40 Ideas for 40 Days


Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, February 10
My Lenten Calendar—40 Crosses
Color a cross each day for 40 days showing good deeds done out of love for Jesus.

Thursday, February 11
A Lenten Chain
Watch the chain grow during Lent as young people identify their Lenten goals.

Friday, February 12
A Declaration of DEpendence
This is an opportunity to remind ourselves of our reliance on God for everything.

Saturday, February 13
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 15
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 16
Bury the Alleluia
Symbolize the removal of the Alleluia during Lent in anticipation of its return at Easter.

Wednesday, February 17
Avoiding Temptations
Brainstorm temptations that young people face and can strive to avoid during Lent.

Thursday, February 18
What Lenten Hymns Teach
Search through Lenten hymns to identify the meaning of Lent.

Friday, February 19
A Group Fast
Find strength in numbers by joining together in an experience of fasting.

Saturday, February 20
Praying the Daily Examen
Learn how to practice an Ignatian form of prayer—the Daily Examen—during Lent.

Second Sunday of Lent

Monday, February 22
An Examination of Conscience
An opportunity to help prepare young people to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation during Lent.

Tuesday, February 23
CRS Rice Bowl
Introduce young people to CRS Rice Bowl, the official Lenten program of Catholic Relief Services.

Wednesday, February 24
What’s With the Pretzels?
Explore why pretzels are a traditional Lenten food that remind us to pray and fast.

Thursday, February 25
Overcoming Impulses
This activity helps us to recognize impulsive behaviors and work to overcome them.

Friday, February 26
The Seven Last Words of Christ Scripture Search
A Scripture search on the Seven Last Words of Christ as recorded in the Gospels.

Saturday, February 27
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, February 29
To be “justified” is to be aligned with God; this activity helps us to visualize that.

Tuesday, March 1
Good Deeds Bracelets for Lent
Young people design a bracelet to record good deeds practiced during Lent.

Wednesday, March 2
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 3
Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary Scripture Search
Do a Scripture search to locate the five sorrowful mysteries prayed in the Rosary.

Friday, March 4
Stations of the Cross Tableaus
Young people create “freeze frames” of the Stations of the Cross.

Saturday, March 5
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 7
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 8
Name That Song—The Seven Deadly Sins
A musical activity that helps us to understand and avoid the Seven Deadly Sins.

Wednesday, March 9
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 10
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.

Friday, March 11
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 12
A Sense of Direction
A demonstration of how conversion is a change of direction for our lives.

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Monday, March 14
Last Supper Craft
Ideal preparation for Holy Thursday based on Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper painting.

Tuesday, March 15
Stained Glass Cross Craft
A simple craft idea that enables young people to create a “stained glass” cross.

Wednesday, March 16
Looking for Clues
An opportunity to help children become more familiar with the Passion story.

Thursday, 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.

Friday, March 18
Holy Week Basket
An opportunity to connect Holy Week and the end of Lent to the celebration of Easter by creating Holy Week baskets.

Saturday, 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.

Palm Sunday

Monday, March 21
Palm Weaving and Braiding
Tutorials on the popular custom of braiding and weaving palms for use in our homes (the domestic church).

Tuesday, March 22
Palm Crosses
A hands-on activity to help young people create crosses out of palms.

Wednesday, March 23
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, March 24
Triduum Triptychs
An activity from the Christ Our Life program inviting young people to design a triptych showing symbols of the Triduum.

Friday, March 25
The Passion and Resurrection Activity Centers
Invite young people to actively explore more deeply the story of Jesus’ Passion, Death, and Resurrection.

Saturday, March 26
Resurrection Eggs
Use Easter eggs to teach young people to recognize various elements of the Passion reading.

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