With Easter just days away, Lent is almost over, and I'm sorry I didn't get this posted sooner. But here are a bunch of low cost or free activities to do with your family if you're observing Lent, and honestly, most of them are also great any time even for people who don't observing Lent.
Are you looking for something to do with your kids during Lent? It can be hard to keep them entertained without breaking the bank. Don't worry - we've got you covered! We've compiled a list of 17 free or cheap things to do with your kids that will provide plenty of fun without spending too much. From outdoor activities, educational projects and even doing meditation for kids, there's an activity for every family in this list.
But, before we go through our recommended activities, what is this season really all about?
Season of Reflection
Lent is a period of 40 days, preceding Easter Sunday. It's a time to reflect on one’s faith and spiritual journey. Catholics and some Protestant church denominations observe Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Saturday—the day before Easter. During this period, fasting and prayer are encouraged in order to focus attention on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Many people give something up for Lent as a way of honoring the season. This could be food, social media, or another activity that takes someone away from their spiritual journey. Some families use Lent as an opportunity to do things with their kids that can bring them closer together and help them appreciate their faith more deeply.
There are plenty of free or inexpensive activities that children can participate in that will make the season meaningful for them and afford parents an enjoyable way to spend quality time with their children during this special period.
Preparing For The Season
Preparing for Lent can be an enjoyable experience to share with your children. There are a few simple steps to take in order to make the most out of this holy season.
Now that you have prepared for Lent, it is time to start planning activities that can be done with your kids. Here are some free or cheap activities to do with your kids during Lent:
One of the best ways to get your kids outside is by going for a nature walk. You do not need any special equipment or supplies and you can explore different areas in your neighborhood, city, or nearby forests. Talk about what you see and encourage your kids to take pictures of plants, animals, and other natural features they come across.
Another fun outdoor activity is geocaching. It is an adventure game that uses GPS-enabled devices like smartphones to find hidden containers called geocaches. There are usually logbooks inside these containers which participants sign when they find them. Geocaching can make exploring outdoors more exciting and engaging as you look for clues and solve puzzles along the way.
Indoor activities are a great way to pass time with your kids during Lent. Crafting is one of the most popular indoor activities to do with your children. You can buy craft kits at local stores or online, or you can get creative and make crafts out of everyday items like construction paper, glue, and markers.
If you're feeling adventurous, try making something edible like cookies or cupcakes with your child. You can also encourage them to paint a picture or draw something special for someone in their life.
Playing board games and card games is another fun activity that you can do as a family. Not only will it be enjoyable for everyone involved, but it'll also help teach your kids valuable skills such as strategy, problem solving, and teamwork. Plus, there are plenty of board games that are suitable for all ages so everyone can join in the fun!
You can also try playing charades or doing puzzles together. Charades is an especially great game because it requires no supplies and gets everyone laughing! Puzzles are great too because they provide an opportunity for educational development while also being entertaining.
Arts & Crafts
Moving on from indoor activities, there are plenty of arts and crafts that can be done with your kids during Lent. Not only is it a great way to keep them entertained, but it's also a wonderful opportunity for creative expression. Plus, with so many free or cheap materials available, it won't break the bank!
Making homemade cards is a great way to get creative with your kids. All you need is paper, markers or crayons, glue sticks, scissors and any other craft materials you have lying around the house. Depending on their age, they can make cards for family members or friends. You can even get them to write out their own Easter message!
Another fun activity to do with your kids is making seasonal decorations. It could be something simple like decorating paper eggs or creating an Easter wreath out of pipe cleaners and tissue paper flowers. This type of craft activity not only keeps them engaged for hours but also helps bring some color into your home during the season.
Journaling is a great activity to do with your kids during Lent. It can help them reflect on their spiritual journey and also provide an outlet for creative expression. You don't need to spend money on fancy supplies; just grab a notebook or some paper, some colored pencils or markers, and you're good to go.
Start by talking to your kids about what they might want to write in their journals. Ask them questions like: What are your hopes for this Lenten season? How do you feel about giving something up for Lent? What have been the most difficult things about Lent for you so far? Encourage them to think deeply and express themselves honestly. If you run out of ideas to write about, use this list of 75 journal prompts for kids.
You can even make journaling into a family activity by creating a "Lenten journal" together. Have everyone contribute a page of thoughts, prayers, drawings, or whatever else they want to include. This can be an opportunity for meaningful conversations and lasting memories as well as a nice way to document the family's journey through Lent.
Lent is a great time for kids to explore their culinary skills. Invite them to help with meal prepping and creating snacks. This will teach them the basics of cooking, while sparking their creativity. For example, they can make simple dishes like omelets, sandwiches, pizzas and salads together. They can also take it up a notch by learning how to bake cakes and cookies.
Get creative with the ingredients you use. Incorporate vegetables into recipes that your kids may not usually eat. Show them how versatile fruits and vegetables can be when used in different recipes. You could even teach them how to make healthy versions of junk food like fries, burgers or tacos.
Help your kids get involved in grocery shopping too! Take them along on your next trip to the store so that they can pick out their own ingredients and learn more about nutrition labels. Try to find local produce whenever possible and talk to your children about where it comes from and why it's important to shop locally grown food.
Family Movie Night
Family movie night is a great way to spend time together during Lent. It’s cheap, and you don’t have to leave the house! Pop some popcorn, grab your favorite snacks and drinks, and settle in for a cozy night. Let your kids pick out their favorite movie – it doesn’t even have to be religious! They can pick something funny or a classic they enjoy.
