Lenten Paper Chain
All this past week I’ve been thinking and thinking about how to help the kids observe the Lenten season. I felt like they were too young to give something up for 40 days, but I want to include them in on this special season. Then it hit me- what about a paper chain that includes an activity/question/prayer for the day? Just as Advent is a time of waiting for God, Lent is too. While they have different feelings associated with the waiting, I thought that doing a paper chain would be a good way for the kids to visually see us getting closer to the time of Jesus’ resurrection.
Here are the things I put on our chains. Feel free to use whichever ideas you like; I’m not 100% satisfied with all of them, but I think it’ll be good for this year. Please leave a comment with any ideas you come up with to replace some of the ones that aren’t as strong.
1. Color a picture about Ash Wednesday. Talk about the general overview of the Lenten season.
2. Talk about a time when you had to wait a long time for something. Was it hard? What did you do while you waited?
3. Fill a cup with beans and place a clear jar next to it. Every time you pray for yourself or someone, put a bean in the jar (then, at the end of the 40 days, replace each bean with a piece of candy!)
4. Memorize Psalm 27.14
5. Draw/write a prayer to God in your prayer journal.
6. Eat only bread for your morning snack today and pray for those who don’t have enough food.
7. Try hard to practice patience today. When you feel like being impatient, talk to God about it.
8. Pray for each other.
9. Make cookies or muffins for someone and deliver them.
10. Take a picture of something that brightens your day and email it to someone you love.
11. Secretly do something kind for someone today.
12. Make a paper/playdoh caterpillar and wrap it in a “cocoon”. Wait to see what happens in the days to come! (At the end of the 40 days, replace the caterpillar with a butterfly).
13. Wrap up in a blanket, pretending to be a caterpillar going into a cocoon.
14. Pray for our neighbors.
15. Choose one toy to give to someone who doesn’t have many toys.
16. Listen to a worship song and draw a picture for God.
17. Make a card for someone you love.
18. Walk outside and pray to God while you walk.
19. Plant flowers!
20. Give up wii today and every time you want to play, ask God to help you depend on Him more.
21. Make a list of five things you are grateful for.
22. Make up a song to sing to God.
23. Do an extra job around the house to earn money to send to a missionary.
24. Pick up trash in our neighborhood.
25. Say three things you think is really great about your brother/sister(s).
26. Trace our hands and decorate. What does it mean to lend a helping hand?
27. Act out ways we can help others. [set up scenes for them to get started]
28. Make up a dance for God today!
29. Make palm branches out of construction paper. Read Matthew 21.1-11
30. Smell some great smells. Read John 12.2-8
31. Make soft pretzels (“bread”). Read Matthew 26.17-19
32. Count out 30 silver coins. Read Matthew 27.3
33. Make a small wooden cross (or paper one). Read John 19.17
34. Color/make a small crown of thorns. Read John 19.2
35. Cut out patches of burlap. Read John 19.23
36. Nail three nails into styrofoam. Read John 19.18,37; John 20.25-29
37. Cut pieces of sponge. Read Matthew 27.34
38. Make balls of cinnamon dough. Read John 19.40
39. Find a small round stone (or make one out of clay). Read John 20.1
40. Cover ourselves with toilet paper and rip out! Read John 20.6-7
**Note that the 40 days does not include Sundays, as those are “mini-Resurrection celebrations.”