Lent & Easter

Easter Lily

Family Activities for Lent

At Home
Recommit to daily devotions and family prayer time. Make a Lenten candle cross and light a candle each week in the same way an Advent wreath is used.

Decorate the home in purple, the color of Lent, with the cross as the focal point:
Palm Sunday-Palm Leaf from the worship service
Maundy Thursday-Challis and bread
Good Friday-Cross
Easter-Butterflies

Make pretzels. Instead of baking cookies, families can bake pretzels together and talk about how the pretzel symbolizes the way early Christians used to pray.
Pretzel Recipe

At Church
Host a Lenten Fair. Set up different stations for children to bake  hot cross buns or pretzels, play guessing games, listen to stories about Lent, and make crosses and resurrection eggs.

Rotation Sunday School–Teach about Holy Week over four Sundays in which the children rotate through themed classrooms, e.g. Palm Sunday drama and music, Maundy Thursday feet washing and disciples, the Last Supper cooking, and Good Friday art project.

Newsletter Inserts–Share basic information about Lent in the church newsletter. Don’t assume people already know a lot about Lent. daily devotions and family prayer time.
What is Lent All About?
From Epiphany to Lent
A Look at Lent
Holy Week & Easter

Lent Curriculum

Suggestions for high school or middle school:

 

Lenten Fair

Family-oriented event during the learning hour on Sunday morning. Sunday school classes rotate to a variety of booths and tables. To use a Mardi Gras theme, schedule the fair before Lent.

Lenten Fair Activities:

  • Prayer Placemats — color with markers and decorate with stickers. A small booklet with meal time prayers can go with it.
  • Plant a Seed — plant a seed to watch it grow
  • Butterflies — make from tissue paper and clothes pins. The kids make the butterflies and wrap them with a strip of paper with the words from II Corinthians  5:17 “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new.” Then the butterflies are wrapped in a small brown bag and sealed with a label that says “do not open until Easter.” The kids are encouraged to open them on Easter morning.
  • Cross Necklace — made out of beads and string.
  • Pretzels — pre-made pretzels for snacks
  • Fish Pond — no connection to Easter, but it nicely cleans out the director’s supply closet
  • Guess the Number of Eggs in the Jar — a prize for the person guessing the closest without going over
  • Information Tables — about camp and family ministry

Other Activities:

  • ID cards
  • Pancakes
  • Decorate a cookie or cupcake
  • Witness bracelets
  • Easter in an Egg — plastic egg filled with symbols for Easter
  • Kings Cake — joyful celebration from Mardi Gras. Part of the fun is finding the baby Jesus in the cake, which is very similar to a cinnamon roll/braid. Here is a simple recipe. Cakes are also available at local grocery stores but must be ordered in advance or they will not come before Ash Wednesday. From the standpoint of the traditional use, it would be inappropriate to have King’s Cake during Lent.
  • Music and decorations reflecting the season

 

Kinder-Lent/Kinder-Advent

Family-friendly service aimed at small children

 

  • Offered at 5:30 p.m. for 25 minutes max.
  • 6 services during Lent, 4 services during Advent
  • Songs
  • Children’s message
  • Something to take home or work on
  • Artsy activity – create a puzzle piece, a night scripture
  • Cross made out of heavy paper and family tapes together
  • Mime drama team

More Ideas

Last Supper Rotation for Sunday School
Grades 2 – 5 with five stations featuring different activities:

  • The Arcade — Learning games
    Bible Jeopardy using a heavy shower curtain with Ziploc bags taped on with packing tape.
  • Tic Tac Toe
  • Solid Rock Productions — Recreation
  • Bowling
  • Creation Station — Arts and Crafts
  • Computer Station — Computers donated by members with software for kids to play
  • Cinema on the Mount — Puppets, dramas, and skits

 


Bulletin Inserts
Clip art printed on half sheets of paper. Place the inserts in bulletins during Lent for children to color. People were encouraged to place the art on their refrigerators at home.


