40 Ways for 40 Days

Lent 2017 best links

Lots of Links for Lenten Activities, Catholic Crafts and Family Traditions:

Lent Printables

Printables for a Prayerful Lent! **2017 Update**


Countdown through LENT

Lent Quest Paper Chain1. Stepping Stones through Jesus’ Life: Step through the key moments of Jesus’ Life as presented through Scripture.

2. Lenten Calendar:  The Lenten version of the Advent Calendar, this banner or pocket-filled poster offers a Scriptural quote or reflection, virtue taught by Jesus or a moment from his life, represented through Bible verses, drawings or small props.

3. Lent Quest Cathletics Craft Kit:  This Catholic Printable offers THREE sets of paper chain links: Prayer and family challenges, Catechism facts and Saint bios. Add a link or remove a link, counting down to Easter!

Add a little…

Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

4. PRAYER! The All Season Prayer Bank offers over 74 prayers plus templates for your own…to help you build your repertoire of prayers as a family! Do you forget to pray? Have you heard about the Prompt Me to Pray Prayer? Probably not, I made it up, but you can read about what I discovered.

Have you considered praying out loud, spontaneously, as a family?

5. Have you considered adding a daily Family Rosary? Here are a couple practical crafts to help you and kids of all ages: Prayer Petal Flowers and Revolving Rosary.

6. Mass, Adoration: Consider adding a weekday Mass or Adoration if your parish has it!

7. Spiritual Reading, Lent Reflections, Spiritual Podcasts: Sign up for Fr Barron’s Lent Reflections

8. Scripture Memorizing: a passage a day? Here are 32 Ways to Memorize Scripture

9. Attitude of Gratitude: Count our Blessings Book, Gratitude Jar

10. Family Dinner Dialogue: Have you seen our Conversation Pieces Printable?

11. Exercise

12. Driving, when you could walk

 Give a Little

13. 40 Bags in 40 Days: Purge the toy bin and the clothes closets and fill big garbage bags with donations to the poor.

14. 30 Pieces of Silver: Collect coins throughout Lent to donate to the Church or to the poor by Easter. Some families make a coin donation mandatory for slips in Lenten resolutions while others encourage free will offerings.

15. Service: Food Bank, Nursing Home visits, volunteer to do another’s chores, cook for shut-ins, shoveling snow or yard work for neighbors

16. Compliment someone every day


17. Simple Dinners: Give up the fancy dinners, fast food or favorites in favor of simpler, cheaper meals…maybe limited to the non-perishable stock in your cupboard. Donate the money you save to the poor!

18. Social Media Blackout: Return to a simpler time…turn your back on facebook, twitter or pinterest…instagram, tumblr and whatever social media you are drawn to that takes a lot of your time.  Reserve cellphones and texting for necessary or emergency logistics only.

19. Television/ Movies Blackout:  Read, talk and play board games or make crafts…enjoy family activities without resorting to television or movies. ~OR~ Select only Faith-filled or inspiring movies conducive to a Holy Lent.

20. Food / Drink Favorites:  There are always the classic food or drinks or treats that many people give up for Lent: coffee, chocolate, dessert, munchies, soda pop…What do you need to give up?

21. Gripes or Gossip: Refrain from negative conversation, particularly gripes or gossip or criticism that is not constructive or lovingly articulated.

22. Music: in car, ipod…Foster family conversation or prayerful meditation in place of default music in the car or on ipods. ~OR~ Consider spiritual podcasts or God music…Christian music or hymns.

Weight of the Cross

A Look at our Sin

23. Sacrament of Reconciliation: have you seen the Reconciliation Printable?

24. Crown of Thorns Made of a dough braid with holes for toothpicks, this table centerpiece collects thorns with each of our transgressions or each slip or fail in our Lenten resolutions. Good deeds and extra prayers warrant the removal of the toothpick thorns, eventually filling the holes with flowers in time for Easter. I have been told that my crown of thorns picture is actually offensive and looks like blood sausage with fried onion rings. yuck. You don’t have to look here if you don’t want to.

25. Weight of the Cross and the Heart Cross Banner offer ways to express or represent our sins…or times we falter in our Lenten resolutions.  We recognize Jesus’ Mercy and Love for us and we do good deeds and say extra prayers out of love for Him.

Good Deeds

Bean Jar

26. Bean Jar:  A bean is placed in a jar or vase as each good deed is carried out. It makes for a stark centerpiece on the dinner table, but a good reminder of our Lenten resolutions and incentive to keep them. Imagine when the kidney beans are replaced with Jelly Beans on Easter Sunday morning!

27. Good Deed Beads Bracelet Inspired by St Therese, this little string of beads is used to keep track of good deeds, extra prayers and sacrifices. The beads slide and stay in place. After counting 10, slide the beads in the other direction to start again!

We also have an upscale suede cord Good Deed Bead Bracelet that even adults wear!

28. Blessing Eggs: Similar to the Advent Family mailbox Wreath, little messages of love, compliments and recorded good deeds are collected within the little eggs addressed to each member of the family …and opened up and shared on Easter Sunday.


passion play pegs

Walk with Jesus

29. Jesus Tree: similar to the Jesse Tree, ornaments are made to reflect different events in Jesus’ Life or virtues taught by His Actions and His Words. Make sure you are subscribed to get a look at mine as soon as it’s ready!

