One of my favorite things about our DWELL at Home devotionals is all the fun, creative ways you can use the story symbols. This is especially true with God’s Big Pentecost story, as it’s a chance to prepare for an important holy day that we don’t always anticipate as much as Easter or Christmas.
Recently I spent an afternoon creating a variety of Pentecost decorations with my family. At the end of our time my daughter said, “I’m so excited for Easter!” (accidentally saying “Easter” instead of “Pentecost”). To be fair, we did this a few weeks before Easter, so I can understand why she was confused. But it was a reminder to me that though we go all out to celebrate Easter and Christmas, in the past we’ve often left Pentecost ignored to the point that my daughter isn’t really familiar with the word. This year, thanks to God’s Big Pentecost Story, we’re ready to celebrate in style!
Here’s how we made our decorations:
To encourage creativity, I got out a bunch of art supplies and then let my family work with whatever they felt like using. Here are the supplies we used: watercolors, markers, crayons, gel pens, red tissue paper (cut into small squares), scissors, and glue. If you want to keep things more simple, feel free to pick just one of those options.
I also printed copies of the story symbols onto cardstock or thick paper. If you don’t have a printer, you can draw the symbol freehand or trace it from your computer screen. DWELL’s story symbols are designed to be simple images that can be drawn by anyone. But if you’re uncomfortable with that, just open the devotional on a computer or tablet, place a piece of paper over the screen, and gently trace the image with a black marker.
Here’s the specific method I used for making each of our decorations:
- Place cards: To create these I printed the story symbol page at 50% (on my printer I was able to select to print two to a page). I cut sheets of red cardstock in half and then folded them to make sturdy place cards. Then everyone in my family added color to a symbol, cut it out, glued it to their place card, and added their name. I can’t wait to add these to our dinner table on Pentecost!
- Headbands: I print the story symbols onto cardstock, my kids added color to them, cut them out, and then I cut strips of cardstock to form a band. Construction paper or any heavier paper would also work. I attached a strip to each side of the story symbol for mine, then measured how big the band would need to be by placing it on my child’s head and connecting the two strips in the back. I used double sided tape to secure the band, but staples would work as well.
- Bunting: I printed several copies of the story symbol page on thicker paper. After adding color to the symbols, we cut them out, and then I punched a hole in the top and connected them together using yarn. I tied knots to keep each symbol in place and spaced nicely.
These are the three suggestions that are included in the devotional, but there are so many more ways you could creatively use the symbol to celebrate Pentecost. You could use the image to decorate rocks and use those as place cards, or print the image at a smaller percentage to create magnets. The possibilities are endless!
Once you’ve created your story symbol decorations, another simple way to prepare for the holiday is to purchase a red tablecloth and pinwheels (I got mine from the dollar store.) As God’s Big Pentecost story suggests, the tablecloth will be on our dinner table all day, signaling that today is different and special, and my children will blow on the pinwheels as we do the devotional when they hear the word “breath” or “Spirit.” See page 5 of the devotional for lots of other easy, fun ways to make Pentecost special.
We would love to see how this resource blesses families at your church. Please share your ideas on our Facebook group or by commenting below. We can’t wait to see what you come up with! And check out A Fabulous (and Free!) Idea to Help Families Celebrate Pentecost at Home for a fun way to get this resource to families.