Ideas for a children's retreat during Holy Week


I'm in charge of organizing a 2 hour retreat for my homeschool co-op. It's about 60 kids ages baby thru 9th grade. I probably will divide them by ages and have them rotate through stations.

There is a chapel and an outdoor stations of the Cross.

I think I might have the younger kids pray the stations of the cross, a stations of the cross box

a Lenten type snack, and music

I'm a little lost on the older kids (5th and up). Of course, they can do an outdoor stations of the cross. I thought I might do a guided meditation, but one of the moms objects because as a girl she learned meditation but it turned new agey. I'm not sure they are ready for more than a short meditation anyway.

I need ideas for: music for the younger kids (they love motion songs); a Lenten snack.

For the older kids, I need help with any ideas.

Also, do you think the 3rd/4th graders would think the stations of the cross box is a little dorky? This is ages 8-10.



I didn't see the Stations of the Cross box, but here are a few ideas

The perfect Lenten snack (if no one has wheat/gluten etc. allergies) is pretzels. They were actually made to represent praying arms by monks. (They also shouldn't be too expensive for 60 kids) You can read about the Catholic history of the pretzel here.

If that doesn't work, another Lenten tradition is hot cross buns on Good Friday, but I would probably suggest keeping it simple instead, maybe with food found in biblical times (cheese, pita bread, grapes)

For older kids, I would suggest making sacrifice/good deed beads. Pony beads can be found at any craft store, and if you can't order medals and crosses in time from a religious or rosary supply store, you can just simply tie knots where the medals or crosses should be instead. Here are directions . A written "reflection" (as opposed to the term "meditation") might prove more palatable to the concerned parents. Or they could each read one line from an appropriate passage of the Gospel.

For the younger kids, I would do something about the Lamb of God. This lady made lambs out of washcloths and had the kids sing Agnus Dei (Lamb of God), but I recall a simple project of gluing cotton balls to a picture (coloring page) of a lamb to make his fleece soft. You could probably find simpler songs about the Lamb of God too, or even just sing the English Agnus Dei from Mass.

A children's movie of the Easter story might also help for the little ones. Or religious coloring pages.

Hope this helps :shrug:


Our children’s youth director had the Sunday School kids do this for years.

[size=4]Fill an egg carton with plastic, colored eggs. Number the eggs 1 - 12 and fill the eggs accordingly: [/size]

*]Egg #1: 3 pennies - Judas was paid 30 coins for betraying Jesus.
*]Egg #2: a piece of bread - This represents the Last Supper.
*]Egg #3: a piece of red cloth - Jesus was dressed in scarlet robes and mocked.
*]Egg #4: a piece of stick - They placed a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head.
*]Egg #5: a piece of string - This represents the whip used to scourge Jesus.
*]Egg #6: pieces of toothpick glued into the shape of a cross - Jesus carried the cross.
*]Egg #7: 3 small nails - Jesus was nailed to the cross.
*]Egg #8: a strip of paper reading “INRI Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” - They nailed this inscription to the top of the cross.
*]Egg #9: a piece of sponge - They soaked a sponge in wine and tried to give it to Jesus when He was on the cross.
*]Egg #10: a toothpick with a red tip - They stuck a spear in Jesus’ side.
*]Egg #11: a small rock or pebble - The rolled a rock in front of His Tomb.
*][size=4]Egg #12: empty - Jesus rose from the dead.[/size]


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