4th Sunday of Lent (C)

Children Activities – Prodigal Son

Children Activities – Prodigal Son

Children Activities – Prodigal Son


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The Prodigal Son

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SOURCE: Catholic Kids Media – FOURTH Sunday of Lent C (2022)

Catholic Resources


The readings for the 4th Sunday of Lent Year C remind us that God is always waiting for us to return to Him so we can receive the abundance of life he offers us.

YOUNG CATHOLICS – The first reading tells of how the Israelites celebrated Passover on the plains of Jericho. In the second reading Paul tells us to be reconciled to God. And in the gospel,Jesus tells the parable of the prodigal son, which is sometimes called the parable of the forgiving father.


  • Leaving behind our old ways
  • Starting new habits
  • The generosity of God our Father
  • Sacrament of Reconciliation

SOURCE: Young Catholics

Society of Christian Doctrine (SDC)
S.D.C. is a Catholic Society in the United Kingdom that works in the field of Catechesis and the spreading of the Word of God in different ways. Its website provides catechists and teachers with free resources that can be used in different situations to help passing on the faith to others.

Click on image to view full page

Catholic Kids Bulletin
SOURCE: The Kids’ Bulletin: A fun way for Catholic kids to learn about the Faith every week.
More Resources

Liturgical Activities


SOURCE: the Liturgy Centre, Catholic Diocese of Auckland. Click to download PDF

Family Activities

  • The Gospel reading for Sunday is one of the most familiar stories in the Bible. Read with your family the story of the return of the prodigal son, Luke 15:1-3, 11-32. After the reading, list the steps of reconciliation identified in the story.
  • Prepare your family’s favorite meal. Before the meal, ask family members to share stories about a time when they were grateful for the gift of forgiveness that someone in your family offered them.
  • Talk about your experiences of forgiveness and reconciliation in the family. Discuss: What does a falling out between family members do to our home environment? What signs do we use to ask forgiveness? What signs do we use to tell one another that we forgive them?
  • Agree, as a family, to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation together with the Parish family during Lent. Check to see that everyone is comfortable and remembers how to participate in the sacrament. Plan a family treat after the celebration.
SOURCE: Our Sunday Visitor: Lifelong Catechesis

Word Sunday

Story Telling Time

The Prodigal Son story is one of the most popular parables in the gospels. The story line is simple. A son leaves home to find fame and fortune, only to discover a life of pain away from the ones he loved. He returns humbler and wiser, expecting to be treated like a servant. But he finds he is still the son of a father that loves him.

This narrative is perfect for story telling. Tell the story from memory and feel free to embellish. Or, role play the narrative. If you’re really creative, turn different rooms in your house into the various scenes of the narrative (the father’s farm, the party town, the pig farm, etc.) Decorate each room accordingly and lead your family through the rooms as ths story unfolds.

No matter how you share the story use it as a means to communicate the parable’s moral. Turn back to God and he will accept you as his very own child. Your family could even receive the sacrament of reconciliation as a response to the parable.

SOURCE: Word-Sunday.com All materials found in word-sunday.com are the property of Larry Broding (©1999-2021). Viewers may copy any material found in these pages for their personal use or for use in any non-profit ministry. Materials may not be sold or used for personal financial gain.

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9_Parable of a Prodigal Son


SOURCE: Mission Bible Class by Mary Nelson ©2011-2022, used by permission


Free Printable Bible Lessons

Welcome Home Sign Craft



Download 14 Page Activity Packet (PDF)

Free Sunday School Curriculum New Testament Lessons | Old Testament Lessons

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COMMON GROUND KIDS MINISTRY (4:45) – Let’s do a science project together to help us remember that God celebrates when we come back to Him! For this project you will need an empty plastic bottle, 1/3 cup vinegar, 2 tsp baking soda, a balloon, and 2 funnels if you have them (or you can use 1 funnel but you will have to wash it in between uses.); Use your own judgment in adapting it when including it in your children’s ministry.
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GLEN MARIANO (5:16) – This week, Gabriel and Gideon tell us the story of the Prodigal Son, and show us how our sins, like packing peanuts, can be forgiven by our Heavenly Father.

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HEY MEISHA!  (5:16) – It’s time for the Prodigal Son Story! Head Over to heymeisha.com for worksheets, puzzles and games!.

