The season of Lent is almost here! Lent is a beautiful time of preparation. It is a time where we ready our hearts for the amazing work of God’s redemption on Easter Sunday. Throughout Lent, we mark our time with prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
While there is a great focus on prayer and fasting in Lent, we often don’t see much on the third pillar of Lent which is almsgiving. Almsgiving is simply collecting and distributing money for those in need.
Traditionally, an alms box is placed when we walk into the church and in a prominent place in your home. We always place ours in the center of the table that we eat at. As we give up things for Lent, we take the money that we would have spent on those things and we place the money in our alms box. It is exciting to watch the box fill up as Lent progresses! And there is so much joy at the end to see how much money you have raised as a family and to decide on the way that you will give it away.
The alms box for Lent is a wonderful way to walk with your children through the season. They are able to actively walk through the season with their whole lives and have a sense of expectation that while we are fasting, praying and gathering alms during Lent, Easter is on it’s way!
This is a kid friendly project! Let your kids go for it. The craft was created to embrace imperfections and little hands! (Except for the Xacto knife part! :) )
Empty, cleaned out milk or half and half container
Xacto knife or scissors
1 cup flour
1 cup water
Washable purple paint
Washable white paint
Wash out your milk carton and let dry. Have an adult cut away the spout part of the container. Tear strips of kraft paper with a ruler. The strips do not be even or the same shape or size. Thoroughly mix the flour and water in a bowl with a whisk. Dip a strip of paper into the homemade glue, slide most of the glue off with your fingers and lay the strips across the carton. Continue layering the glued strips all over the container until it is completely covered. Let it dry. Pour purple paint into a bowl, add enough water to make the paint the consistency of cream. Paint the container purple. Let it dry. Dip a small, stiff brush into the white paint. Paint on the words “Prayer, Fasting, Alms”. Let your child decorate the rest of the carton with simple white crosses.
I hope this easy, alms box is a blessing to your family! Have a blessed Lent!