Preparing Sunday School Activities for Children During Lent
Lent: The Lead-up to Easter
The Southern Hemisphere Christmas holiday and long summer vacation is over and the children are back at school. If you haven't done so before, now is a good time to plan for some special Sunday School activities during the coming year. How can you try to ensure that this will be the most exciting and memorable time for your children?
Very shortly, Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent will be upon us and we need to be ready for the season that leads up to Easter.
1. Special Events Leading Up to Easter
You may, or may not already have a series of lessons that you plan to teach during the year. If you have them, they will be a good guide for your choice of activities, but if not, you can still look at the special events in the church calendar for the year. You may like to celebrate some of the Saints' Days; you could begin with St. Paul's Day on January 15, and, of course there is the ever popular St. Valentine's Day on February 14.
The 'forty days' of Lent begin with Ash Wednesday on February 22, a great day to be thinking about what Ash Wednesday and Lent really mean. If your church uses liturgical colours, it will now change to purple. Palm Sunday is on April 1, Good Friday on April 6, followed by the wonderful celebration of Easter Day on 6th, which probably means it is also Term One school holidays.
2. Some Suggested Activities
a. Lent: I remember going to a church service at the beginning of Lent in Florida some years ago. The lady Minister doing the Children's talk asked the children:
"What are you going to give up for Lent?"
One little girl was waving her hand wildly: "I'll give up my brother!"
To be serious:
1. Discuss with the children some things we can do to remind us of wrong things we may have done or said and how to rectify them, e.g. write a letter of apology to a friend.
2. A graphic way of discussing the breaking a commandment: draw or find a picture of a lovely scene, glue it onto card, make it into a simple jigsaw (how we break the rules and how God can help us to put things right).
3. Use the Gospel of the day for drama or dance.
b. Palm Sunday: Join with the church in the Palm Sunday procession - make sure there are enough palm branches for all the children. Using costumes can also add to the atmosphere.
c. Good Friday: Help the children to make an outdoor Stations of the Cross. Have a previously prepared wooden cross that is not too heavy for a child to carry. Walk the Stations, stopping at each one for a brief Bible reading by one of the children, or to sing a verse or two of an appropriate song.
d. Easter Day: Help the children to make a garden tomb in a sand-tray or in a garden outdoors. The children could dress in simple costumes and act out the people's reactions on finding the tomb empty.
More Christian Ideas for Children
- Children and Easter
A Christian walk through sharing with children about Easter, beginning with Ash Wednesday and ending at Easter Day.
- Christmas Bible Study for Kids
Christmas holidays provide a good opportunity for parents to share Bible Study with their children. The Christmas story is a great way to start. There are suggestions for Bible Study activities with both younger and older children.