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COMMON GROUNDS MINISTRY (6:54) – Let’s make an art project together and talk about The Prodigal Son and how the story teaches us about God’s love for us!
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KIDSPACE  (31:31) – Will God stop loving me when I make bad choices? Will God’s patience ever run out? Jesus’ parable
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MINISTRY TO CHILDREN (15:21) -Lessons are prepared by Kristin Schmidt, who serves at Epiphany Lutheran Church in Castle Rock, CO. Use your own judgment in adapting it when including it in your children’s ministry.

The story of the prodigal son provides us with a comforting reminder that God loves us and forgives us, no matter what we do. Even when we make mistakes, He is faithful and loves us as His dear children. These crafts serve to recount and act out the story for children. A “pig in the mud” is a fun and creative illustration of the son’s hopeless despair and moment of return to his senses (plus, it’s just fun to craft pigs!). A double-sided puppet helps to tell the parable and engage with it, considering how the son was before and after leaving– and returning– home.

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DOLLAR STORE CHILDREN’S SERMONS (6:01) -This video is presented by John Stevens, a Lutheran (ECLA) pastor; Use your own judgment in adapting it when including it in your children’s ministry.

Text: Luke 5:1-3, 11b-32

Dollar Store Item: Newspaper, Rubber Cement, Cornstarch and Scissors

Take Away: God restores our relationship because of God’s love.


Jesus Teaches Forgiveness in the Parable of the Prodigal Son

Making the Connection


Grades 1-3
Help younger children understand that asking for forgiveness is a way that we mend our relationships with God. Tell children that God will always forgive them.


Making the Connection


Grades 4-6
Older children are learning to accept responsibility for their actions. We invite them to appreciate the gift of the Sacrament of Reconciliation when we help them to see that God responds to us with generous mercy.


Making the Connection


Grades 7 and 8
Young people are capable of reflecting deeply on the Christian understanding of forgiveness and reconciliation. We can invite them to appreciate these graces that we receive through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.


Lectionary Resources

Catechist Background and Preparation
Primary Session
Intermediate Session
Junior High School

Catholic Doctrine


PRIMARY SESSION – Everyone who has been baptized still experiences human weakness. The newness of life received in baptism can help us to make good choices. As children of God we grow in our ability to make good choices. We call this change and growth conversion.

SOURCE: LECTIONARY RESOURCES  (RCL Benzinger) – All Rights Reserved



Teacher and mom, THERESA, creates Kids’ Bulletins, a resource for Catholic kids about the readings for Sunday’s Mass every week. More resources.

Coming Back

By Lois Parker Edstrom

Objects suggested: Boomerang, if available.

EXCERPT: Boomerangs are fun and require skill in learning how to throw them correctly. People compete in contests to see how far a boomerang can be thrown, how long it stays in the air, and how close it comes back to where it started. There is even a World Championship competition.

The outstanding thing about a boomerang is that it comes back.

Jesus teaches us about this idea of coming back. He tells a story about a man who had two sons and divided his property between them. The younger son took what his father had given him and traveled to a distant country where he wasted everything he had. He didn’t even have enough money left to buy food and he became very hungry.

Sermon Writer: Children’s Sermons – All Rights Reserved | © 1997-2020 Richard Niell Donovan; Click on title to read entire sermon.


Lost and Found

Objects suggested: “Lost Dog” flyer. 

EXCERPT: As I walk through our neighborhood, I often see signs like this one. (Hold up the flyer advertising a lost dog.) “Lost Dog. Our little dog, Rascal, has been missing since March 1st. We love Rascal very much and we want him back. If you find Rascal, please call us at 772-5512. $25 Reward.”

When I see signs like this, I feel a touch of sadness. I can just imagine a family watching and hoping that their dog will come home. I can imagine the excitement they must feel every time the phone rings — hoping that the call will be from someone who has found their lost dog. I think of how they must worry and hope that their little dog is safe.

Have you ever lost something that was very precious to you? How did you feel? Have you ever found something that you had lost? If so, how did you feel when you found it? In our Bible lesson today, Jesus told a story about a man who lost something that was very precious to him. The story also told of the man’s joy when that which he had lost was found. This is the story that Jesus told.

 Coloring Page  Crossword  Decoder  Multiple Choice  Word Search  Word Shape  Dot to Dot  Group Activities  Worship Bulletin

SOURCE: SERMONS 4 Kids – All Rights Reserved; Click on title to read entire sermon.

Return of the Lost

By Lois Parker Edstrom

Objects A well-loved (worn) doll, teddy bear, or book. (Not essential to lesson.)


