Lent is the 40-day period between Ash Wednesday and Easter. The length of time comes from the 40 days of fasting and temptation that Jesus faced in the wilderness, and the season is now a time for prayer, repentance and fasting. Given the importance of this period for the Christian religion, families and religious schools may want to provide kids with activities to learn about and celebrate the season, such as baking and arts and crafts.
Hot Cross Buns
Hot cross buns is a traditional treat for Lent consisting of lightly sweetened buns with a cross made of lemon icing as decoration on top. Spend time with children making this treat together, researching the various stories behind this Lenten tradition, and singing the popular song "Hot Cross Buns." Hot cross buns are usually eaten on Good Friday in England, and some American families enjoy them Easter morning.
Lent Pretzel Activity
Teach kids about the legend of the Lent Pretzel, telling them in detail the whole story of the monk who made the first pretzels for children as a reward for praying. Children will enjoy making and shaping pretzels on their own. Pretzel recipes vary, but common ingredients include instant yeast, all-purpose bread flour, salt, malt powder and warm milk.
Lent Activity Books
A convenient and vivid way to teach children about the history and traditions of Lent is through lesson or activity books and colouring pages. You can find free printable Lenten colouring and lesson pages online at several websites, such as Free Coloring Pages 4 U and Printable Colouring Pages. You can also order books to use in your home, such as "My Catholic Lent and Easter Activity Book: Reproducible Sheets for Home and School," which covers Ash Wednesday through Pentecost with activities such as word scrambles and dot-to-dot colouring pages (see Resources).
Making a cross is an effective way to help children appreciate the prayer and devotions that are an integral part of Lent. You can use various materials to make crosses, including construction paper, art foam and wood. After constructing their crosses, children can decorate them according to taste with plastic jewels, beads, glitter, crayons and paint, for example.