Lent can be intimidating. What can I do? Where do I start? Some people seem to get it together and use it as a time to grow in their faith. But if you’re more like me, excited by all the lovely ideas, but aware I may not get past day 2 on any of them, do not fear!
This is a collection of ideas for you to browse and choose one — yes, I recommend just one! — thing to try out this Lent / Easter. I also want to encourage you not to beat yourself over the head if you don’t do it every day.
Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, the day after Shrove Tuesday (you may know this as Pancake Day) and lasts until Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday, although for some people it lasts until Easter Saturday. Lent is observed to remember the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness. I always thought Lent was only 40 days, but if you count them, there are 46 days! This is because traditionally Lent doesn’t include Sundays.
Speaking of tradition, we all know that Lent usually means fasting of some sort, but it is also a time of preparation not unlike Advent, as we reflect and think toward the holy days of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
How to choose a faith at home activity
When choosing what sort of faith at home activity to do in Lent, or any other season, I always suggest people think about three things:
- What your family is like? What type of activities do you enjoy? What things are you passionate about?
- What sort of faith are you wanting to grow? What part of your faith is important to you? Knowledge, trust, imagination, or action? What are you pretty good at? What could you grow more in?
- What season are you in? Are you exhausted? Do you have mostly younger children who need assistance or older ones who can do things without as much help? Are you in a place where you need to do something easy or challenging?
If appropriate, have a conversation as a family to chat about some of these questions, and together choose the best Lent activity for your unique family and for the season you’re in.
If, on reflection, the desire to “do something” for Lent is more yours than something shared by your family, don’t worry about just doing something yourself. As parents, it’s important that we nurture our own spiritual growth in front of our children. Investing in our own faith, allowing our families to observe what’s important to us and how we grow spiritually is truly powerful.
Lent and Easter Ideas
- Use a Thanks chart – thanking God, for one thing, each day
- Daily reflections during Lent using a Lenten Cross (like an Advent wreath!)
- Remembering Jesus whenever we eat bread
- Here’s a fun idea with dice to encourage discussion as you read the Easter story
- These Easter puppets are simple to make and fun to use
- Check out this Biblical feasts podcast from The Bible Project
- Mini-egg prayers are great for kids and it’s easy to fit in a busy schedule
- Try listening to the Easter story (here’s why this is a good idea)
- If you are eating pancakes, why not try these pancake prayers
Go-deeper ideas for Lent and Easter
- Ever wondered about Passover? You might like the Godventure Passover workshop
- Here’s an idea for a short devotional each day of Holy Week
- Make a Holy Week Box
- Get deeper into the Easter story with this reading challenge
- Explore the Easter story in a non-fiction kind of way: Questions to get you started
- Use this wonderful book to read through and reflect as a family
- Purchase the Story of Lazarus book and use it throughout Lent
Lent and Easter ideas for under 5s
- Try telling the Easter story together using homemade puppets or finger puppets
- Have fun with playdough – make an Easter garden or use it to tell the Easter story
- Here are my favourite books to explore Easter with under 5s
- Use Duplo or Lego to share Bible stories together
- The Bible Society has a lovely range of resources, including Easter storybooks and videos to watch
- Even littles can learn to pray with a picture prayer book
- Here’s a simple activity that works for all ages or multiple families and here’s an idea to create the story using dry pasta!
Creative ideas for Lent and Easter
- Make a Paschal Candle
- Create an Easter story photobook
- Make a stop motion movie using toys to act out the Easter story. Stikbot is a free app that makes this easy to do.
- Create a simple prayer book
- Storyboarding is a great way to get creative and learn at the same time
- Why not tell the Easter story with breadsticks with eyes? You’ll have so much fun with this one!
- Two ideas for Easter eggs: make your own chocolate eggs and fill them with sweets or, make some resurrection eggs
- Love to bake? You might enjoy Bake through Holy Week with Rachel Summers
- Passionate about climate change? Here are 40 climate change challenges, one for each day of Lent
- 40acts have fabulous resources to help you be generous during Lent including this family chart (which I may have been involved with making!)
- Use Story Stones, go for a walk to collect some stones or use that forgotten pile of stone your kids have collected in the past!
- Re-tell the story on your next family outing
- Outdoorsy family? Here’s a simple idea for a story treasure hunt (works well with eggs too!)