Jesus often told stories when he wanted to teach a lesson. This is a difficult story to understand, but let’s try. There was a man who had two sons. The younger son asked his father to give him the property that would belong to him later (his inheritance) so the father divided his property between the two sons.

The youngest son gathered everything that he had been given, traveled to a distant land where he was careless and spent all that he had on foolish things. Then hard times came and this son did not have enough money left to buy food.

He went back home to his father and apologized for being careless and self-centered. His father was so glad to see him that he brought out a robe and sandals to dress him well and also prepared a feast to celebrate his return.

Sermon Writer: Children’s Sermons – All Rights Reserved | © 1997-2020 Richard Niell Donovan; Click on title to read entire sermon.
rfour.org – GOSPEL

The Prodigal Son

By Nathanael Vissia

Objects suggested: Print out the picture at end of this .pdf or use fake money from Monopoly

Lesson is divided into FOUR PARTS: Ask, Tell, Share the Good News, and Closing Prayer


  • Hold up picture / fake dollar bill ] I have a question for you – can you tell me what this is? (a dollar bill)
  • That’s right – and what does a dollar bill do? (it buys things)
  • So if I bought something for a dollar – we’d say, “it’s worth a dollar,” right? (right)



  • I wanted us to talk about wasting money because in some ways that’s what today’s scripture story is about.
  • In the story that we heard Jesus tell in the scripture passage that was read today, there is a child, a son, who asks for a lot of his father’s money.
  • The father gives the child the money. The son then leaves home and wastes all of the money – just like I ripped up the dollar a few moments ago.



  • One of the reasons Jesus tells this story is because we often think like the son does.
  • We often think that things are just as important to God as we are.
  • We think God won’t be friends with us if we ripped up some of the things that that God gave us.




SOURCE: RFOUR.ORG– This material is the copyrighted property of rfour.org and Nathanael Vissia. It is also free. Please use, improve and share this material. But you may not sell it or require any personal information for it.
SERMON WRITER – 2nd Reading

New Beginnings

By Lois Parker Edstrom

Objects: Pictures of a snake shedding its skin

EXCERPT: Some of you may not like the idea of snakes, but let’s see if we can learn something from their behavior. Did you know that a snake sheds its skin? Some of you may have actually seen an old skin that a snake has left behind. It is usually all in one piece, in the shape of a snake, and looks dried out.

Snakes shed their skin because they need more room to grow and they may do this once a year or several times a year. It is similar to when you outgrow your clothes and need to get larger ones that fit better.

The snake starts a rip in its skin by rubbing against something rough and then it slips out of its skin in the way you pull off your stockings. Beneath the old skin is a beautiful new skin that will allow the snake to grow.

Sermon Writer: Children’s Sermons – All Rights Reserved | © 1997-2020 Richard Niell Donovan; Click on title to read entire sermon.




Virtue of the Week


A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just. -Pope Francis


God’s mercy is always available and this is a powerful theme that resonates with us as we celebrate this jubilee year of Mercy. This is Laetare Sunday, the joyful Sunday of the Lenten season, and indeed God’s mercy and unconditional love is something to be joyful about.


The mercy of God is expressed in Saint Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians as he proclaims that we are new creations. God has fashioned us, through the actions of Christ, to be reconciled and to be recipients of his divine mercy. We are called to reflect God’s mercy in the midst of the world that we live in.


This is probably one of the best known stories of forgiveness and mercy in all of the Holy Scriptures. Although the story is often referred to as the prodigal son, it speaks more about the prodigal father who lavishly pours out mercy and unconditional love upon a son who was lost and has returned.

SOURCE: Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University; “Build. Plant. Grow.” = a free faith formation resource which aligns with the Liturgical Year of the Roman Catholic Church. The accompanying video is NOT associated with Markkula Center.

Lectionary Notes by Carolyn C. Brown

Parable of the Prodigal Son

David Lose suggests a sermon comprised of a series of people telling the story from the point of view of each character in it.  See Working Preacher for his details.  Children may not get all the points the characters make, but would catch the general drift and would pay more attention to a sermon that was more like a play than a speech.
Children are as surprised as adults are by the story of the Prodigal Son.  “It is not fair!” is heard from children every day.  They want life to be fair and are offended when it is not.  This story says that it is better to be “loving” than to be ”fair.”  With children come up with a list of “fair” ways the father could have treated the brother when he came home.  Then point out that the father did not treat the son fairly but with love when the son came home.  Decide whether the son would rather be treated fairly or lovingly.  Then ask whether the older brother wanted the younger brother to be treated fairly or lovingly.  Note that it is easy to want love for ourselves and fairness for other people.  Jesus tells us this story to insist that God treats all of us with love rather than fairness.  (This is something that children will have to think over in the coming days.  It really stretches them.)

