The Ultimate Guide for Celebrating Holy Week With Kids!

When living the liturgical year with kids, holy week is a really big and excellent week to include! The most important thing is to help keep your family focused on the true meaning of this season, and remembering that this is the last week of Lent. Easter starts on Sunday, but to help hold off on Easter celebrating until the actual Easter season begins, you can try to get your family involved with these Holy Week resources for kids! This post includes recipes, crafts, activities and more, and I will walk you through celebrating Holy Week with your family step by step. 

You can read my article here about observing Lent during Lent and saving Easter celebrating for Easter

Holy week really encompasses a lot, and the better you understand the meanings behind the different days, the better you will be able to celebrate with your family. My Lenten planning pack for moms does have some special pages for planning Holy Week with your family, so you may find that helpful as well. Let’s take a look at the breakdown of Holy Week. 

What Happened During Holy Week: (The Cheat Sheet)

  • Palm Sunday: Liturgical color, red. Jesus rides a donkey into Jerusalem, the people wave palm branches at him shouting “Hosanna”. 
  • Holy Monday: Liturgical color, purple. Jesus and his disciples go into the temple, and Jesus overturns the tables since people are selling things rather than praying there. 
  • Holy Tuesday: Liturgical color, purple. Jesus and the disciples return to the temple and teach the people many things with parables and give the people the new commandment. 
  • Holy Wednesday (AKA Spy Wednesday): Liturgical color, purple. Judas agrees to hand over Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
  • Holy Thursday (AKA Green Thursday): Liturgical color, white. Jesus has the Last Supper, which is the institution of the Eucharist and also the first mass. He also washes the feet of his disciples. Jesus asks his disciples to pray in the garden with him all night, and they fall asleep. 
  • Good Friday: Liturgical color, black. Jesus dies on the cross. All the things from the stations of the cross happen this day.
  • Holy Saturday: Jesus is dead in the tomb. The evening of Holy Saturday is considered the “vigil”, and Easter celebrating can begin then. 

If you are are looking for food ideas for celebrating Holy Week, be sure to check up my round up of Holy Week recipes here. I always find that celebrating with food is fun for the kids, and it kills 2 birds with 1 stone because I always have to feed people anyway. 

Fun Ways To Teach The Holy Week Story To Kids:

Check out this children’s book I made, Holy Week In Handprints! It tells the entire story of Holy Week, day by day, and your child illustrates it themselves with handprints. I have step by step directions for completing each illustration. So it is a great teaching tool for learning about Holy Week, and it also becomes a keepsake for your family to cherish year after year. 

You can download yours here for just $8

You can find my Holy Week eggs here. I designed them to be a “Catholic” version of Resurrection eggs, but later on, I ended up designing a different set for the Stations of the cross as well. You can find that farther down the post. 

You can also use my printable passion set of peg dolls to help teach your kids the story of Holy Week. For these peg dolls you just decoupage on the body, and all you have to paint are the heads! I also provide step by step directions to walk you through painting the heads. My kids love these little guys!

Check out this printable list of 10 Holy Week activities for families from Real Life At Home.

10 Holy Week Activities for Families Printable from Real Life at Home

You can also use your passion peg doll set and build a block version of Jerusalem to give your kids an idea of where all these events happened. My kid and I LOVE this! 

I also have a set of printable art cards that go with the places of Holy Week that includes truly beautiful Catholic artwork on every card.

The peg dolls can also be used to teach Montessori-type lessons on Holy Week. Again, I love teaching this kind of stuff in hands-on ways for littles! 

I also have a set of Holy Week notebooking pages for older kids that are very handy for the season. Free to print! 

This symbolic Lenten lunch for kids teaches the Holy Week story in a great hands-on way as well. We do this every year!

Sara J Creations has a free printable set of Holy Week matching cards. Isn’t that awesome?! I’m sure these would be great for all kinds of Holy Week activities.

Look To Him And Be Radiant has an awesome FREE printable Holy Week journal and plans for an at home “family retreat” with videos, scripture, crafts, and food ideas for each day. You gotta check it out!

You can find my full round up of Holy Week Crafts here.

A round up of Holy Week coloring pages and printables is here.

