40 Ideas for 40 Days

40 Ideas for 40 Days of Lent from Joe Paprocki

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, March 1
My Lenten Calendar—40 Crosses
Color a cross each day for 40 days showing good deeds done out of love for Jesus.

Thursday, March 2
A Lenten Chain
Watch the chain grow during Lent as young people identify their Lenten goals.

Friday, March 3
A Declaration of DEpendence
This is an opportunity to remind ourselves of our reliance on God for everything.

Saturday, March 4
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, March 6
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, March 7
Bury the Alleluia
Symbolize the removal of the Alleluia during Lent in anticipation of its return at Easter.

Wednesday, March 8
Avoiding Temptations
Brainstorm temptations that young people face and can strive to avoid during Lent.

Thursday, March 9
What Lenten Hymns Teach
Search through Lenten hymns to identify the meaning of Lent.

Friday, March 10
A Group Fast
Find strength in numbers by joining together in an experience of fasting.

Saturday, March 11
Praying the Daily Examen
Learn how to practice an Ignatian form of prayer—the Daily Examen—during Lent.

Second Sunday of Lent

Monday, March 13
An Examination of Conscience
An opportunity to help prepare young people to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation during Lent.

Tuesday, March 14
CRS Rice Bowl
Introduce young people to CRS Rice Bowl, the official Lenten program of Catholic Relief Services.

Wednesday, March 15
What’s With the Pretzels?
Explore why pretzels are a traditional Lenten food that remind us to pray and fast.

Thursday, March 16
Overcoming Impulses
This activity helps us to recognize impulsive behaviors and work to overcome them.

Friday, 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.

Saturday, March 18
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 20
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.

Tuesday, March 21
Good Deeds Bracelets for Lent
Young people design a bracelet to record good deeds practiced during Lent.

Wednesday, March 22
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 23
Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary Scripture Search
Do a Scripture search to locate the five sorrowful mysteries prayed in the Rosary.

Friday, March 24
Stations of the Cross Tableaus
Young people create “freeze frames” of the Stations of the Cross.

Saturday, March 25
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 27
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 28
Name That Song—The Seven Deadly Sins
A musical activity that helps us to understand and avoid the Seven Deadly Sins.

Wednesday, March 29
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 30
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 31
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, April 1
A Sense of Direction
A demonstration of how conversion is a change of direction for our lives.

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Monday, April 3
Last Supper Craft
Ideal preparation for Holy Thursday based on Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper painting.

Tuesday, April 4
Stained Glass Cross Craft
A simple craft idea that enables young people to create a “stained glass” cross.

Wednesday, April 5
Looking for Clues
An opportunity to help children become more familiar with the Passion story.

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

Friday, April 7
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, April 8
To be “justified” is to be aligned with God; this activity helps us to visualize that.

Palm Sunday

Monday, April 10
Palm Weaving and Braiding
Tutorials on the popular custom of braiding and weaving palms for use in our homes (the domestic church).

Tuesday, April 11
Palm Crosses
A hands-on activity to help young people create crosses out of palms.

Wednesday, April 12
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 13
Triduum Triptychs
An activity from the Christ Our Life program inviting young people to design a triptych showing symbols of the Triduum.

Friday, April 14
The Passion and Resurrection Activity Centers
Invite young people to actively explore more deeply the story of Jesus’ Passion, Death, and Resurrection.

Saturday, April 15
Resurrection Eggs
Use Easter eggs to teach young people to recognize various elements of the Passion reading.

5 Comments on 40 Ideas for 40 Days

  1. This is incredible! Thank you so much. My catechists and I are very grateful that you have this resource ready and updated for this coming Lenten season. God bless you!

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