Retell the story using three hearts from a chain of intertwined hearts.  Start with the three together.  When the younger brother leaves, cut the central “father” heart and move the son heart off to the side or give it to a child to hold for you.  Briefly describe how the father and older brother stuck together.  Then describe how the younger son finally realized how wrong he had been cutting his heart to show his heart broken sorrow.  Next, send the father heart running away from the older brother (cut the older brother’s heart) to link up with the younger son heart and bring him home.  Tape each of those hearts re-linked.  Finally, point to the fact that the chain is now missing the older brother.  Together discuss what is needed to get the whole chain back together.  Insist that the older brother would need to open his heart open to his brother and father.  It is tempting to reconnect the chain, but be faithful to the biblical story leaving the older brother unconnected and only guessing whether he was able to forgive his father and brother.

SOURCE: Worshiping with Children: A blog by Carolyn C. Brown, a Certified Christian Educator in the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA).

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Mister Bud Wears the Cone

Mister Bud and Zorro are two dogs that live in the same house and are good buddies, for the most part. In this adventure, Mister Bud has to wear the dreaded cone to keep him from scratching a hot spot on his back. The cone blocks his view and makes it difficult for him to do anything. Zorro, a precocious little pug, decides that this is the perfect opportunity to test Mister Bud’s patience, and proceeds to try to get Mister Bud in all kinds of trouble. However, Mister Bud is merciful and loving even with all the things that Zorro does, showing how, even though relationships are not without problems, there is always room for mercy.

SOURCE: Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University; “Build. Plant. Grow.”  a free faith formation resource which aligns with the Liturgical Year of the Roman Catholic Church. The accompanying video is NOT associated with Markkula Center.

The Story of the Prodigal Son

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BIBLE BEDTIME CHILDREN (5:55) – THE STORY OF THE PRODIGAL SON by Phil A Smouse: Part of a series of Bible Rhyming Fun for Kids from the Author.

The Prodigal Son Song

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SINGKIDS! (2:41) – Here is a catchy song that tells the story of the Prodigal Son.

Going Home

Children’s Readings

Opening Question: How many of you have gone on a long vacation? Where did you go? What did you see?

In the story for the first reading, James celebrated a meal that marked a new adventure, just like the Israelites held when they entered the Promised Land.


Like James, the Israelites could hardly wait to move to their new land. But, like James, they celebrated a special meal before they traveled on. Like James, they could only take with them what they carried. But, unlike James, they were going to a new home. We’ll talk about home in our next story.

Bridging Question: Have you ever visited a neighborhood where you used to live? How had it changed? How was it the same?

In the story for the gospel, Jodi moved to a new home in a new community, only to find she missed her friends, her school and her place in the world. Imagine how she felt when she moved back to her old house. The Prodigal Son must have felt the same way, joyful, accepted, loved.


The young man in the story must have felt like Jodi. He left, but he didn’t know if he would be welcomed back. When he was, he must have been overjoyed. His father hugged him and threw him a party! Like Jodi, he must have felt he was back where he belonged.

The story of the Prodigal Son is more than one about returning home. It’s also about the father who always loved him. God’s like that father. He always loves us, no matter what we do. And, he will welcome us when we return home to him. Let’s pray to always return so he can love us and care for us like the loving Father he is.

Closing Question: How do you feel when you pray to God? How do you feel to return home to God in the sacrament of reconciliation?

SOURCE: Word-Sunday.com; Used with permission.

The Son Who Ran Away

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WORLD VIDEO BIBLE (3:24) – The story of the prodigal son is one of the most insightful, memorable stories that Jesus told while He was on Earth. Through it, Christ brought to light the ravages of sin, the value of true repentance, and the love of the heavenly Father. By putting that story into rhyming verse on a child’s level, A Son Who Ran Away offers an easy-to-understand resource for teaching children the meaning and importance of the prodigal son.

The Prodigal Son

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SUPERBOOK (26:51) – Official Full Episode. Watch more free episodes in the Superbook App (https://bit.ly/prodigal-app) or Website (https://bit.ly/prodigal-site).

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