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Lent Activities for Kids and Families

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It’s the season of Lent!

As a Catholic mom of three energetic littles, I’m always on the lookout for creative and age-appropriate ways to make the Lenten season meaningful our family.



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Understanding the Lenten Season

Before we dive into the fun ideas, let’s brush up on what Lent is all about.

Lent is a special time in the liturgical calendar that spans 40 days, representing the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert.

It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, just before Easter Sunday.

For us Catholic families, it’s a time of reflection, prayer, and preparation for the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Random Acts of Kindness Jar

This year, for the first time, we created a Random Acts of Kindness jar for our kids.

So far, it’s been a big hit.

They love taking turns pulling up a random act of kindness to do that day, and we all try to incorporate whatever it is into our day (like writing a thank you note, or making someone smile).

It’s a super fun and sweet way to instill the spirit of giving in our children.


Lenten Activities for Kids of All Ages

Now, let’s check out a variety of Lenten activities perfect for both younger and older children.

These ideas are both fun but also help nurture their spiritual growth.

  1. Stations of the Cross Activities
    Gather the family and create a visual representation of the Stations of the Cross. This hands-on activity helps children understand the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion. You can even organize a mini-procession around your home.
  2. Easter Bunny Scavenger Hunt
    Combine the excitement of Easter with a Lenten twist. Create a scavenger hunt focusing on the events of Holy Week. Each clue can guide your kids through the story of Jesus’ journey, leading to a meaningful Easter basket.
  3. Bible Story Coloring Pages
    Engage younger children by providing them with coloring pages depicting Bible stories related to Lent. It’s a great way to introduce them to the religious significance of this season.
  4. Prayer Requests Jar
    Set up a jar where family members can place their prayer requests. During mealtime or before bedtime, take turns pulling out a request and praying for the intentions of others.
  5. Easter Songs and Hymns
    Turn the Lenten season into a musical journey by learning and singing Easter songs and hymns. It’s a fun way to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  6. Lenten Worksheet Challenge
    For older kids, create a Lenten worksheet with age-appropriate questions related to the season. This not only reinforces their knowledge but also sparks meaningful discussions.
  7. Good Deeds Calendar
    Develop a printable Lenten calendar with a daily focus on performing good deeds. This can include acts like helping with chores, sharing toys, or writing letters of appreciation.

Lent Ideas in the Community

The season of Lent is a great opportunity to extend our efforts beyond the family circle (as uncomfortable as that may be for some of us).

Engaging with the community through various activities can create a positive impact and instill a sense of social responsibility in our kids.

  1. Volunteer at a Food Bank
    Spend a day volunteering at a local food bank with your family. It’s a hands-on way to teach children the importance of helping those in need.
  2. Support Catholic Relief Services
    Take part in fundraising or awareness activities for organizations like Catholic Relief Services. Many organizations provide free printables and resources for families to use in their efforts.
  3. Connect with Your Local Church
    Get involved in your local church’s activities during the Lenten season. Attend special liturgical events, and consider participating in a Bible study or prayer group.
  4. Collaborate with Sunday School
    Coordinate with your child’s Sunday School or religious education program to align your family’s Lenten practices with what they are learning in class. It reinforces the lessons and creates a unified experience.

Tips for Incorporating Spiritual Practices

Adding in special spiritual practices into your family’s routine during Lent can deepen the meaning of the season.

Here are some tips for incorporating these practices into your daily life:

  1. Prayer Time
    Designate a specific time each day for family prayer. Encourage your children to express their thoughts, concerns, and thanksgivings during this sacred time.
  2. Bible Stories and Discussions
    Share age-appropriate Bible stories related to Lent. Engage in discussions afterward to help your kids understand the significance of each story.
  3. Attend Special Church Services
    Take advantage of the various liturgical events during Lent, such as Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday services. Attend as a family to experience the richness of the season.
  4. Create a Lenten Calendar
    Develop a printable Lenten calendar that outlines the key events and spiritual practices for each day. It serves as a visual guide for your family’s Lenten journey.

Making Small Sacrifices for a Big Impact

Lent is often associated with making small sacrifices as a way of identifying with Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

While it might sound challenging, especially for younger children, there are creative and age-appropriate ways to approach this practice.

  1. Simple Sacrifices
    Encourage your kids to make small sacrifices, such as giving up a favorite snack or limiting screen time. Emphasize that these sacrifices are a way of expressing love and gratitude.
  2. Acts of Kindness
    Connect sacrifices with good deeds. For every small sacrifice, encourage your children to perform a corresponding act of kindness, creating a beautiful cycle of giving.
  3. Donate to the Food Bank
    Involve your kids in the process of choosing non-perishable items to donate to a local food bank. It’s a tangible way for them to understand the concept of sacrifice and generosity.

Incorporating Lessons into Everyday Life

As parents, we have the incredible opportunity to teach valuable lessons during the Lenten season.

Here are some additional ideas to weave these lessons into your family’s daily life:

  1. Bible Story Night
    Designate a night each week for a special Bible story session. Use age-appropriate books or interactive apps to bring the stories to life.
  2. Lenten Dinner Conversations
    During family dinners, take a few minutes to discuss the events of the day and how your family has embraced the Lenten spirit. Share good deeds, prayer requests, and moments of reflection.
  3. Create a Lenten Journal
    Encourage older kids to keep a Lenten journal. This provides a personal space for them to record thoughts, prayers, and experiences throughout the season.
  4. Faith Fact of the Day
    Introduce a “Faith Fact of the Day” routine. Share interesting facts about Lent, the liturgical season, or specific saints to enhance your children’s understanding.

Lenten Resources for Catholic Families

In our digital age, there are plenty of online resources to enhance your family’s Lenten experience. Here are some fantastic resources to explore:

  1. Catholic Icing
    Check out the wealth of age-appropriate crafts, activities, and printables on Catholic Icing. It’s a treasure trove for parents looking to make Lent fun and educational.
  2. Catholic Relief Services
    Visit the Catholic Relief Services website for Lenten resources that focus on social justice and global awareness. Engaging in these activities can broaden your children’s understanding of the world around them.
  3. Local Church Websites
    Many local churches provide Lenten calendars, lesson plans, and activity ideas for families. Check your church’s website or visit in person to access these valuable resources.

Embrace the Lenten Season with Joy

If you have little kids, teaching about Lent can seem a little overwhelming.

These ideas provide a great opportunity to have fun and strengthen your spiritual bond, while create lasting memories as a family.

Remember, the Lenten season is not about perfection but progress.

Small steps, good deeds, and moments of reflection can make a significant impact on our lives and the lives of those around us.

So…jump in with your kids, try out these ideas, and make this Lenten season a meaningful experience for your entire family.

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