Friday, January 26, 2018

Seven Easy Lent Activities for Little Kids

1. Fat Tuesday and a King Cake
The day before Lent begins, we empty the house of all the junk food and deliciousness that we're giving up for Lent. We usually have pancakes or gumbo for dinner (Mardis Gras), and enjoy a king cake for dessert. We usually put a ring in the cake because I think these are weird looking. I have plans to make something semi-fancy this year, but anything sugary and colorful will fit the bill. I might order some of these to add a bit of flair to the evening.

Lent Traditions, Goal Setting and Countdown, Fat Tuesday, King Cake, Catholic Kids Bulletin
Throwback--Mady is such a baby in this photo!

The first week of Lent, perhaps while we're watching a video of the Stations of the Cross, I'll print on card-stock, then ask the students to color these letters for a bulletin board. This is a quick (and painless) bulletin board that I'll be able to finish and hang up without much prep.

Small children don't really understand the concept of a long-term goal, so this takes some reinforcement and encouragement throughout Lent. I'm going to focus on the prayer, fasting, and alms giving listed in Matthew 6 and help them chose something in each area. I'll encourage their alms giving to be an act of kindness every day. I might get these for the kids this year to help encourage giving. For fasting, they can focus on choosing one thing to give up that will be individual for each kiddo.

I'm also going to make sure that my kiddos know what my goals are so they can help me to be accountable! A stern reminder from a 5-year-old will quickly give me the impulse control I need to resist that extra snack.

I created a packet with Lent Countdown pages (for littles and bigs alike) and worksheets for them to complete focusing on Matthew 6 and goal setting. There is even a follow-up worksheet that we'll use each Friday to review the goals-along with successes and challenges. You can check it out over at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Lent Traditions, Goal Setting and Countdown, Teacher Pay Teachers, Catholic Kids Bulletin

4. Stations of the Cross: When I taught Jake's Kindergarten Faith Formation class last year, I created an Active Stations of the Cross. The PowerPoint Presentation gives the students a 'pose' to hold while I explain the station. It was fun to see them acting out small parts of the stations and getting physically involved with the prayer. 

5. Meatless meals on Fridays and Ash Wednesday. This one is pretty basic, but I think it's worth mentioning. Plus--I love this picture of Mady chowing down on these ribs. Remember that meat is off limits, but meat stock, eggs, and milk are still fair game. So, if you're worried about a meatless meal--a veggie soup or chili with beef stock will still taste filling and meaty, even with the sacrifice.

Lent Traditions, Goal Setting and Countdown, Meatless Meals, Catholic Kids Bulletin

6. Crown of Thorns
Each year, we make a crown of thorns with play-doh or salt dough, tops with a ba-jillion toothpicks. Each time a kiddo makes a sacrifice, he or she can break off a toothpick. My go-to recipe for play-doh is 1 c. flour, 1/2 c. salt, 1 t. oil, 1 t. cream of tartar, food coloring, and 1 c. water. Heat it on the stove while stirring, and watch the magic happen! I've made the crown different colors each year--this year, I happen to have black food coloring so it will be pretty dark. In this picture, I think I used cinnamon because I was out of all Lenten food coloring.

Lent Traditions, Goal Setting and Countdown, Crown of Thorns, Catholic Kids Bulletin

I'm so excited to play this game against this year! I always thought I Have, Who Has was such a pointless game, but now that I've actually tried it, I really like it. (Crazy how that works!)

For the next few days, all of my Lent activities on TPT are ON SALE. Shop soon to get 20% off and be prepared 2 full weeks before Lent begins!

What are you looking forward to this Lent?

Linking up with Kelly for 7QT.

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