You can find instructions for building your own Easter Cave in this month’s Lenten Activity Packet, but I wanted to add a tip or two that you won’t find in the instructions.
First of all, this is a fantastic vehicle for imaginative play for all ages! Older kids will enjoy helping with the construction and with using small scraps of felt, ribbon, yarn, etc. to create the characters. They can begin by reading Gospel accounts of Holy Week and making a list of the principle characters. Younger children will have hours of fun retelling the stories in their own words as they move the characters around the set.
I would recommend that you start with a plastic bin and cut your plywood base to fit comfortably inside. Since you’ll only get it out during Lent, and perhaps Christmas (if you want to make Nativity characters), you’ll need a convenient place to store the set the other 10 or so months of the year.
Be sure to leave plenty of time to complete the project. It will be most sturdy if you coat the chicken wire with several layers of papier-mâché (with some drying time between each) and then it will need ample time to dry completely before you paint it.
We’ve had this model in the Family Formation office for quite a few years and for several of those it was out where many children played with it. It’s a sturdy toy that, if made with care, could be passed along to your grandchildren someday!