Lent is upon us, and I always have trouble deciding how much "stuff" I want to try to pack into it. On one hand, it is a time to sacrifice and simplify, but on the other hand, it's a time to prepare ourselves for Easter, and the best way to really bring home the concepts of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving is to make them real and tangible to the kids. It is a time to step up our spiritual "game" and be more deliberate in our walk with Jesus. So I made a "path" to illustrate the days of Lent for the kids. I had actually started it last year, but I didn't have time to finish sewing on all the pieces, so it waited (and I almost forgot about it!) until this year, and it was finished just in time for Ash Wednesday.
We'll move the pink felt heart each day as we move closer to Easter.
Here's a close-up of Holy Week.
Something new we did was "Bury the Alleluia," and Ellie thought it was pretty cool. I saw the idea at Catholic Icing, along with TONS of other really great Lent ideas (Check 'em out!). I bought little chip board letters, and Ellie arranged them to spell "the word we do not say during Lent." After she spelled it out, she placed them in a box which will reside on the top shelf of a bookcase until we can open it and rejoice on Easter Sunday.
We also did this cool "trick." We talked about why Jesus died on the cross, that he stripped away our sins, like the paper pieces being ripped away, and then ta-da! The cross, the symbol of His Love, is all that's left.
After dinner, they were really wound up and not on their best behavior, so we had to calm the munchkins with some coloring pages that I got from Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure. It's free, comes to your inbox three times a week, and you get coloring, audio, videos, and other great resources. I haven't checked out the videos yet, and I don't want to go nuts with too many things to do, but we are going to start listening to the stories of the lives of saints in the car on the way to school.
Of course I have other crafts and Stations of the Cross activities planned, but it's all going to be spread out, and I am not afraid to cut anything if it becomes too much. Lent should be transformative but not stressful! I'll share as we do them.
I hope you have a blessed Lent!