Observing Lent: How parents can help kids remember Jesus in simple yet fun activities

Lent is the season for penance and reflection for Christians, but for those with kids, there are some fun ways to guide them to be closer to Jesus and God. Image: Ben White|Unsplash

According to Britannica Kids, many devout Christians abstain from eating certain foods during the season of Lent, particularly on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. They do this to remember the biblical story of Jesus Christ's 40-day fast in the desert. 

For some, Lent or 'springtime,' which ends the Saturday before Easter Sunday, is a period for reflection that helps people get ready for Good Friday and Easter. 

For Christian families, there are some simple yet fun activities for kids during the Lenten season. Parents can teach their kids how to be creative in observing the season. Children of any Christian denomination will benefit from these easy Lenten activities.

Here are some simple and engaging activities parents can do to teach kids about Jesus's death and resurrection:

  • Have a fun and engaging conversation about what Lent is with your kid 

It's crucial to teach your children about the Christian faith, so take this time to explain what Lent is and why it's observed the way it is. 

According to Home Faith Family, you can convince them that giving up their favorite pastime is for the best. With this, they will have a deeper appreciation for the sacrifice Jesus Christ made by participating in this penance for 40 days and demonstrating their devotion to God.

  • Teach them to give up on something during the Lenten season

If you want to teach your kids the value of sacrifice, ask them to consider giving up anything for Lent or just on Fridays. 

For example, you may urge your kids to limit themselves to water or skip desserts and restaurant meals. The most important factor is for the kids to want the sacrifice and not feel forced.

  • Create a Lenten promise paper chain

Help your kids decorate your house with a nice yet simple Lenten promise paper chain. Kids could fill out the Lenten commitments, then cut and paste them together to form a paper chain that symbolizes their commitment to acts of charity, prayer, fasting, and good works throughout Lent. 

It would be a beautiful reminder of your child's promises and Jesus Christ's sacrifices during his time in the desert.

  • Teach them how to pray

We all know that some Christians are not active in communicating or calling God. During this time of penance, be sure to teach your kid how to pray so they will learn how to talk with God in everyday life. Make daily prayers a family habit: as you wake up, before you head out, before your family meals, and as you hit the bed to rest.

Image: Binti Malu|Pexels

  • Fill up a bag with things you don’t use or need for 40 days

You might eliminate one bag's worth of clutter every day during Lent as an alternative to, in addition to, giving up anything for the season of Lent. 

Feels Like Home shared that you get to decide how big the bag is and including the whole family in the activity is highly recommended.

  • Make illustrations of Jesus' journey

Parents can teach their children to create their representation of Jesus conquering temptation in the desert by providing their children with art equipment and teaching them how to do so. When they are done, kids can take pride in their works of art and display them in their respective rooms.

Image: Freepik

  • Prepare a "Lenten-to-do list"

Explain to your kids that setting goals for themselves and preparing how they will achieve them will make them more achievable. 

Loyola Press stated that you could give them the assignment of writing down in the form of a bulleted list their plans for drawing closer to God during the season of Lent. 

You can also teach your kids the numerous ways they might pray, fast, and provide charity.

  • Start a "Lenten Jar" for giving

A mason jar, an old jam jar, or a pickle jar would do for this easy activity. 

Take some time out of your day during the 40 days of Lent to go around and pick up any loose pennies you may come across. Count the coins you've found with your kids and put them in the Lenten jar daily. Take all the money you've saved in the jar during Lent and give it to a cause you care about when Easter rolls around.

  • Read Easter books and the Bible together

There are some available Easter books for kids in various bookstores. You can get one or two to read them during their pastime or before bedtime so they may learn how Jesus resurrected in a simple yet creative way for kids. 

Meanwhile, every day should involve some Bible reading with your kids, and this is a perfect time to teach them about Jesus' ministry.

Image: David Beale|Unsplash

  • Make a "prayer garden" with rocks, leaves, and flowers

Kids of all ages can join in on the joy and spiritual expression of creating a prayer garden. 

Per Home Faith Family, you can take the kids on a nature walk and have them collect rocks, leaves, and other natural objects. The next step is to offer a prayer of thankfulness for what you've gathered.

  • Do the 40 acts of kindness

Encourage your child to do good deeds during Lent with this 40 Acts of Kindness Activity. Everything you need to make a lovely Lenten kindness tree is included in this fun activity.

According to Twinkl, your kid will do an act of kindness every day for 40 days and get to color a leaf on the tree as a reward.

  • Bake homemade pretzels

As pretzels only require three ingredients—water, flour, and salt—they were likely first created for the Lenten season. 

This form was inspired by how people pray with their arms crossed and hands resting on their opposing shoulders. The history of the pretzel begins with a monk who shaped dough into a crisscrossing form.

Prepare the ingredients, head to the kitchen with your kids, and begin the fun cook fest. When you’re done cooking, consider sharing the pretzels with friends and neighbors or distributing them to the homeless in your community.

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