One way to help children and families better understand Lent is to celebrate Pretzel Sunday, which is the Sunday before Lent begins (before Ash Wednesday).
After your classes or all the children are gathered together, begin with a short worship time; include singing and the story of Jesus' wilderness experience as it relates to Lent. Share the story of the pretzel and give everyone a pretzel to eat (you might consider making pretzels as an activity with your children if time permits).
The Story of the Pretzel
Long ago, Lent was a time of sadness, when early Christians felt they should suffer. For forty days they ate no rich foods: no meat, cheese, eggs, or even milk. They ate fruit and fish, and they baked a bread shaped into arms crossed in prayer. They called this bread bracellae, later referred to as bretzel, to become pretzel. And the Sunday before Ash Wednesday became known as Pretzel Sunday, to remind people to think about the meaning of Lent and to bake this bread for use during Lent. Pretzels were never served after Palm Sunday.
European immigrants brought pretzels to America, and now we enjoy them all year!
For more fun ideas check out the Lent for Children bin here.