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Palm Sunday

TRACY NEREM

PALM BRANCH COOKIES
Your kids will enjoy making and eating these cookies. To make the dough, you'll need 1/3 cup shortening, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg, 3 cups sifted flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2/3 cup honey.

Sift the baking soda with the flour. Mix all the ingredients and refrigerate. Have children roll the dough into 1/4-inch-thick "snakes." Have each child make a simple palm branch design on aluminum foil. Transfer the foil to a cookie sheet.

Crush green lollipops and sprinkle them between the dough outline. Double-check all of the dough connections before you bake, pressing together areas where strips meet. Bake at 375 degrees for about eight minutes. Watch the cookies carefully as baking time will vary according to size and complexity of the design. While the cookies are baking, read aloud Matthew 21:1-11.

Let baked cookies cool. Then peel the foil from the back of each palm. Dough should feel firm to the touch before you try this. Kids can even carry these cookies on sticks! Just press a small 1/4-inch dowel into the dough when you take the cookies out of the oven.

SERVANT SANDALS
As an alternative to a foot-washing service, have children make sandals for one another. Form pairs. Have partners trace around each other's feet onto heavy cardboard. Then cut out foot shapes. Punch six holes in the cardboard-two near the toe, two near the center, and two near the heel. Thread yarn laces through the holes from the underside to the top. These sandals can be tied onto the feet of one partner by the other. Afterward, discuss with children what it means to be a servant.

HOSANNA HELPERS
In any church, there are often many talented volunteers whose gifts go unnoticed. Have children choose helpers in your church who deserve praise for sharing their time and efforts with others in seemingly small ways. These helpers could include people who hang banners, wash communion vessels, or drive shut-ins to holiday services.

Create a "Hosanna Helper" award, decorated and signed by the class. Present an award to each chosen helper on Palm Sunday. This is a nice way for kids to tell helpers in your church family that they praise God for their lives and ministries.

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