I tried to think Montessori and how kids learn the best. They would be most interested through hands on and play of course. Growing up a lot of us remember not be interested in church because taking in all of that auditory information was over our heads as little pre-schoolers. So the following is what I came up with.
Catholic Icing.com has a link to printable stations of the cross which the kids could color. I knew I wanted to do something with that but I also knew they would not want to color 14 pages of detailed pictures. My in laws were in town thankfully and they helped watch the kids while I set up.
I hung each of the pictures on the wall low to the ground in different areas of the house and put a number next to them. I planned to have them collect items to put in their baskets at each station which represented that particular station.
1st Station Jesus was Condemned- I started outside in my memorial garden with the first station and put their Easter baskets there.
2nd Station Jesus Carries the Cross- Two pieces of wood were here. They had to carry this around the whole time.
3rd Station Jesus Falls the 1st Time- 2 band aids were here.
4th Station Jesus Meets His Mother- A picture of Mary and a small statue were here. We talked about Jesus and Mary comforting each other.
5th Station Simon Helps Jesus- A pair of gloves were here to symbolize hands helping.
6th Station Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus- Two towels were here.
7th Station Jesus Falls the 2nd Time- Band aids were here again.
8th Station Jesus Meets the Women- Items that women carry were here including a handkerchief, a necklace and a purse.
9th Station Jesus Falls the 3rd Time- A Large Bandage was here.
10th Station The Soldiers Take His Garments- I had two sweaters here.
11th Station Jesus is Put on the Cross- I put two large screws here because they are more blunt than nails. I did not put the stations picture from the series here. Instead I just printed the outline of a cross. I felt for Zachary he was not yet ready for what I guess I will call, "trauma" of Jesus being nailed to the cross. It was enough for him. He guessed right away what the station was by just seeing that.
12th Station Jesus dies on the cross. Two small crosses here. We discussed Mary and John standing beneath Him.
13th Station Jesus is taken down from the cross. I could not think of anything for this station except a clock for "His hour had come".
14th Station Jesus is Placed in the Tomb- Two small rocks were here.
Zachary really liked finding the numbers. It was like a game to him. He commented that the wood was getting heavy which my in laws helped me to make a teachable moment. He also did ask for more stations after we finished because he was enjoying himself so much. It worked out perfectly because my father n law said, "The 15th station is on Easter!".
This worked out very well for my children being able to participate in the stations. I am hoping to continue this and also learn of more ideas from others out there.