30. Passion of Christ Egg Ornaments from Jesse Tree Treasures (Review coming soon!)

31. Passion Play Peg People Set the stage for acting out the Passion of Jesus with peg people Jesus, the Apostles, Mother Mary, Pontius Pilate and some guards. The Ice Cream Tub Tomb doubles as a backdrop and storage container.

**2015 Update**Painted Saints Passion Play

32. Prepare the Resurrection Eggs: You will find lots of tutorials online for making your set of Resurrection Eggs…and I think you can even buy them readymade. Colored Plastic Easter Eggs are used to hold different items representing the Passion of Christ, helping us to reflect on the events of Holy Week and the Easter Triduum.

33. Prepare for this Simplified Seder Supper for Holy Thursday. Recall our Jewish heritage through reflection of the Passover while relating it to The Last Supper. Free Printable!

Stations of the Cross


34. Stations of the Cross Prayer Carousel Display the Stations of the Cross in this simple spinning carousel. It doesn’t take up a lot of space and offers an awesome Lenten centerpiece for the table.



**2016 Update** Stations of the Cross Carousel: Kelly Saints!

** 2017 Update  Easy as Abacus Stations of the Cross

Craft Kit includes Stations of the Cross and Divine Mercy!

35. Stations of the Cross Ornaments from Jesse Tree Treasures (Review coming soon!)

36. Grotto Craft (Illuminated Ink): I have seen a number of crafts using classic Stations of the Cross images and presenting them in little wooden frames or grottos. My set is from Illuminated Ink. The Craft Kit is a little pricey and time consuming, but we made our set and will keep it forever.

stations illuminated ink

37. Stations of the Cross at Church Take your own tour in off-hours or attend the official Stations of the Cross at your parish.

Lent Decor

38. Hide the Alleluia Did you notice that the Alleluia is missing at Mass during Lent? Some families make big letters (or paint wood letters) spelling Alleluia and hide them throughout Lent until the big reveal at Easter!


39. Shroud Jesus Art and Crucifixes: in keeping with the solemn nature of Lent culminating with the death of Jesus on Good Friday, religious artwork (with Jesus in it) and crucifixes around the house can be covered with purple material during Lent….just like at Church on Good Friday. This makes for a dramatic change at Easter with artwork restored and Easter decorations and flowers reflecting the celebration in the house!

40. Collect last year’s palms for a table centerpiece.  Low key décor helps to remind and reinforce the Lenten theme. Don’t throw out old palms, because they are blessed! They can be buried or burned. We’ll get fresh palms on Palm Sunday!

What did I miss?

What is YOUR Lenten Tradition?

Please share in the comments!




  1. Fabulous list. Another one I am saving for next year. Thank you.

  2. Wow. You’re a warrior. You actually listed 40 ways!!! There’s no way anyone who comes here will ever leave without taking something useful. Great work!

    But I think my favorite here is the “Weight of the Cross” box. It’s really hard to let little ones understand sin. I think that something more explicit and visual like will help them see just what sin does to our soul. Thanks for the idea!

  3. Thanks for the diverse ideas. The only other thing our family does during Lent that you don’t mention is to add more silence in the house. During our evening prayer together, we pause for at least one minute to be in silence together. (One minute seems like a long time!)

  4. Thanks for setting up this Keep Love in Lent, connection for Catholic bloggers. I am still new to blogging and have so much to learn. I appreciate all the creative ideas, websites and voices. Peggy

  5. So many awesome ideas to truly delve into the Lenten season full-force! I love the idea of the Conversation Starters for the dinner table – not just for Lent, but year-round. We so often find ourselves eating at the sofa, rather than the table since it’s just the two of us, but this idea could really bring us back to the dining room!

  6. Wow! These are great ideas for Lent! My favorite was The Stations of the Cross Prayer Carousel – loved it! The same with the Rosary Carousel! And thank you, I was not aware that the old palms could be buried – I like this idea better than burning them.

  7. Well, I have just been having a ball here…
    I love that I can pick and choose from such a great library of Lenten ideas!
    I really love the Passion Play Peg People; I think I am addicted to making them! I am going to make a set for my niece.
    The Weight of the Cross activity will be one that I add this year – I like the symbolism and reminders. Thank you for organizing everything, Monica!

    • Thanks so much, Valerie! I’m so glad to hear that you are enjoying the listing of Lenten ideas! I’d love to see a picture of your Passion Play Peg People when you have finished them!

  8. Finally have a chance to relax and visit…wow, SO many fantastic ideas here!
    I don’t know which I love best!

    Both Stations activities…at 34 and 36…love them….how awesome! And wrapping the crucifix…I’ve never seen that. What a beautiful symbolic thing to do during Lent!

    And the weight of the cross activity….how unique….I’m off to click over and read more on that one. I think I’ll do that with the kids. You’re definitely my go to source for all things creative, friend!

    Thanks for sharing!!

  9. Wow, I am really impressed with this list! There are so many good ideas on it. I think my kids would be really motivated by the bean jar and walking when we could drive. Thanks for the great ideas!

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