Before staying home, I taught second grade at a Catholic school. Elementary school kids are easily excited, but rarely when it comes to religion class. So, I focused on enriching our studies with fun and easy activities that made big and overwhelming subjects more accessible.
Lent was actually one of my favorite times in the classroom. Children are generally so kind and tenderhearted, no matter how rough they play on the playground or how much they pout when they don’t get their way. A period of reflection and sacrifice really opens your eyes to just how generous and beautiful our tiny humans can be.
Here are some of my favorite activities, tested and approved by my second graders and my two year old, to get your kids involved this Holy Week.
Throughout the Week:
The Lent Song – This was a class favorite. Four years later, some of my old students can still sing this song the whole way through, hand movements and all.
Jelly Bean Holy Week Devotional – Nothing gets kids excited like candy mixed into their religion lessons, right?
Holy Week in Handprints – These fun hand and foot print crafts can be done each day or all at once. They make neat learning tools, keepsakes, or even gifts for grandparents!
Holy Week Banner – This banner is a neat way to visually display the progression of Holy Week for kids.
Easter Story Wreath – This is an easy craft for kids of all ages, with some parent assembly required. It makes a great keepsake to hang up every year!
Resurrection Eggs – You can purchase these premade around town, but they’re more fun to assemble yourself!
Stations of the Cross Carousel – This is a fun and easy craft that won’t take up much room.
Lent Playlist – Make a playlist to listen to while doing these projects!
Washing of the Feet – If you don’t plan to make it to mass, you can still re-enact the washing of the feet at home and read the scripture about sacrifice and service to others.
Bake Unleavened Bread – This is a great way to get your kids into the kitchen for family time, while also learning about the Last Supper.
Praying Hands – Make this hand cutout craft to honor Jesus praying at the Garden of Gethsemane. It’s a very quick craft!
Last Supper Craft – This project was a hit with my students every time. They loved putting the pieces together and bringing a famous scene to life. It’s a bit more labor intensive, but worth it!
Easter Triduum Spinning Paper Plate – This is an easy craft with supplies you probably already have at home.
The Crosses of Calvary – You can also make this craft in small ceramic pots to travel easier and give as gifts to family on Easter Sunday.
Chocolate Crown of Thorns – Make these crowns of thorns to enjoy with your family later in the weekend. They harden into a sturdy crown that can transform into a birds nest filled with eggs on Sunday!
Story of the Passion Lunch – Each piece of this lunch symbolizes a different part of the story. It’s really exciting for kids to try to figure out what each one represents and enjoyable to hear them tell you the story in their own words.
Easter Story Cookies – These cookies are a really awesome way to symbolically recap the Easter story with kids. They will be amazed when you pull them out on Easter morning.
Empty Tomb (or Resurrection) Rolls – This is another fun symbolic recipe that the kids can be involved in … and they make a yummy treat with Easter dinner.
He Is Risen Coloring Sheet – I like to print out a few copies to have ready for little hands in between getting home from mass and sitting down to eat.