Lent is a season of the church year that is meant to be a focused and intentional time of preparing our hearts.  The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and an empty tomb are so mind-boggling and so world changing that we take special care to prepare to hear the story once again.  It’s an important time that lasts 40 days.

Here’s 20 ways that you can celebrate as a family!

  1. Follow a “path to Easter” like this one.
  2. Make a paper chain. Choose a certain color for the 40 days of Lent, and add a special color for each Sunday. This is a great way to count down with little ones.
  3. Create a “Lenten Tree,” using a vase, tree limbs and 45 Bible verses (one for each day between Ash Wednesday and Easter). Read a verse together as a family each day as you take it off the tree. The tree will be bare by the Saturday before Easter, and then you can decorate that same tree Easter morning with beautiful Easter decor! Check out this for a visual.
  4. Decide as a family what to sacrifice during Lent: candy, a gaming system, soda, movies, eating out. Teach your kids why sacrifice reminds us of Jesus. Try to replace these things with prayer time or time serving others.
  5. Take one item out of your pantry every day of Lent. By Easter, you’ll have a large donation bin of food that you can give to the local food bank.
  6. Memorize a simple prayer or Bible verse together.
  7. Start a “Sacrificial Love Jar.” Each time you see your kids (or spouse) acting in a way that reminds you of Jesus’ love for us, add a jellybean (or coin or other treat) to the jar. On Easter, enjoy the sweets of sacrifice!
  8. Read an Easter story together.
  9. Create/Plant an Easter Garden. Here’s a great tutorial.
  10. Make an Easter Basket for a neighbor. Make sure to include items that help them know the true reason for Easter joy!
  11. Make a Crown of Thorns out of play-doh and toothpicks.
  12. Light a candle during dinner. You might want to add a candle for each of the days of Lent (better make sure you have 40 candles!) or just add one with each passing week of Lent.
  13. Gather spare change during the 40 days of Lent, keeping it in a special jar.  On Easter, you can make a meaningful offering as a family, or donate it to a charity.
  14. Watch an Easter movie, like Veggie Tales’ An Easter Carol.
  15. Make “Temptation Cookies.” Have the kids help you make cookies. Leave them out in the kitchen after they’ve been baked, but don’t allow the kids to eat them until the following day.  Talk about temptation, and how Jesus was tempted, but never sinned, so that we could have salvation. Sweet!
  16. Color Easter Eggs. Talk about how NEW LIFE represents what happens on Easter.
  17. Give your kids meaningful Easter Baskets.  Check this out for inspiration.
  18. Buy Resurrection Eggs for your family like these, or make your own set like this.
  19. Watch caterpillars morph to butterflies with a kit like this. Talk about how Jesus’ resurrection means changed lives for all Christians.
  20. Make Resurrection Rolls—my favorite!