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43 Simple Lenten Activities for Families

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Looking for Lenten activities for families to make the Lenten season more meaningful? If so, this post is for you.

Ash Wednesday is fast approaching and it will be the beginning of Lent, a 40-day period of penitence and reflection leading up to Easter.

During Lent, families can practice a wide variety of Lenten activities designed to bring them closer together and honor the season.

Simple, Yet Meaningful Lenten Activities for Families

Here’s a list of simple lent activities for families that are very doable and meaningful:

1. Make a Lenten Calendar.

Making a Lenten calendar is an excellent way to plan and keep track of the special events and practices of the Lenten season.

It allows families to take part in meaningful activities in the parish, it can also serve as a reminder of the spiritual significance of the season, and the importance of spending quality time together.

Check out Catholic Icing if you’re looking for a free lenten calendar for kids.

2. Watch a religious movie.

It’s a simple idea: gather together family members and enjoy a wholesome movie night and choose a movie that’s age-appropriate for your kids.

It can also be a movie about a specific saint or a movie about Jesus.

3. Have fun with coloring pages.

Coloring pages related to Lent can be a great way to have fun as a family while observing Lent. With the help of printables and coloring pages, children can learn about the customs of Lent, such as fasting and abstaining from certain foods and activities.

Coloring pages can also help to bring a light-hearted and creative side to the season. The pages can be filled with symbols and imagery from the religious season, such as fish, crosses, and other religious symbols.

4. Practice meatless Friday.

Fridays during Lent are traditionally a day of abstinence from meat, so it’s a great time to explore different kinds of meals that don’t rely on animal products.

Eating a plant-based diet on Fridays of Lent is a great way to honor and practice the season. Choose from a variety of tasty, nutritious, and creative vegan meals that the whole family can enjoy.

This Lenten activity can also help to reduce your family’s carbon footprint and support the planet.

5. Initiate or participate food drive.

A food drive is another lenten activity that can provide help to those who are in need and make a positive contribution to the community. During this season of abstinence, families can come together to collect food donations and donate to local organizations or food banks.

photo of fruits, spaghetti pasta, tomatoes and other food with a box in the middle with the label food drive - as one of the lenten activities for families

This is a great way to teach your children the importance of giving back, as well as to show them the positive impact of charitable giving. Not only does it help those in need, but it also creates a sense of unity and solidarity within the family.

6. Participate in a lenten retreat.

Participating in a lenten retreat as a family is another way to get closer together and bond with other families. During the retreat, families can come together to attend mass and prayer services, learn about the customs of Lent, and discuss important topics related to faith.

A Lenten retreat can also provide an opportunity for families to reflect on their spiritual lives and share meaningful experiences. Families can also enjoy activities together, such as walks in nature, art projects, and creative writing.

7. Pray the Stations of the Cross together.

Praying the Stations of the Cross as a family is a powerful way to connect with Christ and meditate on his suffering and death.

8. Read and study the Bible.

Reading and studying the Bible as a family during Lent is a great way to learn more about God and His words. The New Testament is full of stories and teachings that can help bring meaning and perspective to your Lenten observance.

Take time to read and discuss the Bible together, and be sure to explore a variety of Bible verses related to Lent. It can also be an opportunity to teach and let your kids memorize a short Bible verse.

9. Spend an evening in Adoration.

Spending time in Adoration together can be a powerful way to experience God’s presence and to grow in your relationship with Him.

This is one of the things that I really want to do this Lent because the few times I was in adoration when I was still single, I’m sure I was not concentrating and didn’t understand yet the beauty and solemnity of it.

10. Attend Mass frequently.

Attending Mass as a family during Lent is a great way to deepen your spiritual commitment and focus on Jesus’ sacrifice. Allowing your family to attend Mass more than once a week throughout Lent will provide an opportunity to raise your spiritual awareness, reflect on the power of the Gospel, and celebrate the presence of God in your lives.

photo of the inside of the church with people attending mass to signify attending mass frequently - one of the lenten activities for families

Through Mass, your family can come together in a communal atmosphere of prayer and worship, learn more about the faith, and gain a deeper understanding of the teachings of Jesus.

Attending Mass will also demonstrate to your children the importance of religious observance and cultivate their spiritual growth.

11. Pray the Rosary together everyday.

Praying the rosary together as a family during Lent can be a powerful way to deepen your relationship with God by connecting with Mary and meditating on the mysteries of Christ’s life.

12. Learn more about a specific Saint.

Learning more about a specific saint during Lent can be the perfect time to learn more about the inspiring lives of the saints.

Pick a saint that you would like to learn more about and spend some time studying their life and works. Read books or biographies, watch films, and research online to gain a better understanding of the saint and their impact on the Church.

Your family can also visit churches dedicated to the saint and take part in devotions or prayer services. Through this, you will gain a better understanding of their holiness and might find a connection between their life and your own.

