Crafts for Children About How Mary Washed Jesus's Feet

Anointing a guest with oil was common during Jesus' time, but washing a guest's feet was a sign of submission.

In the Bible's gospels of Luke and John, a woman named Mary washed and anointed Jesus' feet as a symbol of her respect for him. In Luke, Mary brought out an alabaster box of ointment and used it and her tears and hair to wash Jesus's feet. In John, Mary used a pound of spikenard ointment and her hair to wash his feet.

1 Washing Bowl

Give each child a small ball of air-drying clay. Have them fashion a bowl Mary could use to hold the oil for anointing Jesus’s feet. Depending on the children's age, they can roll the ball of clay till it turns into a long rope they can coil into a bowl shape or they can simply press their thumbs into the center of the ball of clay to make an indention. Once the clay has dried, the children can paint their bowls using acrylic paint.

2 Paper Stained Glass Collage

The children can create their own stained-glass-like images of Mary washing Jesus' feet on pieces of clear plastic using tissue paper and a Mod Podge mixture. Provide each child with a piece of clear plastic, which can be bought at craft stores, and ripped up pieces of tissue paper of various different colors. Dampen the tissue paper with a mixture of half Mod Podge and half water, and then place the paper on the piece of clear plastic to create a collage image. Once the projects have dried, the children can place them in front of windows to view their very own version of stained glass.

3 Symbolic Bracelet

This craft allows the children to create lanyard bracelets with colors meant to signify the message in the story of Mary washing Jesus' feet. Blue could represent the color of the water used to wash his feet, yellow could represent the humility in Mary's actions, white could represent the holy spirit Mary saw in Jesus and brown could represent Mary's hair. The children can weave the lanyards together in a simple braid or more complex patterns like the heart pattern or the candy stripe (see Resources).

4 Clothespin Dolls

In this activity the children make small figurines of Jesus and Mary so they can act out the scene from the Bible in their own puppet show or diorama. Clothespins are used for the bodies of the puppets. The children can then glue scraps of material to the clothespins to make the clothing and use markers to draw the faces of the Jesus and Mary figures. If the children want to put the clothespin puppets in a diorama, they can paint the inside of an empty shoebox to create a setting for their scene.

Emily Holland is a student writer earning a degree in international relations with a minor in Spanish from North Carolina State University. She began writing professionally in 2011, specializing in travel, education, literature and cultural issues. Holland has a certificate in Global Perspective and studied in València, Spain and Antiqua, Guatemala.