Sunday, February 11, 2018

Holy Family Hearts Coloring Page + Prayer Cards

The month of February is dedicated to honoring the Holy Family.  I'm so happy to share with you a few printables celebrating the Holy Family using the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Immaculate Heart of Mary, and Pure Heart of St. Joseph.  Perfect for any time of year, they would also be awesome, holy activities for this Lenten St. Valentine's Day as well. :)

Click here for the Holy Family Hearts Coloring Page:

I just made these cute little aspiration cards for a ladies' youth group event and realized they'd make great Valentines too.  They have the Holy Family Hearts on one side and on the other side there are eight short, easy prayers to memorize and use frequently during your day like "Jesus, I trust in You," and "Come Holy Spirit."

Click here for the Holy Family Hearts Aspiration Cards:

The Holy Family Hearts are also available in my Etsy shop as both a rubber stamp and a couple of different kinds of stickers.  I have to hold back to not stamp it on every thing I own. ;)

I also have tons of versions of coloring pages and prayer cards for the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, including these pretty stained glass coloring pages.

Click here for more printables:
Sacred Heart of Jesus Coloring Pages
Sacred Heart of Jesus & Anima Christi Prayer Cards
Sacred Heart of Jesus Color-A-Novena
Immaculate Heart of Mary & Seven Sorrows of Mary Coloring Pages
Immaculate Heart of Mary & Hail Holy Holy Queen Prayer Cards

“I wish to invoke the protection of the Holy Family of Nazareth…it is therefore the prototype and example for all Christian families…St. Joseph was a “just man”…may he always guard, protect and enlighten families. May the Virgin Mary, who is the Mother of the Church, also be the Mother of “the Church of the home”…May Christ the Lord, the Universal King, the King of Families, be present in every Christian home as He was at Cana, bestowing light, joy, serenity, and strength”
~St. John Paul II

Friday, February 2, 2018

Sweeter Than Honey Coloring Pages {February}

The big idea of our Sweeter than Honey CCD theme this year is to encourage the kids to know and memorize Scripture, specifically the Psalms, so that they know that God's promises are so sweet.

Each month, I'll share a set of coloring pages, one for each Sunday, featuring the Psalm from Sunday Mass.  Using special fonts and simple decorations, they are meant to be a quick addition to your weekly class as an aide to memorizing the Responsorial Psalm.  Add it to your opening and closing prayer, give the students a few minutes to color it during class, and send it home to be hung up on the fridge or bathroom mirror.

Here are the coloring pages for the four Sundays of February:

Click here for the full size Psalm coloring pages for February:

Click here for the half page size Psalm coloring pages for February:
(These fit perfectly inside the Scripture Book cover from this post)

I'll post coloring pages of the Psalms once a month, so stay tuned!  You can find the August Coloring Pages here, the September Coloring Pages here, the October Coloring Pages here, the November Coloring Pages here, the December Coloring Pages here, and January Coloring pages here.  You might also like our Sweeter than Honey theme resources (folder covers, logo, signs, etc.), Sweeter than Honey theme decorations, and St. Abigail and St. Ambrose patron Saint coloring pages.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Lent: Ideas for 40 Days

Lent gives us 40 days of opportunities to grow closer to Christ. As you are planning for the upcoming season, here are some ideas for you to use in your home or classroom.  This round up post contains music, videos, art projects, or coloring pages, click on the images below to go to the original posts. If you are already thinking ahead to Easter, check out this post or the list under The Church Year tab.

The Sound of Lent: A Song Playlist (my personal go-to music during Lent, but great for a classroom as well)

Sunset & Shadow Stations of the Cross Project (one of my students' annual favorites!)

Resurrection Eggs (Tell the story of Holy Week with items in each egg)

The Gospel in an Eggshell (Object lesson connecting Advent, Lent, & Easter)

Lent Notes Foldable (notetaking device for the Season of Lent)

Lent Word Cloud Notes (print mine or use as an example to have students make their own)

Give Up, Take Up (Lent goals printable and ideas for Youth Group lesson)

I don't have a link for this one, but we will have a sacrifice crown of thorns in my classroom.  It's a simple grapevine wreath with large brown toothpicks.  When the students make a sacrifice, they can pull a thorn from the crowns and place it in the bowl.