13. Have a daily prayer time.

Aside from praying the Rosary everyday, having a designated prayer time everyday can help to create a space where everyone can come together to pray, seek God’s guidance, and share their joys and concerns.

14. Make a prayer box.

The idea of a prayer box is where the family can put their prayer requests for each other and for other people and pray the petitions one by one during Lent. It is also a good idea to keep track of answered prayers.

15. Go on a pilgrimage.

Going on a pilgrimage as a family during Lent can be a great way to deepen your spiritual connection with God and each other. The pilgrimage does not have to be a far destination from home. It can be as simple as taking a walk or a short drive to your nearest Church or visiting a shrine or place of worship.

photo of a father and his son lighting candle to offer to the altar on their pilgrimage - another family activity during Lent
Lighting a candle on a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Meritxell.

My family loves going to Catholic destinations and we are planning to go to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes once again this coming Lent. Hopefully, it will push through (last year’s plan was canceled since we got infected with Covid19.

16. Make a prayer wall.

A prayer wall is the same concept as the prayer box, but instead of putting the petitions on a box, you paste them on the wall, so it’s easier for all to see. If visitors are coming to your home, also ask them to post prayer requests on the wall, so your can family can pray for them.

17. Write a prayer journal.

Writing a prayer journal as a family during Lent is an effective way to track your spiritual progress, reflect on your lenten journey, and express your thoughts and feelings while deepening your spiritual connection with God.

It can provide an opportunity to write down prayers, document answered prayers, and practice gratitude.

18. Spend time in silent prayer.

Spending time in silent prayer is a powerful way to connect with God and to experience His presence. It can provide an opportunity to listen to His voice and to become aware of His presence in our lives.

19. Say a prayer before and after meals. 

Taking the time to pause and say a prayer before and after meals is a meaningful way to express our gratitude for the food we have and to remember that everything we have comes from God’s grace.

It can also be a reminder to be mindful of what we eat and to practice moderation when it comes to food.

20. Give up sweets. 

Giving up sweets, especially chocolate, is one of the most common things that people do during Lent. Cutting out sweets is an opportunity to practice self-discipline and be more aware of our desires, and focus on the joy and peace that comes from following God’s will.

It can also be a reminder to focus on spiritual matters, and be mindful of our health, and can be a way to show that we are willing to sacrifice something of our own in order to draw closer to God.

21. Give up soft drinks and other beverages. 

Just like sweets, abstaining from soft drinks and other beverages like alcohol and beer (especially for parents) can be an effective way to practice self-discipline and self-control and focus on the joy and peace that comes from following God’s will.

22. Have no TV or video game days. 

I find it impossible for my family to have no TV (though we seldom watch) or video for the kids (cocomelon and others) for the entire 40 days, but 5 days or more of no TV or video spread throughout the entire lenten season is doable, in my opinion. Decide on whatever is good for your family.

23. Have no radio days.

If your family loves listening to the radio, it’s another thing to give up for some days during Lent.

24. Give up social media.

Giving up social media during Lent can be a challenge, but also an opportunity for personal growth and closeness with God. Taking a break from the constant barrage of notifications, posts, and messages can help us to appreciate the present moment, reconnect with our faith, and truly appreciate the presence of those around us.

I haven’t done this before and thinking of doing it this year, though not fully, because I still need to have messenger since it’s my way of communicating with my family in the Philippines.

25. Go to confession together. 

Cleansing our souls during Lent through confession is an important part of the spiritual journey for us Catholics. It is a way to reflect on our sins and shortcomings and allow God to forgive us and cleanse us of our sins. It is a chance to draw closer to God and to be reconciled with Him.

By attending confession, we can become more aware of our weaknesses and failings and strive to be better, more loving people. Through confession, we can renew our faith, and prepare our hearts for Easter.

26. Serve others with acts of kindness. 

Serving others with acts of kindness this Lent is an important way to live out the teachings of Jesus and to show our love for God and our neighbors.

It can take many forms, from simple acts of kindness like holding the door open for someone, saying something kind and nice, to more involved gestures like offering to help someone in need.

As we serve others, we are reminded of the love of God and the importance of being generous and kind.

27. Donate to a charity of your choice. 

A charity donation during Lent is a great way to give back and show your commitment to caring for those in need.

Not only will your donation help to provide essential aid to those in need, but it will also remind you to reflect on your own blessings and to be mindful of the importance of generosity and compassion.

photo of a donation jar with coins and a heart beside the jar and a paper with the word donate - to signify making a donation as one of the lenten activities for families

Your kids will surely be excited to give up their favorite snacks or other wants knowing that the money that will be saved will be given to a charity to help others in need.

28. Visit a home for the elderly.

During Lent, a visit to an elderly home can be a powerful reminder of the importance of selflessness, compassion, and love. Spending time with them, listening to their stories, and helping them in any way you can, is a wonderful way to show your love and appreciation for them.

It is also a way to reflect on our own mortality and to remember that life is precious and that we should make the most of it.

