Lenten Sacrifice Beans- How To Plus Free Printables!

Sacrifice beans for Lent are very simple to put together, and can be a great teaching tool for kids during this special season.

sacrifice beans for lent with free printable

Usually I do the crown of thorns sacrifice thing where you pull a toothpick each time you do a good deed, but last year, even going into the attic for the crown of thorns felt like too much. So we did sacrifice beans. Honestly, it was nice to have a change! We used a wooden box to keep the beans in, and moved them over to a glass vase each time we did a good deed or made a sacrifice.

sacrifice beans

The beans we used were kind of small, and if I did this again I would look for larger ones, only because it felt like it took a long time to make a dent in the jar!

sacrifice beans for lent

Eventually, the jar slowly but surely had lots of beans in it.

sacrifice beans in jar

This worked particularly well for us because usually when my children complete their chores and meet my criteria, they receive a small pieces of candy (for example, M&M’s). To get the candy, the chores must be completed:

  1. All the way
  2. Right away
  3. With a happy heart

If your chore is completed meeting my criteria (so I don’t have to nag to keep going, you didn’t give a bad attitude, make a bad face, etc, and the chore is completed properly) then you get 3 pieces of candy- 1 for each of the requirements. This sacrifice jar was a nice replacement to the candy- they could simply help out around the house, and then move the beans instead. (Since we don’t eat candy during Lent.)

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I also made a printable label to go around the jar, and tied it on with a purple ribbon. It says “Make a sacrifice for Jesus, then place a bean in the jar.”  I laid a piece of purple fabric over a small table (child height) to display the beans on to match the liturgical color of Lent.

sacrifice bean printable

For Easter morning, the beans get replaced with jelly beans! (We actually used knock-off Jelly Bellies). I don’t actually count the beans. I just made sure they got more jelly beans than sacrifices they made. Also, the beans we used were a lot smaller than the Jelly Bellies, so these filled the jar up more.

sacrifice beans to jelly beans- lenten activity

I also replaced the purple cloth with a colorful baby blanket, and used a yellow ribbon to hang the new tag that says: “And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything int he name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians, 3:17

scripture printable for easter jelly beans

sacrifice beans to jelly beans

Download your free printable labels for the sacrifice beans here!

I have dozens of activities on this site for helping to observe a meaningful Lent with kids, be sure to check them out by clicking the link below!

You’ll find all of my Lenten resources for kids here


  1. Thank you so much for this lovely idea. I’m trying to instill Catholic values in my home. May God bless you thank you for sharing.

  2. My family is loving this! We are using decorative gems instead of the beans which is working just as well. Sharing our daily sacrifices at supper each night has become a great meal time routine. Since my kids are so young we also include good deeds as a way to put a bead in. Thanks for sharing this brilliant yet simple idea!!

  3. Mary Daniel says

    Thank you for these great ideas! My children are grown and I now have grandchildren whom I would enjoy sharing with. God Bless.