In 2010, the year Patrick was born, we made a Lenten Calendar based on a suggestion that I had read somewhere. (I can't remember where, sorry). You were to write a common object on the calendar for each day of Lent. In the morning, after breakfast, the kids would count how many of that day's listed object we had in our home. Some days we were thoroughly surprised how many things that we have. For every object that they counted, they would put a penny in a jar. During Lent, we chose a charity to give the money to. At the end of Lent we gave our pennies to that charity. Our particular charity of choice loves receiving pennies. They use the pennies for postage to send rosaries to the missions. Postage is quite expensive, so they appreciate the pennies because they add up quickly.
On the weekend, I asked the kids to think about Lenten activities that we had done in the past and asked them their input about what we should do again and what we should perhaps tweek or eliminate. It was unanimous that we do the calendar activity again. The kids loved counting and adding pennies to the jar. I have to admit that I never have that many pennies around the house, so we used a combination of change and beans. We traded the beans for cash at the end of Lent. If you would like to join us, we would be thrilled. We put together a calendar for this upcoming Lent. Use beans or pennies, but just remember to take the cash and give alms. This activity truly let's us see how blessed we are. The kids helped me put together a list of items that most Catholic families have in their houses. If you want to change or substitute any items, go right ahead. You can print out the Calendar below.