What should you and your kids do for Lent? Here’s a craft based on these basic Christian practices of prayer, fasting and alms giving (traditionally the main practices of Lent). It contains a calendar, so that like during Advent, kids have a visual of how much closer they are to the feast they look forward to (Holy Week and Easter).
Why prayer, fasting and alms giving?
The main point of the 40+ days of Lent is to grow closer to God so we can more fully live as Easter people. Before Jesus began his active ministry, the Holy Spirit sent him into the desert for 40 days. Our Lenten journey imitates Jesus’ time in the desert. We talk and listen to God more (prayer), ask Him to get rid of the yucky, or superficial things within us (fasting) and help those in need (alms giving).
A calendar craft of prayer, fasting and alms giving
This craft will help you and your family to keep going on your decision to pray, fast and give.
- Lent calendar (printable)
- little glass jar
- dried or artificial green flower or leaves
- small rocks
- purple orbies
- *All of these things are available at the dollar tree.
Prayer set up
- cut out the calendar
- decide what you would like to do for prayer during Lent (read the bible, pray as a family, say grace, make a morning offering, bedtime prayer, etc.)
- write it on the back of the calendar
- each day that you do the prayer, make a heart around the date. As Lent progresses, you will see how much love you have put into it and how close you are to Easter.
Fasting set up
- pick seven rocks. Each will represent one week of fasting from something.
- decide what you will give up for lent (video games, complaining, candy, interrupting, a little extra time)
- write it on the rocks. Some people give up one thing for all of Lent. This craft makes it easy to chose a few different things which change by the week.
- each Sunday, toss a rock into the glass jar. This represents turning over to God the week’s worth of sacrifice. The first Sunday, you will have only have given something up since Ash Wednesday. Toss in a rock for that too.
Giving set up
- make a pile or a dish of 40-60 orbies. Each orbie will represent something good that you do for the sake of others.
- decide what you will give for Lent (raise money for a homeless shelter, support an orphan in another country, call your grandma, smile at a teacher, play kindly with your sister)
- if you pick one or a few things you will do everyday, write it on the back of the calendar. Or you can just make a general commitment to intentionally do good everyday and then look for the opportunity as it comes.
- each day that you give alms, put an orbie in the glass jar. If you did a few good deeds, put an extra orbie in the jar.
The jar will be full of rocks and orbies by Easter and the calendar will be full of hearts. Swap the artificial flowers with real ones. Rejoice that with prayer, fasting and alms giving, you and God have created something Christlike within your heart.