Elevation of the Cross – Part 2 – Activities

Today I have some fun activities for you to do with your children and/or students! These activities might be something you have out for the children to do while waiting for the rest of the class to come down from communion or have students do these activities in rotating centers. For us, we never know how long we’ll have in class since the kids watch the procession, so I try to have multiple activities that I can quickly use if I need to fill time. Today I have 3 activities to share!

Finding Crosses in Colorful Rice


When I was teaching, one of the sensory bins in our rotation was dyed dry rice. It is super simple to make and it is a great alternative to using sand!! If you have kids at home, it can be a fun activity to dye the rice together. I had some measuring spoons and cups, containers and some spice jars for the kids to use in the rice.


I found a bunch of different crosses at the craft store. The idea of this activity is that as children dig, they will find different crosses. The more variety you have, the better.

Some were beads.


Some were trinkets for scrapbooks. (I took the brads off the back to make it safe 🙂 )


And some I even made from twist ties!


I also like to have some egg cartons or muffin pans so the kids can sort the crosses. If they are really young they might not understand sorting, but it is a good way to work with them to help them learn their colors, shapes, textures, etc.


If you plan on using this indoors, I recommend having a small dust brush and dustpan for easy clean up. I also put down a vinyl tablecloth so the kids would know to keep the rice on there instead of on the floor. If I did it in a classroom, I’d bring a rug so that the rice won’t bounce off of it, like it does with the tablecloth.

Making Colored Rice Recipe
5 or 10 lb bag of rice
Kool-Aid packets in various colors – the ones WITHOUT sugar
Rubbing Alcohol
Disposable cups (to mix the Kool-Aid in)
Popsicle sticks or plastic knives to mix Kool-Aid
Measuring spoons
Wear an apron or an old shirt
Wet paper towels on hand
Ziplock bags – one for each color of Kool-Aid

  1. Get a baking tray that has sides and put foil down to protect the pan.
  2. Put a cup of rice in a ziplock bag.

_DSC00693. Put 1/2 tsp of Kool-Aid in a disposable cup. Add 1 tsp of rubbing alcohol and mix until blended (when I did this I still had some lumps but it was mixed well)

4. Pour mixture on the rice. I put my hand on the outside of the bag and then wiped the inside of the cup from inside the bag (see photo).


5. Seal the bag and shake and knead until you don’t see any white spots on the rice. Make sure it is all the way sealed or else you might have a colorful mess!


6. Let dry overnight. You want to make sure it is completely dry before letting the kids touch it. It is going to stink a lot like rubbing alcohol while it is drying. But once it is dry, all you will smell is yummy fruity Kool-Aid flavors! If you want to avoid using rubbing alcohol, there are lots of other recipes online that you can find.


Play Dough, Where Go?
Sorry for the totally ridiculous title of this activity, but I really wanted something that rhymed! 🙂 I had these cool wooden cross beads.

They all look alike, just like how the 3 crosses of the crucifixion looked alike. I had a fake flower with small leaves. We pretended they were basil and stuck it in the one cross.


We made 3 balls out of play dough and I put one cross in each ball and rolled it up.


The kids had to guess which ball Jesus’ cross was in.



They loved this! I didn’t want a winner and a loser, so I let each kid keep guessing until they found the true cross. Then the other kid got a turn.

3 small crosses that look the same
A basil leaf or a piece of a fake leaf to represent basil

Crosses and Confetti
This is another play dough activity that will keep your little ones busy for awhile. It also helps them work on their fine motor skills! We did something similar for St. Patrick’s day and they loved it a lot so I thought it’d be perfect for finding the cross.

Get some cross confetti and mix it into some play dough. I like to flatten out some dough and put the confetti in the middle.


Then I fold it over and knead it until the confetti is mixed evenly throughout.


Give each child some play dough and they have to extract all the crosses!


I had some tweezers for my kids to use. I also ordered some plastic ones online but haven’t gotten them yet. I feel like the plastic ones would be safer in a classroom setting. 🙂 I also had some popsicle sticks to help them dig the confetti out.



Magnifying glasses are always a fun addition to children’s play. They like using them to help them find more confetti. Plus, it’s just neat to see everything up close!

Play dough for each child
Tweezers (optional)
Magnifying glass (optional)
Popsicle sticks (optional)

If you do any of these activities in your classroom or with your kiddos, please let me know how it went! I’d love to hear about it!! Don’t forget to sign up on the top right of this page to follow my blog and be the first to know when there’s new posts!