Take the time during the movie to talk about what you’re seeing on screen. Ask questions like “What do you think will happen next?” or “Why do you think that character made that decision?” This encourages critical thinking and gets everyone involved in the story. It also offers an opportunity to discuss values like courage, sacrifice, or kindness that may feature in the narrative.
Afterwards, let each family member share their favorite part of the movie and why they liked it. You can also talk about how this relates back to Lenten themes such as repentance or charity if appropriate. Taking the time for these conversations strengthens relationships between family members and helps them grow closer together. All of this without breaking the bank!
Educational Games & Projects
One of the best ways to keep your kids entertained during Lent is by engaging them in educational games and projects. There are a ton of free and cheap resources available online that can be used to keep your children occupied. From virtual field trips to creating DIY art projects, there's something for every child. Depending on the age and interest of your child, you can customize activities to fit their needs.
For younger kids, there are plenty of interactive games that help teach basic concepts like math, science, and reading comprehension. These games can be downloaded onto computers or mobile devices and are usually very affordable. Older kids might enjoy trying out virtual experiments or exploring different cultures through travel-based activities. With the right resources, these activities can be both fun and educational at the same time.
No matter what kind of activity you choose for your child during Lent, it's important to make sure they understand that learning is still happening even when it looks like playtime. Encouraging them to think critically about new ideas and express themselves creatively will help build their confidence as well as their overall academic skill set over time.
Storytelling & Poetry Reading
Another way to keep your kids entertained and engaged during Lent is by engaging in storytelling and poetry reading. Storytelling is a great way to stimulate imagination, creativity, and language development.
Through storytelling, kids can explore different worlds, characters, and situations that they may not otherwise experience. Poetry reading can help children develop an appreciation for literature as well as develop their own writing skills. Reading poetry together can also be a bonding experience with your child.
Start by picking out stories or poems that resonate with your child’s interests or age level. You can find free resources online like short stories, fairy tales, classic novels or poems from famous poets. There are also great books filled with stories specifically designed to inspire young minds. Once you have the story or poem picked out, try to make it interactive by asking questions about the story and discussing the characters’ motivations or emotions. You can also encourage your kid to create their own story based on what they’ve heard or read!
By creating a special storytelling or poetry reading session for them every day during Lent, you will be providing your child with quality time while helping them expand their knowledge and creativity. It will become something they look forward to each day!
Gardening projects are a great way to spend quality time with your kids during Lent. Not only will it bring out the creative side of them, but you can also teach them about nature and how to take care of plants. And it doesn't have to be expensive either! You can start small with some herb or vegetable seeds, or even just some houseplants. All you need is a pot, soil, and a sunny spot.
Once you've got the basics down, you can let your kids pick out the types of plants they want to grow. Whether it's flowers, fruits, or vegetables - make sure they understand the importance of watering regularly and giving it enough sunlight. And don't forget that gardening is an ongoing process - there's always something new to learn each season!
If your kids are getting bored of gardening at home, take them out for a hike in the woods and show them how different plants look in their natural habitats. Seeing all the different species in their own environment will help your kids appreciate its beauty even more.
Board Games & Puzzles
Moving on from gardening projects, board games and puzzles are a great way to entertain and engage kids during the Lenten season. These activities can be done at home or in the backyard and provide a fun, interactive experience that allows parents to bond with their children. With a variety of available options, it's easy to find something suitable for any age group.
Creative board games offer an educational opportunity as well as entertainment. Games such as Scrabble, Yahtzee, Monopoly, and Clue let children practice skills like problem-solving, strategy-building, counting money, and basic math. Additionally they help develop social skills like communication and teamwork while allowing them to have fun with family members.
Puzzles come in many shapes and sizes so there is something for everyone. Jigsaw puzzles are especially good for young children as they help improve hand-eye coordination and visual perception skills.
For older kids, 3D puzzles are available which require more concentration and skill to build. They’re great for building problem solving abilities as well as patience! No matter what age your child is, board games and puzzles can make for an enjoyable activity during Lent that won't break the bank.
Scavenger hunts can be a great way to keep kids entertained during Lent. They provide hours of excitement and exploration, allowing children to engage with the world around them in imaginative ways. Scavenger hunts can be tailored to any age group and offer endless possibilities for fun.
Local Attractions & Events
Local attractions and events offer a great way to entertain your kids during Lent. Many churches host events for families to enjoy, such as potluck suppers or movies. You can also find other fun activities at local libraries, parks, and community centers. These events often don’t cost anything, but they do require some research ahead of time to make sure you know what’s available.
Most cities also have plenty of free or low-cost attractions that are great for entertaining kids during Lent. Take them to the zoo or a museum, or explore the outdoors with a nature walk or hike in a nearby park. If your budget allows, you can also look into visiting an amusement park or theater performance.
Lent is a great time to spend quality time with your family, and there are plenty of fun and inexpensive activities you can do with your kids. Whether it's taking a nature walk, creating a craft project, or going on an outing to a local attraction, there are lots of ways to make the most of Lent.
It's important to remember that Lent is not just about giving up things; it's also about spending time with loved ones and reflecting on the importance of faith. By taking advantage of some free or low-cost activities, you can make this Lenten season extra special for everyone in your family. And if all else fails, a game night never hurt anyone!
So take some time during this Lenten season to connect with your children and create memories that will last a lifetime. It doesn't have to cost anything at all — just use your imagination and get creative! With some patience and planning, you can have an unforgettable Lenten experience with your kids that will stay with them forever.
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