40 Ideas for 40 Days


Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, February 18
My Lenten Calendar—40 Crosses
Color a cross each day for 40 days showing good deeds done out of love for Jesus.

Thursday, February 19
A Lenten Chain
Watch the chain grow during Lent as young people identify their Lenten goals.

Friday, February 20
A Declaration of DEpendence
This is an opportunity to remind ourselves of our reliance on God for everything.

Saturday, February 21
Remembering the Lamb
Children glue cotton balls onto a lamb for each prayer or doctrinal formula they take to heart during Lent.

First Sunday of Lent

Monday, February 23
Salt Dough Crown of Thorns
Create a crown of thorns out of salt dough and remove a toothpick each time a Lenten discipline is practiced.

Tuesday, February 24
Bury the Alleluia
Symbolize the removal of the Alleluia during Lent in anticipation of its return at Easter.

Wednesday, February 25
Avoiding Temptations
Brainstorm temptations that young people face and can strive to avoid during Lent.

Thursday, February 26
What Lenten Hymns Teach
Search through Lenten hymns to identify the meaning of Lent.

Friday, February 27
A Group Fast
Find strength in numbers by joining together in an experience of fasting.

Saturday, February 28
Praying the Daily Examen
Learn how to practice an Ignatian form of prayer—the Daily Examen—during Lent.

Second Sunday of Lent

Monday, March 2
An Examination of Conscience
An opportunity to help prepare young people to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation during Lent.

Tuesday, March 3
CRS Rice Bowl
Introduce young people to CRS Rice Bowl, the official Lenten program of Catholic Relief Services.

Wednesday, March 4
What’s With the Pretzels?
Explore why pretzels are a traditional Lenten food that remind us to pray and fast.

Thursday, March 5
Overcoming Impulses
This activity helps us to recognize impulsive behaviors and work to overcome them.

Friday, March 6
The Seven Last Words of Christ Scripture Search
A Scripture search on the Seven Last Words of Christ as recorded in the Gospels.

Saturday, March 7
The Scrutinies
Focuses on the celebration of the rites called the Scrutinies, which are celebrated with the catechumens (those to be baptized on Holy Saturday) on the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent.

Third Sunday of Lent

Monday, March 9
To be “justified” is to be aligned with God; this activity helps us to visualize that.

Tuesday, March 10
Good Deeds Bracelets for Lent
Young people design a bracelet to record good deeds practiced during Lent.

Wednesday, March 11
Jesus in the Garden
A blackline master that invites young people to create and decorate a scene of Jesus’ Agony in the Garden.

Thursday, March 12
Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary Scripture Search
Do a Scripture search to locate the five sorrowful mysteries prayed in the Rosary.

Friday, March 13
Stations of the Cross Tableaus
Young people create “freeze frames” of the Stations of the Cross.

Saturday, March 14
The Desert Experience
Explore with children the Lenten image of the desert where God is encountered in a special way.

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Monday, March 16
Making a Paschal Candle
Invite young people to create their own Paschal (Easter) Candle as a reminder of their call to renew their Baptism this Lent.

Tuesday, March 17
A Spiritual St. Patrick’s Day
Explore ways to have fun with young people on St. Patrick’s Day while also teaching something of spiritual value.

Wednesday, March 18
Sacred Art—Budding Artists
An activity to engage those young people who are more visual and perhaps even artistically inclined, focusing on the Stations of the Cross.

Thursday, March 19
Silence is Golden (In Honor of St. Joseph)
Use the Feast of St. Joseph, who was a quiet man, to teach young people to be quiet during this season of Lent in order to meet Jesus in their hearts.

Friday, March 20
Stations of the Cross Carousel
Provide young people with an opportunity to be creative while reflecting and praying upon the Stations of the Cross.

Saturday, March 21
A Sense of Direction
A demonstration of how conversion is a change of direction for our lives.

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Monday, March 23
Last Supper Craft
Ideal preparation for Holy Thursday based on Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper painting.

Tuesday, March 24
Stained Glass Cross Craft
A simple craft idea that enables young people to create a “stained glass” cross.

Wednesday, March 25
Looking for Clues
An opportunity to help children become more familiar with the Passion story.

Thursday, March 26
Name That Song—The Seven Deadly Sins
A musical activity that helps us to understand and avoid the Seven Deadly Sins.

Friday, March 27
HCA Mission Stations of the Cross
An opportunity to combine prayer and almsgiving and to develop an appreciation for the missions, specifically through the Holy Childhood Association.

Saturday, March 28
Holy Week Basket
An opportunity to connect Holy Week and the end of Lent to the celebration of Easter by creating Holy Week baskets.

Palm Sunday

Monday, March 30
Palm Weaving and Braiding
Tutorials on the popular custom of braiding and weaving palms for use in our homes (the domestic church).

Tuesday, March 31
Palm Crosses
A hands-on activity to help young people create crosses out of palms.

Wednesday, April 1
Scenes from Holy Week
A blackline master from the Finding God program inviting young people to imagine drawing the cover of a parish bulletin for Holy Week.

Thursday, April 2
Triduum Triptychs
An activity from the Christ Our Life program inviting young people to design a triptych showing symbols of the Triduum.

Friday, April 3
The Passion and Resurrection Activity Centers
Invite young people to actively explore more deeply the story of Jesus’ Passion, Death, and Resurrection.

Saturday, April 4
Resurrection Eggs
Use Easter eggs to teach young people to recognize various elements of the Passion reading.