Preparations:We reserved the gym at our parish school. It was too late to get the party in the bulletin, but our priest was kind enough to announce it at the weekend Masses. We also advertised it through our parish's Facebook page and texting app.
Food:The four families who planned the party made sure to have at least paper goods, a main dish, fruit, water, and a dessert covered. We asked people to bring a dish to share.
Costumes:We encouraged kids (and adults, if they were game!) to come dressed as a saint, but costumes were optional. Some children came dressed in beautiful saints' costumes; some simply carried a symbol of their saint.
Games:St Francis' Animal Rescue
- Toss stuffed animals into a wagon from a certain distance.
- Put various objects into boxes, one per box. Tape the tops closed. Cut a hole in the side of the box big enough for a hand to fit in. Try to guess the object without looking.
- Find the quiz we used on FreeRepublic.com.
- Catechist.com has two "Guess the Saint" quizzes to download: Test your Knowledge of Saints and Saints: Guess Who?
- This is your classic "how many _______ are in the jar?" We did fish for St. Anthony, pretzel sticks for St. Bernadette, gummy "snakes" for St. Patrick, animal crackers for St. Francis, flower-shaped butter cookies for St. Therese, and mini 3 Musketeers bars for the archangels St. Michael, St. Raphael, and St. Gabriel.
- I got the idea for this game as well as beautiful printables from Shower of Roses
- I was really surprised by how much people loved this game! Even adults filled out the guessing slips.
- More beautiful (and free!) printables from Shower of Roses.
- We set up a coloring table with crayons and copies of some original coloring pages we downloaded (for free!) from WaltzingM.com.
- This was extraordinarily popular among the girls who came. We brought baby dolls as well objects needed to administer many of the corporal works of mercy: play food to feed the hungry; baby bottles to give drink to the thirsty; doll clothes to clothe the naked; doll cribs and blankets to give shelter to the homeless; and a play doctor set along with bandaids to tend to the sick.
- If we would do this again, we would try to throw together all of our beans, unpopped corn, rice, or what-have-you into a large Rubbermaid tub. Hide objects in the tub and place on the floor. Provide children with scoops and shovels to try to find the hidden objects. You could make a sign listing all of the objects that need to be found.
Order of events:Since Mass ended at 6:30, we went straight into dinner once Father arrived and blessed our food. The children were allowed to eat and play the games as they wished. When it looked like some families were going to need to leave soon, we quickly organized the children into a line and asked the adults to sit on the bleachers. The children processed up to the bleachers and one by one introduced the saint he/she was dressed as, either by stating it as fact or by giving a clue (one little boy said, "I led the angels who fought against the devil"). The adults responded by saying, "Saint ___________, pray for us!" Afterward, we announced the winners of the guessing jars and played saint bingo. The point is this: It doesn't have to be hard to celebrate the Church year. We don't need to look like the parties pinned on Pinterest or create complicated costumes to show off on Instagram. All in all, eight families came together to celebrate this great feast day. You can do it too! To make it even easier, I've prepared a free printable with the signs we used for our kids' activities as well as the quiz we used. All angels and saints, pray for us!
Copyright 2019 Amanda Woodiel
About the Author
Amanda Woodiel is a Catholic convert, a mother to five children ages 11 to 3, a slipshod housekeeper, an enamored wife, and a “good enough” homeschooler who believes that the circumstances of her life -- both good and bad -- are pregnant with grace. She leads a moms' group at her parish that focuses on simple and meaningful ways to live the liturgical year at home. Amanda blogs at In a Place of Grace.