I had been wondering how to make Lent meaningful for my kids and just a few weeks ago I only had a drawing book on how to teach the kids about Lent. Than, while trying to come up with a lovely Lent article for the school newsletter I came across this and it sent me into a whirlwind of exciting activities for the kids for which I am ever so grateful.
- To start with I did a lamb poster and divided it into 40 boxes. Everyday of Lent we glue a piece of cotton wool into a box. This gives a concrete feel to the length of Lent to my young kids and at the same time just like the Advent calendar an excitement in knowing that Easter is getting nearer each day.
- Lent of course is the season to pray, fast and give. We are learning a new prayer during Lent - all of us. The kids are abstaining from sweets for the whole Lental season. It might seem daunting at first you think but it isn't really because Sundays (and I didn't know this before) is not considered part of Lent as it is always the celebration of Christ's Resurrection. therefore we all eat sweets if we feel like on a Sunday but abstain from it Monday through Saturday.
- The good deeds jar: In a symbolic way to teach kids how God showers us with good will whenever we walk along His path of grace, I did this jar. Whenever one of them does a good deed - sharing toys, food, helping out etc - I put a chick pea in the jar. At the end of the Lent season, we will count the chick peas and give the children the double amount in sweets (I'd prefer to give them something else but haven't thought of something healthier!)
- The Lent caterpillar is as the name implies. You do a caterpillar out of carton in the beginning of Lent. Put it in a cocoon half way through. Than replace it with a butterfly Easter Sunday. The meaning is the life of Jesus, the death of Jesus and the new life He gave us when He came back to life.
- And the famous drawing book. You can buy that in Catholic bookstores locally. Under each picture to paint there is a short note on the meaning of Lent and it is an interesting way to learn about this season.
Sometimes teaching children about our faith can seem difficult. The difficulty normally though stems from the fact that we are not quite sure of our faith and we do not quite live our life according to The Liturgical Year. It could be for many reasons but in deciding to reach out and teach our children I have seen that I am learning just as much and loving and appreciating my faith that much more.