Lenten Activities For Children

Lent is a great liturgical season to observe with kids to help teach them about the church year. Lent is the 40 days the come before Easter, and it is a season of adding extra prayers, fasting, and almsgiving. There are many ways to celebrate (or observe) Lent with children, and this is my page that links out to all of the resources I have available to help you with this! I hope you find these Lenten resources for children helpful in your celebrations this year. 

Lent Basics (The Cheat Sheet) 

Before going into all the fancy “extra” stuff you can do during Lent, I am going to list out the basics for anyone just starting out or not wanting to forget everything. These things are not necessarily required of every age or ability group, so you research further to make sure you’re meeting Lenten requirements, but you can start here. 

The first thing to understand is that Lent is its own season, it is very different in feel and observances than Easter. Easter is also a season that lasts for 50 days, but it doesn’t start until Lent is over. So I fully recommend observing Lent first, and trying some of these Lenten activities rather that going straight for the Easter stuff during Lent. Here is an article I wrote on observing Lent first and then celebrating Easter

  • “Give Something Up”– I really prefer to call this a “Lenten Resolution” because sometimes it’s better to add extra things rather than only taking things away. I do have several posts to help you set Lenten resolutions including sacrifice ideas from the Catholic Icing community, another article with 50 thoughtful ways to fast technology, and also a sacrifice activity for small kids
  • Meat Free Fridays! Jesus died for you on a Friday, so every Friday during Lent the Catholic church asks you to abstain from meat as a special sacrifice for him. I have a list of 25 kid friendly and normal meatless meals here
  • Fasting– Fasting is required only for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
  • Add Extra Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving– these are kinda the 3 “buzz words” of Lent. 
  • Purple– the liturgical color of the season! 

Printable Lenten Calendar For Kids

This has been the most popular Lenten resource here for a decade now, so if you would like to print one, you can download yours for free here.

Mardi Gras- The Day Before Lent Starts

So actually Mardi Gras isn’t part of Lent, but it’s exactly the day before it all starts- the day before Ash Wednesday. There are a lot of awesome Catholic traditions for celebrating Mardi Gras too, so I would highly encourage you to check that out!

Kid Activities That Run Through The 40 Days Of Lent

Counting down the days of Lent or having an activity that lasts the length of the season is a great way to observe Lent with kids! I have a post with all of the Lenten activities that start on Ash Wednesday here. I highly recommend this post! It has tons of great stuff and free printables! 

Round Up Of 40 Day Lenten Activities For Families– count down the days! 

My Favorite 40 Days Of Lent Activity Resources:

Celebrating Ash Wednesday With Kids

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. Many activities start on this day and run through the season of Lent. I also have some special recipe and craft ideas for observing Ash Wednesday with kids. 

Find all of my Ash Wednesday resources for kids and families here

My Favorite Ash Wednesday Traditions:

Lenten Family Feast Table

Setting up a table for the season of Lent is one of my favorite traditions, and a great way to keep the whole home and family focused on the season! Ours looks different every year, but I always like to put something together. 

You can see how I set up our Lenten home altar here.

Stations Of The Cross

You can find my post here with stations of the cross activities for kids. Lots of great resources there!

My Favorite Stations Of The Cross Resources For Kids:

Holy Week For Kids

Holy Week is the last week of Lent. It starts on Palm Sunday, runs through Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. The classic stories we all know about for the season of Lent and the stations of the cross… they all happened during Holy Week. It’s a really important and awesome time to celebrate with kids!

I designed a special book to teach kids about the events of each day of Holy Week! The book is printable, and then kids illustrate it themselves with handprints. This helps teach them the story of Holy Week, and also becomes a keepsake for years to come! The book is called Holy Week In Handprints and you can download yours here!

I have a completely separate post rounding up all of my Holy Week resources for kids here, and you should totally click over. 

More Holy Week Resources For Kids:

Palm Sunday Activities For Kids

The liturgical color of Palm Sunday is red, and this day marks the beginning of Holy Week! Check out all of my Palm Sunday activities for kids here.

Holy Thursday Activities For Kids

This feast day lends itself to feet washing, bread baking, and is also the anniversary of the Eucharist and the first Mass! Check out my resource page for celebrating Holy Thursday with your family here.

Good Friday Traditions And Resources For Kids

Out of any day of the year, this is a very somber and very important feast day to observe with your kids. I have a list of 10 Good Friday traditions for Catholic families here

Holy Saturday For Catholic Families

In our Catholic home, we use Holy Saturday to prepare for Easter celebrations. Finally! I am planning to write a post about what Holy Saturday looks like in our home. Coming soon!

More Lenten Resources

Here are even more resources from some of my very favorite Catholic blogs!

Preparing for Easter? Check out my giant resource list of meaningful Easter celebration ideas here

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Comments

  1. When I click on the “see all Ash Wednesday Posts Here” link, it just brings me back to this same page.

  2. Lacy, will you be doing a roundtable collection of everyone’s ideas for Lent this year? I love some of the past posts you’ve done like that…so many great ideas out there to share. For our family – we’re doing a countdown this year made of paper rings with a family activity on each of the 40 rings to help us prepare for Easter. I’m including the link here, but if this isn’t the right forum to share, please feel free to remove 🙂 Loving all your posts!

    http://enterundermyroof.blogspot.com/2013/02/activity-countdown-to-easter-activities.html

  3. Great ideas. I am making weekly take home booklets from Lenten Adventure for my 3rd grade. I added a word bank for the crosswords.

