Pentecost is celebrated on the 50th day after Easter. It commemorates the gift of the Holy Spirit from God to the apostles and other followers of Christ. The Holy Spirit originally appeared as a flame above the head of each apostle. However, it is generally understood to be something that is not seen, but felt. Pentecost is also referred to by many Christians as Whitsunday. By utilizing Pentecost crafts, you can form a Pentecost lesson plan that will help teach children about the Holy Spirit.
A pinwheel can be used to represent the winds that blew on Pentecost. You can also explain to the children how, even though we can't see the wind, it is still there; just like the Holy Spirit.
There are several free printable pinwheel patterns on the Internet, or you can design your own. Children can color and decorate the pinwheel any way they desire, then a small hole is made in the center, preferably with a hole punch. Holes are also punched on the four points where they meet in the center, and in the end of a plastic straw. A paper fastening brad is weaved through all of holes and with the ends of the brad opened in opposite directions.
Apostle puppets allow children to understand that the apostles were real people. After crafting the puppets, you can help the children use the apostles to act out scenes from the Bible that exhibit the Holy Spirit working through the apostles.
A large pom pom makes a fun apostle puppet. A small section of the pom pom is trimmed away to make the apostle's face. Wiggly eyes can be added and a smaller pom pom makes a fine nose. After the mouth is drawn on with a red marker, the head can be attached to a toilet paper roll by gluing the back of the head near the outside top of the roll.
Dress the apostle by folding and gluing an 8-inch by 11-inch sheet of felt around the tube for a robe. Children can decorate their apostle's robe with small pieces of yarn or ribbon to make a belt.
The flame above the apostle's head can be made by using red, yellow and orange cellophane sheets--a 2-inch square of each color. Children can take a corner of each color of cellophane and tape them to a Popsicle stick, fanning them out so that they resemble flames and inserting them into the top of their toilet paper roll.
Pentecost spinners remind the children that sometimes things aren't seen, but they are working to move things along anyway. Just like the Holy Spirit, the air around us is hard to see, but we see the evidence of its work through the things it moves.
Spinners take an 8-inch by 11-inch piece of lightweight card stock, cut in half so you have two 8-inch by 5.5-inch pieces in portrait position (so that it is taller than it is wide). Children can decorate one side of the paper with a bird using paints, markers or crayons. On the other side, the children can paint flames.
After the children have finished decorating their spinner, a 2-inch slit is cut in the top of the spinner. By folding one side forward and the other side back so the slits are perpendicular with the paper, the spinner will spin when held up in the air and dropped.
Wind twirlers remind the children that the Holy Spirit is always moving, even when things appear to be still. Fun foam can be cut into a circle, and then cut around the circle in a spiral towards the middle. Children can decorate the spiral with other foam shapes, glitter or sequins. When hung outside with a piece of yarn or string, these wind twirlers can decorate a porch railing or a tree.
The Fire of Pentecost
One of the most important aspects of the Holy Spirit is that it first appeared above each Apostle as a tongue of fire. Create a fire craft by taking a piece of card stock and either spraying it with spray glue or lightly brushing school glue all over it. Small pieces of red and orange tissue paper can be torn and stuck to the paper to create a fire. The fire paper is then cut in a heart shape and hung with a piece of ribbon.
- Dale Davidson/Demand Media