Holy Week for Kids: Activities and Ideas for Celebrating Holy Week with Children

Holy Week for Kids: Table of Contents:

While egg hunts remain popular in the lead-up to Easter, there are more meaningful ways to engage with your family and observe Holy Week with little ones.

Help your kids prepare their hearts for Easter by participating in Holy Week activities rooted in the sacraments and the rich liturgical tradition of the Triduum.

Make Palm Sunday Crosses

Begin Holy Week by turning palms from Palm Sunday Mass into beautiful crosses with the help of your little ones.

Even if you don’t consider yourself much of a crafts person, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to turn a single palm into a small cross.

Arlington Catholic Herald has a helpful video that shows how, in less than two minutes, you can transform a palm into a cross with about nine easy folds.

Prepare Kids to Attend Confession

Holy Week is one of the most popular times of the year that people receive the sacrament of Reconciliation. On the Wednesday of Holy Week, many parishes offer special times for people to attend confession. In fact, more people visit Hallow’s guide to confession on this day than any other day of the year. 

The sacrament of Reconciliation is great for people of (most) ages, including children who have already made their first confession.

Inside of the Hallow app, we offer resources for confession preparation specific to children ages 7-13 and a separate guide for older teens. Each of these focuses on the examination of conscience.

Listen to Through Their Eyes (Triduum for Kids)

Many children are familiar with Easter but may have less understanding of the entire Triduum. 

Lean into observing the entire Triduum and help children gain an appreciation for the unique, beautiful liturgies of the season.

Hallow is excited to release Through Their Eyes, a radio drama mini-series to immerse you and your family in the very heart of Christ, through the eyes of those who knew Him best:

It might be hard to attend the Easter Vigil, which begins after sunset and often lasts several hours, with little ones. However, each episode of Through Their Eyes runs between 25-30 minutes and are recommended for children ages 8+.

Attend a Holy Thursday Mass

The Triduum begins with Holy Thursday, the celebration of the Last Supper and one of the most unique liturgies of the year.

Kids who have never attended the services may be struck by the powerful symbolism of the priest leading the foot washing and the altar being stripped at the end of Mass.

The liturgy is also typically not as long as the Easter Vigil, so it could be an easy way to introduce kids to the Triduum–and the beautiful liturgies it contains before Easter Sunday.

Pray the Stations of the Cross

Praying the stations of the cross is something that takes place on Fridays throughout Lent, but Holy Week provides an opportunity to participate in this tradition.

Cities like Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia organize outdoor marches that follow “The Way of the Cross.” These usually draw large crows composed of people from various parishes.

If your kids are too little for a long walk, consider making Stations of the Cross booklets that they can color and assemble.

Check out Hallow’s complete guide to Stations of the Cross to learn more about the history and meaning behind this tradition.

Attend an Easter Basket Blessing

A European tradition that is gaining popularity in the U.S. and elsewhere, Easter basket blessings (known as “Święconka” in Poland) help remind children of the true meaning of Easter.

On the morning of Holy Saturday, families fill Easter baskets with various foods and bring them to their local parish for a special blessing. The next day, the food is eaten as part of a celebratory Easter meal.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh describes the journey of bringing the baskets to church for a blessing as a “sacred pilgrimage.”

Remembering those who are in need, churches that participate in this tradition often include a box or receptacle to donate some of the blessed food for the poor.

Children can participate in every aspect of this Holy Week tradition, from choosing foods to fill the basket to presenting it for blessing.

Spend Time with the Saints

Helping children learn about the lives of saints reminds them that the holy people they might see in stained glass or statues were once little boys and girls who, like all of us, were called to live holy lives.

During Holy Week, this reminder is especially significant.

Consider introducing children to saints they may be less familiar with. On Hallow, you can get catch up on the kids Lent prayer challenge Saints and the Spirit, which profiles saints with short episodes geared toward children.

Stacy McNerney contributed to this article.

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