Student created Lenten Acts of Mercy organized by the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy
(It's a great time of year to teach about the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.  Find printable coloring pages and mini books here and here.)

Using the Stations of the Cross as Inspiration for Lenten acts of charity

What Lent Looks Like Coloring Page (Also available in the Liturgical Year Coloring Book)

What The Triduum Looks Like Coloring Page

Lent- Pray, Fast, Give Activity

Lent- Pray, Fast, Give Coloring Pages

Passion & Resurrection Peg Doll Set

Connecting the Passover and the Passion (Youth Bible Study, can use movie Prince of Egypt)

New Life Seeds Printable

Fulton Sheen Good Friday & Easter Sunday Quote

I pray you have a blessed and fruitful Lent!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Feast Day! The Liturgical Board Game

High engagement, well made, quality content resources are a dream come true for teachers of all kinds, but unfortunately they sometimes can be hard to come by in Religious Education. When it comes to something as important as the Church Liturgical Year, it's crucial to both instruct about the Seasons as well as participate in them.  We use our Liturgical Coloring Book and Liturgical Calendars throughout the year in my classroom, but I'm excited to share with you another awesome way to work on knowledge about the Church Year with your students.

*I was provided with a free copy of Feast Day! The Liturgical Board Game in exchange for an honest review. I only recommend things that I have used and love, and these opinions are entirely my own.

This fall while speaking at a conference in Georgia, I fortunate enough to also participate in the day and chose to attend a workshop about teaching the Liturgical Year.  This workshop was a little different than the typical speaker/presentation you expect because it involved playing an awesome new board game called Feast Day!, which all the adult participants (catechists, DREs, and teachers) loved.  After talking with the creator of the game, I knew I had to share it with my students (and you, dear readers!), so I brought home a copy to try.

Before I tell you more about the game, let me give you the solid feedback of my 5th graders.  A small group was playing (they were playing with eight kids, using partner play- the game is traditionally set up for 2-4 players).  When it was time to clean up, they all actively groaned and asked if they could just have a few more minutes.  This isn't super surprising behavior from ten-year-olds, but it is surprising when the game they are playing is actually a learning game about the faith, the place they were heading next was PE, which is their favorite time of the day!  They told me that they loved that they knew most of the questions (or at least could work together to figure it out) and that they were always finding new symbols all over the game board to talk about.

Feast Day! takes its players through the entire Liturgical Year with 52 game spaces for the 52 Sundays of the year matched to corresponding Seasonal colors.  The path also features important Feast Days throughout the year, such as All Saints Day, Pentecost, etc.  As players move through the year starting in Advent, they advance Sundays by rolling dice and then have the chance to collect Feast Day! cards for each season.  Extra cards can be collected on Feast Day! spots.  

The cards contain important facts about the Life of Christ and teachings of the Church that are woven through the Liturgical Year.  They are filled with information that is not watered down, but is also attainable for younger learners or those new to the faith.  I could also totally see pulling just the cards out to use for fun trivia or a quick review.

The board game (and all the materials) is professionally printed with original illustrations of the Church year, Life of Christ, Bible stories, and Saints.  The images themselves could lend to great conversations and connections.  I loved how the symbols of the four Gospel writers frames each corner of the board, showing the Liturgical Year is wrapped in Scripture from beginning to end.

I'm so glad that I was introduced to Feast Day!- I know it is going to become a staple in my classroom.  It would be a great fit in a CCD class as well, and certainly could be played together as a family.  We need more products like this in Religious Education to help us pass on the faith in a fun and relevant way!  You can see more info and reviews or order your own copy of Feast Day! here.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Studying Scripture: Color and Creativity

(FYI- the links below are Amazon Affiliate links. That means that if you click through and purchase something, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.)

