Lent for Children

A few simple, creative ideas for guiding your children through Lent.

Sharing our faith and great tradition with our children doesn’t have to be an elaborate Pinterest worthy activity or a picture perfect family devotional time. Start simple, set realistic expectations, select sustainable ideas that fit your family rhythm and begin your journey of Lent together! Slow down and explore. Lent is a time to make room to walk closer with Jesus and to learn to become more like Him.

  1. Read the Bible - The Big Picture Bible is a favorite for littles. The Jesus Storybook Bible is wonderful to read to older preschoolers.
  2. Pray - maybe pray at a new time of day during Lent. A simple one sentence prayer in the morning or at noon or when family comes home in the evening.
  3. Generosity - serving others, saying or doing a kind act each day as we learn to become more like Jesus. “Catch” your children in the act. (For a tangible activity, collect beans or rocks in a jar for acts of generosity and then have the jar be full of jellybeans on Easter morning.)
  4. Freedom bubbles - introduce the concept of forgiveness for sins while blowing bubbles. Say I’m sorry to God as you blow bubbles, then watch the bubbles fly away like the freedom we have from Jesus forgiving our sins.                                                                                                                                                                            
  5. Temptation Cookies - While baking cookies, tell your children about the temptation of Jesus in the desert. When the cookies are done, leave them on the table, but they cannot eat them until later or even the next day. Talk about how tempting this might be and what we can do to resist temptation.
  6. Playdough  - mold a tomb, cross, donkey, etc.. while playing with play dough and retell parts of the Easter story.
  7. 40 day chain - make a 40 day paper chain with prayer prompts, or acts of generosity on the paper pieces. Tear off each day, and follow the prompt as you draw closer to Easter.
  8. Grow a plant, bulb or grass  - explain how we are growing and Jesus brings new life.
  9. Prayer Pretzels - the history of pretzels ties to Lent. Make and eat pretzels as a family. http://www.catholicicing.com/pretzels-for-lent/ Helps explain why we cross our hands over our chest for Eucharist.
  10. Wear purple - discuss how purple signifies royalty of King Jesus and also sadness for our sins. Ask your children to look for purple in church.                                                                                                

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:5-8