29. Spend time volunteering in your community.

We can find volunteer opportunities in our local area that fit with our family’s interests and abilities, such as helping out in a food bank, running errands for elderly people, or assisting with a community cleanup project.

It can be a valuable experience for our children to learn about the importance of helping others and giving back to our community.

30. Make an almsgiving box to collect donations for charity.   

Making an almsgiving box together can be a fun and creative activity for the whole family. The idea is to set up a box in your home and fill it with coins or other donations.

Every week, you and your family can add to the box and when Lent is over, you can donate the money to a charity of your choice.

31. Spend a day in silence to reflect on the Lenten season. 

This exercise teaches us to reflect on our inner lives, our thoughts, and our feelings without any distractions. It is a time to listen to our inner voices, to be still, and to be mindful of our own thoughts and feelings. It can be a very powerful and humbling experience and can bring us closer to God.

Though this is very challenging if you have small kids like us, we can still give it a try.:)

32. Visit a prison and pray for those who are incarcerated. 

Visiting a prison to pray for those who are incarcerated is an important way to show our compassion and to remember those who are suffering and struggling in their lives.

It is a powerful reminder to pray for those who have made mistakes and to remember that God’s love and mercy are available to all. Praying for those who are in prison can be a meaningful way to show our love for our neighbor and to reflect on our own need for mercy and grace.

33. Take part in the Holy Week and other Lenten activities in your parish.

The Holy Week is the most important part of the Lenten season. It is a time when Christians commemorate and reflect on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Participating in activities and ceremonies in your parish is a great way to honor and remember the life and death of Jesus. Through these activities, we can renew our faith, pray for those in need, and seek to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

34. Pray for the Church and its leaders. 

Praying for the Church and its leaders not only during Lent is an opportunity to remember and to give thanks for all the work that the Church does, and to show our support for its mission and goals.

Praying for our Church leaders can also be a way to show our trust in God and our belief that His will can be seen in the work of the Church. We can also pray for guidance and strength for Church leaders as they lead us in our spiritual journey.

35. Make a lenten wreath for your home. 

The circular shape of the wreath symbolizes eternity and the ever-lasting love of God. It is traditionally decorated with purple or violet ribbons or other symbols of the Lenten season such as a cross or an empty tomb.

It can be hung on a door or wall to remind us of the Lenten journey and of our need to seek God’s love and grace.

36. Light a candle every night.

A lighted candle can be a symbol of the light of Christ that shines in the darkness and reminds us of God’s love and presence in our lives.

Lighting a candle each night can also be a way to focus our attention on prayer, remember the people we love, and give thanks for the blessings we have received.

37. Donate unused things.

Donating unused things in your home through decluttering during Lent is another way of showing generosity and gratitude. It is an opportunity to let go of things that are no longer needed and to give them to those who are in need.

photo of toys inside a bag after decluttering kids' toys and will be donated to other kids with less

Decluttering can also help us focus on what is truly important in our lives and to cultivate a spirit of simplicity and gratitude.

38. Learn a new prayer.

Lent is the perfect time to learn a new prayer as a family. It can also provide us with new insights and perspectives, and help us to build a closer relationship with God.

Learning a new prayer during Lent is a way to deepen our spiritual connection with God and to open our hearts to his love and grace.

39. Start a new devotion.

There are a lot of devotions available for the faithful, and Lent is the perfect time to start one with your entire family. We started our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 2021 and hope to start this Lent the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

40. Make a Lenten altar in your home. 

You can create an altar in your home with items that represent the season of Lent such as a crucifix, candles, scripture, or a symbol of sacrifice. It can also be a place to bring your intentions and petitions to the Lord, and to give thanks for His mercy and grace.

41. Visit a hospital or someone sick.

Visiting a hospital or someone who is sick is an important part of living out the Lenten season. It is a way to show love and compassion to those who are suffering and to bring Jesus’s healing presence to those in need. It can also be an opportunity to offer prayers of comfort and healing.

42. Share a meal with the homeless.

Buy a meal for a random homeless person on the street. It is also an opportunity to foster relationships with members of the community and to show compassion and kindness to those who are struggling.

43. Bake hot cross buns.

Hot cross buns are a type of bread traditionally eaten during Lent. They are made with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg and topped with a cross made of icing or pastry as a symbol of the crucifixion of Jesus and are often shared with family and friends as a sign of Christian unity.

Hoping to be able to bake hot cross buns for the first time this year’s lenten season.

Final Thoughts: Lenten Activities for Families

Lent is a special season of repentance, reflection, and growth. It is a time for us to come together as a family to honor and deepen our relationship with God. Through prayer, fasting, acts of charity, and spiritual practices, we can journey together through this season and emerge with a renewed spirit and a closer bond with each other and the Lord.

One thing for sure is that Lent is a time for families to come together and practice the spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

May the different lenten activities for families help our families find joy, peace, and renewal during this very important season of our faith.

43 simple Lenten activities for families

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