Simple, easy to prep, and fun for the kids to create, this Jesus Heals a Blind man craft representing each stage of Jesus opening the blind man’s eyes for the Fourth Sunday in Lent, Cycle A, is one of my favorites! Is it wrong to look forward to this reading from John 9: 1-41 popping up just so we can do this craft?
When I was looking for ideas for this particular reading several years ago, I was really unhappy with what I found. The most popular seemed to be a paper plate face with the closed eyes flipping up to open eyes. But the minute you let go of them, they were closed again. I could see that being a poignant message for adults – it can be a struggle to keep our eyes open to our faults, even when we’ve been healed – but it just seemed like it would be frustrating if I were a kid. There was another, from one of my favorite craft sites, CraftingTheWordofGod.org, that was just a simple blind man mask. It, too, left me dissatisfied. So I threw up my hands, waited for Illustrator to open, and prayed that I could make a face.
I imagine God shaking his head at me and rolling his eyes when I pray for things like that. But, then, I somehow end up with just the right amount of talent to do what I prayed for. And now you can reap the benefits!
First, let’s do our homework. As always, the readings for this Sunday can be found on usccb.org. For more background and insight, LoyolaPress.org is my go-to source for concise information and some pretty good activity ideas. Here’s the catch this time around, and for a few more of the Lenten readings.
Your parish may be using Year A, or it may choose Year C. Often, you can find a listing of the readings in the bulletin, which many parishes now publish online days before Sunday Mass. This particular craft is for the Year A readings. If I get the chance to make a good one for Year C, I’ll link it here. Stop by Holy Heroes to sign up for Mass Prep, too. Videos, a quiz, and a great coloring sheet will show up in your inbox the Thursday or Friday prior.
Of course, this Gospel story, and the craft we’ve devised for it asks us to look at our own blindness. What is it that we can’t see? Where are we failing? That’s represented by the blind man’s closed eyes. Next, are the puddles of mud made when Christ spits on the ground and smears the mixture of dirt and saliva in the man’s eyes.
Are we willing to accept some muck as we move toward our own healing? Often, we don’t want to deal with the muddy part. We’d rather stay blind than endure what it takes to allow healing in our life. Finally, the mud is washed away, and the man can see. That’s when his problems really start. Much more is expected of us if we are walking our path to holiness with our eyes open. Are we ready?
Now onto crafting! For more Lent activities to go along with this Gospel passage, stop back by to find more later.
- 1 sheet of cardstock
- 1 brad
- a few feet of hair colored yarn
- school glue
- Blind man PDF(http://craftycatholicmoms.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Blind-man-face-with-features2.pdf)
- poker-ma-bob of your choice
- Print out the blind man spinner PDF.
- Cut out the face, the hole for the eyes, and the circle with the stages of healing.
- Use a poker-ma-bob to poke through the tiny hole on the blind man's nose, and the one in the middle of the circle. Using a hole punch will make the hole too big for standard-size brads. You can always use the end of one side of your scissors if your husband doesn't like buying you small tools from Home Depot to make you happy like mine does. A nice sharp pencil or pen tip might just do the trick, too.
- Cut the yarn into lots of little pieces so the kids can grab a pile and glue it on as hair.
Instructing the kids:
- Give each child one face, one circle, one brad, one small pile of yarn, one glue bottle, and a few crayons.
- Let them first color in the face and the features on the circle. Explain what each picture represents on the circle.
- After they've colored all they want, open up the school glue and let them go nuts giving the blind man hair. Your bound to end up with a few that just give him a hairy mole or two. Some will need more yarn to ensure he resembles something like our John the Baptist pumpkin.
- Show them how to place the circle behind the face and thread the brad through the holes. Then, demonstrate folding over either side of the brad to hold it secure.
- Spin the circle, and watch their eyes light up.
- Encourage them to use their completed spinner to help you tell the Gospel story. They have to listen for the right time to turn their circle to the next pair of eyes.