Christian Education Sunday
In May all classes present something from what they have been working on all year:

  • Sing the books of the Bible
  • Preschool- Table prayer
  • K -1 Lord’s Prayer
  • 3-4 Ten Commandments
  • 5-6 Apostles Creed

 

 

 

 

Lenten Resources

40 Prayers for 40 Days
Mark the days of Lent with prayer.

Lenten Passport Booklet
The Journey From Ash Wednesday to Easter… Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus

 

Ideas from the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod

Dramas and skits get people involved and working together

 

Living Lent– animals tell the story)

 

Watchers on the Hill – intergenerational  activity of overheard conversations of people standing on the hill during crucifixion

 

Lent University – debriefing the drama afterward

 

Reflection and Questions – video curriculum by BlueFish  (4 sessions), invite people to put questions in a box as they go through the video

 

Seder Meal – bbq instead of lamb

 

Easter Egg Hunt – usually the Saturday before Easter. Gather everyone together and do Resurrection eggs – each egg is color-coded and has something inside to help tell the story.  Works really well with 4th grade and under

 

Camp Hope Day – during Lent and Advent, a Saturday where high school students work with children.

 

High School Youth Study Death – the whole grieving process and everything connected with death and dying. Sent letter to parents to give them the heads up, but asked them not to tell students (did get some push back initially). Used guest speakers: a talk about suicide, a funeral home rep, a family counselor to talk about the steps of grieving.

 

Activity: Students had 15 minutes to prepare their space for a conversation about death. The teacher brought in a box of black items — leftovers from Halloween, black construction paper, etc, tape and scissors. Instead of using masking tape to hang things…one student traced a body on the floor, like a police chalk line. On Easter morning, the students completely shifted the room and redecorated it in bright colors

 

Looked at promises for life after death – scripture, studied death emotionally and spiritually. Interestingly enough, the group experienced four deaths in the months that followed (car accident, a friend’s suicide, death of a mom from cancer, father died suddenly of aneurism). The youth were prepared to talk about death with their friends, taught their friends about stages of grief and the promise of life after death from their study of Romans 8. They were able to take what they had learned and use it in their life.

 

Timing: In the fall the group is still forming, but in the spring they are ready to go deeper.  Best learning time was from January to spring break to get into more serious topics. That window closes after spring break till May. In the summer there is the mission trip opportunity. Start and end times to what she is teaching helped them re-enter and invite friends.

 

Journey to the Cross – Students moved from place to place in the facility and heard the story and did an activity ateachstop. Very interactive; they really lived the passion story.
Journey to the Cross
Prayer Worshop

 

Cry the Whole Congregation – from the book Ragman and Other Cries of Faith  by Walt Wangerin — interactive and emotional worship service

 

Prayer Partners — Invite the congregation to be prayer partners with children during Lent. Run labels for each child K – 5. Students in junior high and high school and adults each took one. People need to know that the gift here is taking the time to talk to each other. The beauty of doing this during Lent is that it has a beginning and ending time, making it easier for people to commit for six weeks. Some of these connections are still ongoing.

 

Can gather prayer requests using pagers/texting.

 

Prayer chain can help families create rituals and traditions around Lent and Easter. Make out of linked paper and put names or things to do on each link of the chain

 

Decorate a Cross – Students decorate a cross each week and hang them on the wall of the confirmation room.

 

Pulpit Exchange – with local Rabbi. Includes joint learning of the Holocaust museum at the beginning of Lent. By getting outside their own understanding of their faith, students will be prompted to ask the hard questions.

 

Interfaith Dialog – moderated discussion over dinner between several faith traditions.

 

Lenten Series – by David Anderson and Paul Hill based upon the “Frogs Without Legs Can’t Hear.”

 

Garden Club – families plant seeds in the ground on Good Friday and watch them grow, tending them over several weeks. If you plant grass seed or beans soak them first and they will come up in 3 days. Google “gorilla gardening.”