  4. Hi Lacy, I wanted you to know I downloaded your ever so popular Lenten Calendar and gave it to my first grade class this morning. They were excited about checking off the days until Easter. Thank you for your generosity! I blogged about my class tonight and linked back to you for your calendar. God bless!

  5. THANK YOU, thank you, thank you for your beautiful printables! I cannot wait to use your Lenten Calendar with my children. Thank you for the sacrific ideas for kids. It’s wonderful for the children to be involved in Lenten activities too. I also printed your pretzel note. I’m going to give my kids peanut butter and soft pretzels in their school lunch every Friday. Love your blog!

  6. Thanks so much for the inspiration! My family and I started a Lenten tree today. We put 40 eggs on some branches. Inside the eggs are 40 noble verses with a little treat. One of the boys will open one egg each night, and enjoy the treat, until we get to Easter!

  7. Karin Kramer says

    Hi Lacy, I want to tell you how very much I appreciate your site and the links you share. We have a ‘lenten fair’ every yearthat uses crafts and activities to teach and bring awareness of lent to our religious ed kiddos. Your site is absolutly invaluable to us for that. Because of time restraints we do need to modify some of them but without your ideas we would not know where to start so thank you so much. I don’t know how to send you a picture of what we did but I did put them on a pinterest board if you wanted to see them. Thanks again.

  8. Have been using your curriculum for 2 Sundays at home for my 2 and 4 year old daughters. Thank you so much! We are having fun and it is so easy to use. We have had a hard winter with illnesses and have not been able to make it to church like usual, so I feel better getting in at least a little “church school” every week. My 4 yr. old yelled out this morning, ” I LOVE church school!” Made my heart feel good. Thanks lacy for making it so easy to help me get started teaching my children about our faith.

  9. Teresa Donnay says

    This is such a wonderful site! This incredible time put into each section of it is a blessing because it is all about our Catholic Faith and how to learn it. Thanks you so much for all of this and for all the FREE Printables!

  10. Emily @ Zweber Farms says

    Hello Lacy,
    I just wanted to let you know that this is the third year I will be using your collection of Lent activities in our house. It is one of my most used Pins. Keep up the great work. I love your blog and have been a loyal subscriber for a long time.

  11. We’re doing sacrifice beans again this year – a kidney bean for each sacrifice that the kids place in a mason jar which turn into jelly beans on Easter Sunday…a lesson in sacrifice made fun! Happy Lent !

  12. Thank you for the great ideas I love the holy week eggs and the pretzels. I am not one to usually post comments but I had an idea to share with anyone who has middle-school kids and needs something “older” for them to do. It occurred to me that in ages gone by flowers, herbs, plants, and even animals had symbolism attached to them. MANY herbs are associated with purification, protection even exorcism such as parsley, thyme, dill, marjoram, and basil. Just to name a few. Same with flowers, etc. I figure this can be used in any number of ways; cooking – prepare a dish for any weekday dinner that features a particular herb and use it as a spring board for dinner conversation, Make a garland or wreath, with said herbs and/or flowers, grow some of the seeds and then later transplant into the garden so that the kids can see that their efforts during Lent continue to nourish the soul and body long after the season is over. I’m sure there are ways to use the animal theme as well, particularly if you can associate it with a Bible story, say Jonah and the whale. Have the older kids put on a show with said figures for the little ones. I’m not sure if this is really the place to post ideas so forgive me if I offend and do with it as you will. May God and His angels be ever at your sides as you shed the old man and grow in grace this Lent!

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  15. Beata Cooper says

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    I normally have difficulties with different
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  16. Hi, I have followed your blog for years and am so thankful for your creative ideas.
    I was wondering how the transition to public school has been for your family? I am often concerned on sending our children to public school and trying to keep the focus on faith & values in mainstream world. Would love a post having anything to do with this as it is always on my mind (and I’m probably not the only one!)
    You are a blessing in my life…what talent God has given you. Thank you for your ministry. I love to use your ideas with my children and CCD.

  17. I couldn’t comment on the Passion lunch site itself, so I’ll put it here. We make up a California blend of vegetables and use it as follows: broccoli for the agony in the garden (we don’t like olives), cauliflower (clouds of heaven), and wrap the carrots in aluminum foil to use for Judas’ silver. We also thinly slice apples and use peanut butter to anchor them as a cross. This gets a few more food groups involved and maintains the symbolism. Thanks- we have really enjoyed doing this meal, and the kids get into it, including reading from their bibles.

  18. Kerrie Rendina says

    Hi Lacy,

    Just wondering if you or anybody has any ideas for Ascension Sunday?
    I am teaching at Little Church this weekend and am on the hunt for ideas.

    Thank you
    Kerrie

  19. I was looking for activities to do with my children this Lenten season to help teach them more about it and Easter. I LOVE your site and all of the different ideas and activities. Thanks so much!

  20. Donna Saddler says

    Where can I purchase a Jesus carrying the cross used in your Lenten candles in the sand display? Would like to get some like it for at church.
    You can email me at dds1110@acegroup.cc
    Love all your ideas.

  21. Laura Cameron says

    Could you please email me? I have a question about your Holy week in handprints. Thank you, ~Laura

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