The story of Moses being hidden in the basket is found in Exodus 2. It is a lovely story to tell to children. Sometimes people point out that the Nile would have been a crocodile infested river but I think that the area that Moses’ mum chose to place her son in his reed basket must have been quite safe or Pharaoh’s daughter wouldn’t have gone to bathe there.
The craft could be made in stages. The ‘basket’ is made from salt dough and so needs a few days to air dry (or a few minutes in a microwave). The lid is made from brown paper or card.
Make the reeds by drawing round the children’s hands and then cut out the hand shapes.
‘Moses’ could be drawn by older children or prepare this yourself. He has tears because he was crying when Pharaoh’s daughter opened up the basket.
Trace a line along the edge of the ‘reeds’. Cut along the line and slot the ‘reeds’ through the hole. Tape on the other side of the paper to secure. You want to have the ‘reeds’ close together but you need to leave some space so the slots aren’t right next to each other.
Above is the wrong side of the paper.
Making the salt dough basket
Salt dough recipe
2 cups plain flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water.
Mix the above together. If you need to make it ahead of time you can but wrap it in cling film (plastic wrap). I think you will get about 5/6 baskets out of this amount.
Give each child a ball of the dough and show them how to create a basket shape by holding the dough in one hand and pressing the dough between their fingers and thumb.
If you are making this at a toddler group you could explain to the adults that this story is where we get the term ‘Moses Basket’ from.
Children of almost any age can decorate these simple egg shapes. We used them at toddler group today, but they would be great for older children who would be able to do more intricate designs or pictures.
To make them you need to start with a salt dough. This is very easy. You need 2 cups plain flour, I cup of salt and I cup of water (add this gradually as you may not need it all). Kneed the dough on a floured surface and roll out to about 4mm thick. As you do this keep making sure it isn’t sticking to the work top. I used a template and cut around it. You could also use an egg shaped biscuit cutter. If you are making hanging decorations you need to make a hole for the thread about 1cm away from the edge. Then leave the shapes to dry. They will air dry, but it will take a long time (48 hours plus) or put them in a low oven, not more than 100C, for up to 4 hours. (they can burn so keep an eye on them). Once dry you can paint them or leave them plain for children to decorate.
We used felt tips to decorate but you could also glue coloured paper on to them and add glitter! A covering of PVA glue at the end will add a shine – but as you can see in the pictures the colours may run a bit.
I loved this craft and my children had a really good time using up the left over eggs.
Our Easter Story in toddler group focused on people seeing Jesus alive again. We reviewed what we had learnt about our eyes first and then the story was told about Jesus dying but coming back to life again.
At the end of the morning every child received a chocolate egg in a stripey bag. Yum!