Palm Sunday Celebration Ideas:

There are so many fun traditions your family can choose from for Palm Sunday that I have a special post rounding up all of my Palm Sunday celebration ideas, so check that out for sure!

Holy Thursday Traditions And Celebration Ideas:

There are also so many traditions and celebration ideas for Holy Thursday that I have an entire post dedicated to celebrating Holy Thursday with kids. This is a page you don’t want to miss!
 
 
I also have this fun and printable Holy Thursday Last Supper craft that is easy to print and assemble onto an egg carton. Check it out! 
 

Good Friday Traditions For Families

Good Friday is possibly one of the most important liturgical days of the year to observe, and I have a post dedicated to this. Check out all of my ideas for observing Good Friday with your family here
 
 
The post above has some great ideas for lunch, dinner, crafts, and solemn observances throughout the day. 

Holy Saturday Plans For Catholic Families

Let’s be realistic here… you have held off on Easter celebrating for the length of Lent. You have been keeping Lent in Lent, and saving Easter for Easter. But realistically for mothers, we can’t wake up on Easter morning, then decorate, bake, stuff baskets, etc. So Holy Saturday is the day I use for setting up and preparing for our Easter celebration.
 
My favorite Holy Saturday tradition is making Easter story cookies, which are made the night before Easter. 
 
 
There is also a very special Mass on this day (Easter Vigil Mass). It’s beautiful, the entire parish spreads flames through individually held candles, and it really is a cool experience if you have never attended it. I would recommend trying. However, I caution those of you going with children because it’s late, it’s very long (like possibly even 2 hours long), and again, there’s lots of fire. So yeah, I don’t personally find it to be a child-friendly Mass. We usually go on Easter morning. 
 
 
The Religion Teacher also has an excellent round up of educational Holy Week resources for kids. Definitely check it out now! 
 
If you enjoyed this guide to celebrating Holy Week, I would really appreciate it if you shared the link! Thanks so much!
 
You’ll find all of my Lenten resources for kids here

Comments

  1. Louise Lacaze says

    Hi! You're posts have become a regular thing for me now! I teach 8 year olds here in Aberdeen , Scotland and they're loving the jazzed up RE lessons we're now having!! They fill me with joy! Our parish youth group leaders get very excited at the fantastic crafts that keep on popping up….you are helping to make our lives a lot easier and our kids lives a lot more spiritual! Thank you!
    I loved you Catholic Mums confernece article….inspiring and uplifting, I wish we had smiliar here!
    Keep up the great work….your har.d work is making a difference around the world!
    God bless,

    Louise

  2. I would love to leave a link, but don't have a blog:) I love this site. The Holy Week Easter Tree on Etsy is beautiful! and has 8 ornaments, a cross, a tree, and devotional booklet. Check it out!
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/71730530/holy-week-easter-tree
    Have a great Holy Week!

  3. Exspectantes says

    Just wondering if you've come across any seder meal ideas to do with children? Thanks for these links!

  4. nest full of eggs says

    has anyone ever approached you about contributing to a Catholic craft book? does one even exist? i've seen Christian craft books, but not Catholic ones… i would love to contribute to a Catholic craft book 🙂

  5. I love this. My son is older but still could change things to match his age. Blessings

  6. Susann Gehring says

    Hi. Love your post! Thanks for all the great ideas! I linked you in my blog. http://hoppingtoit.blogspot.com/2012/03/little-lent-and-easter-for-kids.html

    Thanks again for sharing!

  7. I learned how to make crosses from the palms in ccd as a girl and would make them every year with my grandmother. My mother & I have tried for years to remember how to make them but always failed. (my mom was a catholic student that was babysat by nuns after school for years & she forgot lol) My mom & grandmother are probably looking down @ me & smiling (or laughing) making them now. Thank you for your post & for making today “extra special!”

  8. I must say, I just discovered you and I am so thankful!!! Another positive thing to come from this quarantine!! Have a blessed Easter!!

  9. I’m so happy I found your page, you are amazing, I have just begun navigating and already have printed the last supper, for the kids.

    God bless you sister in Christ!

  10. Thanks for the ideas! During this quarantine time, we need to be creative with how to approach these sacred days and keep them meaningful for our kids and ourselves. Thanks again!

Leave a Reply to JESSICA Cancel reply

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.