This saves a lot of time by cutting out a bunch at once!). We used a combination of plain purple paper with painted purple paper.
Glue the figs to the tree and add repeated lines to each fig for texture using a black Sharpie or crayon or oil pastel.
How can we use this gospel reading to help our children understand Jesus’ message to us?
An explanation for our kids:
Well, simply put, Jesus loves us and wants us to be kind and to show love to others (bear good fruit). You can create this fig tree showing the good fruit we want to bear this Lent! When we struggle do be kind or do the right thing, we can pray for God to help us do better.
Use this art activity to discuss specific ways they can show God’s love to others (being a good friend, being humble, being honest, showing forgiveness, etc.) and display the art as a reminder of the good fruit we want to bear through our actions.
Also included in the download is a prayer poster for Psalm 103, which went along with the Gospel this past Sunday: The Lord is kind and merciful. Display both the art and this sign together as a beautiful reminder of what the tree represents. 🙏
Let us know what you think of this project! Comment below or tag us with pictures on Instagram with the tag @picturebooksandpeonies