Why is it that we prepare our children more to go see a movie than we do to go to Mass?
I mean, imagine how excited the children would be come Sunday morning if all they saw all week were commercials on the upcoming readings? What if McDonald’s Happy Meal toys coincided with the reading that week?
I think we forget that children just don’t wake up one morning and they are suddenly interested in a toy, television shows, and/or movie. There is a lot of research, time, and energy that goes into creating the perfect commercials and toys to help boost sales and audience attendance, your child’s attendance.
What if, as parents we put in the same amount, or even a fraction of the amount, of time and energy that the big advertising companies do? What if we did our homework prior to Sunday’s readings and found ways to engage the children in the Mass? I realize this might sound like a daunting task but it need not be thanks to the help of the following resources…..
The Catholic Toolbox
Catholic Mass Activities (parts of Mass, what we do during Mass, etc.)
There are so many fun ways to teach kids about the Catholic Mass. This collection of Catholic Mass activities should help you plan your next lesson about the mass or help prepare students for school or parishes masses throughout the year.
Catholic Kids offers a weekly Mass Bulletin for kids…I highly recommend printing these off!
This site has Sunday reading reflections, discussion questions that coincide, and proclaiming faith activities for the primary grades.
Here is one example:
Gospel Luke 12:13-21 Gospel Reflection
As so often happens, Jesus tells a parable because someone has asked him a question. A man wants him to settle a squabble about an inheritance, but Jesus will have no part of it.
Concern about money prevents people from focusing on the reign of God. The parable of the rich farmer shows how foolish it is to keep piling up possessions. Right when the greedy man is gorging himself on food and drink, he dies. Death prevents any chance of reform.
Discussion Questions for Gospel
How important is making money? Jesus knows that we all need enough to live on. Each person’s need will be a little bit different. Each family’s needs will be a little bit different. But Jesus warns here against piling up money and ignoring what really makes us rich? Love of God and love of others……click here to continue reading.
Living Faith Kids
Living Faith Kids features daily devotions based on the daily Scripture readings from the Catholic Mass. Each quarterly issue helps children 8-12 develop the habit of daily prayer and build their relationship with Jesus and the Church. Living Faith Kids is the daily Scripture-based prayer companion for Catholic children and an invaluable resource for parishes, families and schools.
Before Mass begins and during the quiet moments of reflection during Mass each of my kiddos have a church bag with resources they can view quietly. (Children will be children and asking them to remain still and silent throughout the Mass is not always a realistic request. I have yet to meet a toddler who will do so, lol!)
Each of their church bags consist of age appropriate books, figurines, and prayer cards. To keep their bags fresh I recommend changing out the contents every few weeks. (above is an image of the items found in our 3 yrs. old bag and below is an image of the items found in our Kindergartener’s bag)
(And lastly, below is an image of the items found in our 2nd graders bag…minus her Rosary which she had on her when I took this pic)
Then culminate your Sunday with a catholic cuisine inspiration….one that coincides with what your child learned in Mass…
Who knows, after you share all the amazing things revealed during Mass just maybe your child will be waking up Sunday mornings with the same enthusiasm that they had for the latest feature film release?
Do you know of any additional great catholic site that I should add to my list? Or perhaps you have a routine that works for you and your kiddos? Please share…