Jar of colorful jelly beans spilling onto Jelly Bean Prayer card

Introducing Kids to Lent

Jar of colorful jelly beans spilling onto Jelly Bean Prayer card

This season, let’s welcome our children into our observance of Lent. Traditionally, we “give up” something for the 40 days of Lent. But 40 days is a long time for a child and they (as well as the grown-ups) may easily tire of and even forget what they’re doing and why they’ve given something up.  

I’m offering our Woodhaven children the opportunity to participate in a special activity that will last throughout the Lenten season. On Ash Wednesday, children will receive a jar, a copy of the jelly bean prayer, and some jelly beans. The children can put their jar in a prominent place at home along with the jelly bean prayer. Parents can hang onto the jelly beans and place one in the child’s jar for each activity or behavior that the child practices.

The children won’t eat the jelly beans until Easter. No white jelly beans are given for behavior, since the white jelly beans represent God’s grace, which is a gift from God and cannot earned.   

Here’s the secret part: on Easter morning, the kids will find that their jars are filled up where they were still empty or lacking with white jelly beans (symbolizing God’s grace). Parents, please make sure you have enough white jelly beans to completely fill your child’s jar on Easter morning.

Here’s the prayer and what each color jelly bean represents:
  • Red is for the blood Christ gave (each morning the child can chose something to sacrifice that day to earn the red jellybean.  It should be something they would have had the opportunity to have or do that day).
  • Green is for the palm’s cool shade. (Green jelly beans are earned for doing good deed each day. It was a good deed to provide shade for Jesus with the palm.)
  • Yellow is for God’s light so bright. (Yellow jelly beans are earned for sharing God’s light through kindness to others.)
  • Orange is for prayers at twilight. (Orange jelly beans are earned for saying a bedtime prayer and reading a nighttime Bible story.)
  • Black is for sweet rest at night. (These jelly beans are earned for going to bed—without complaint and reminders.)
  • Purple is for Jesus’ days of sorrow. (These are earned by apologizing to anyone we hurt with our words or actions that day.)
  • Pink is for each new tomorrow. (Pink jelly beans are earned when we forgive those who apologize to us for hurtful behavior.)
  • Blue is for the joy of knowing Jesus. (These can be earned by singing a favorite Bible song!)
  • White is for the Grace of Christ and cannot be earned.