According to the Christian calendar, Lent is the period of 40 days leading up to Easter, or the resurrection of Christ. It is traditionally viewed as a time for repentance, reflection and rededication to the church. Lent is observed by several Christian denominations. Use Lent-inspired crafts to engage children's interest--they can commemorate the season while gaining a deeper understanding of its importance.
According to Christian tradition, an important part of Lent is acknowledging Christ's willingness to die for his people. Observers often commemorate this sacrifice by giving something up during the Lenten season. Not eating meat is common, as is forgoing candy, soda or watching television. This Lent craft helps teach children about Christ's sacrifice while motivating them to keep their own promises.
Start with two printer-sized pieces of paper, one black and one white. On the white piece of paper, have children draw a picture of what they gave up for Lent. Alternatively, have them illustrate what Lent means to them.
Cut the black piece of paper into 40 equal-sized shapes, one for each day of the Lenten season. Keep in mind that some Christian denominations do not count Sundays when calculating the 40 days of Lent, meaning the season technically lasts 48 days. Divide the piece of paper accordingly.
Use temporary adhesive putty to cover the picture with the black pieces of paper. Children should remove one piece of paper for each day they keep their Lenten promises.
Stained Glass Cross
Use this Lent craft to make decorative crosses you can hang on doors, windows or anywhere that catches the light.
Use crayons to colour in crucifix-shaped pieces of white paper. For best results, make sure the shapes are completely coloured in before placing them face down on a clean surface. Use a cotton ball or a piece of tissue to carefully saturate the paper with cooking oil. Let the paper dry. Outline the front of the cross with a thick line of black marker.
This project creates a replica of Jesus' empty tomb and helps facilitate religion-based discussions about Easter and the days leading up to it.
Fill a small flower pot with soil. Partly bury an empty film canister in the soil so the open end looks like the mouth of a cave. Create an artificial hill--scoop soil over the top of the canister. Cover the cave's opening with a small rock. If desired, decorate your garden with plastic flowers before sprinkling the soil with grass seed. Mist the soil with water. Place the flower pot in a sunny area. Water the grass daily.
Start this project about two weeks before Easter to give the grass time to grow. On Easter Sunday, children can re-enact the resurrection story by removing the rock from the garden.