I've been spending lots of time in my new Catholic Journaling Bible- reading and studying and being creative.  This long awaited Bible from Blessed is She and Our Sunday Visitor features the NAB translation, complete footnotes, and wide margins for notes, prayer, and art.  It also has a beautiful handlettered verse in each book of the Bible from Be A Heart Design.  I've written before here and here about my desire for a Catholic Journaling Bible and how I used my current study Bible, and here about how my favorite pens held up in the pages of the journaling Bible.

I've been posting some of my margin doodles on Instagram and have gotten LOTS of comments and messages how different materials hold up in the Bible.  I'm happy to share a few ideas, tips, mistakes, and successes for you about adding color in this Bible using watercolor, acrylic paint, and stamping.  I reviewed colored pens in this post and wrote about other ways to add art, even in a non journaling Bible, here.

General Supplies I love for working in my Bible:
-These colored pencils (supplemented with a few Crayola colors)
-This pencil sharpener (sharpens both large and small colored pencils)
-These pencils (the only kind worth having!)
-This little ruler
-This eraser
-Washi Tape like this
-Vellum like this or this or this


 Stamping is a fun way for anyone to add art and lettering, no matter your comfort level with being creative.  Here I used a dark blue stamp pad and these stamps to add embellishment to Luke Chapter 1.  (The heart stamp is one I had made using my original drawing- head to the bottom of the post for how you can win one!) and the small letter stamps are from a dollar bin at Michaels a long time ago, but these are similar.)

I stamped directly on the page, and while it looks lovely, it definitely was problematic.  You can see here how the ink bled and ghosted straight through the page, making it totally visible on the reverse page.  It even bled a few pinpricks of color onto the next page. 

So I tried a new technique the next time I stamped.  I took a full sized sheet of labels like this and cut it down to the size of the margins (about 2"x8.5").  While the labels are bright white and the pages of this Bible are off white, I actually didn't notice the contrast as much as I thought I might.  I think that it blends in quite nicely.

I then stamped onto it FIRST, which ended up saving my tail as I made my first big mistake.  You can see below all the blobs of ink and the spacing issues.  Since it was just on the label, I threw it away and started with a second label, grateful it wasn't in my Bible forever. :)

I then carefully stuck the label on the Bible page.  I only peeled off about an inch of one end, carefully placed that, making sure to line it up well, and then peeled off the rest of the backing. Here you can see that the label did a perfect job of protecting the page- no bleeding, very very minimal ghosting.  This is definitely a technique I will continue to use, and not just with stamping.  I think this would work great for pens and markers not only to prevent them being seen through the page, but also to eliminate the fear of making a mistake.  You also could print out verses in your favorite fonts, decorate, cut out, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

Watercolor and Acrylic Paint:

 Next up I tried watercolor paint. Watercolor in this Bible is nice because you can keep it light, both in color and weight, whereas the acrylic can be a little thick and heavy. For this FIAT page, I first drew the lettering with these pens (after making a sketch on grid paper and tracing it using this amazing light box- just to be clear that I am not freehanding all of these pages!  I'll have another post soon about tracing and transferring techniques). 

I then added a small amount of watercolor paint (just an inexpensive set similar to this). The thin pages took the paint ok, but it definietly isn't going to accept paint like watercolor paper would.  You won't be able to do a lot of blending, layers of paint, or use lots of water.  I was very sparing with the amount of water & paint I used and it turned out ok.

The page has a little rippling, but it straightened out pretty well just from having the Bible closed.  There is a small amount of ghosting on the back of the page, but it isn't too bad. 

Next, I decided to try putting down a base before adding art.  I'd read that gesso or just white acrylic paint were recommended.  I don't have any gesso, so I tried some white paint I had and prepped the margin of one page. I did place a protective plastic sheet in between the pages for this technique.

Here you can see the paint dried fairly smoothly (this was just one thick coat, I didn't want to add too many layers). After it was totally dry, I tried decorating the page with watercolor and ink, and I did not like the result.  The combination was not a good fit for watercolor, and the surface wasn't smooth enough and had a residue that affected using a pen.  I probably won't be using this technique much, but I could see how with different materials it might be helpful.

The paint did do a good job of protecting the page.  Here you can see no ghosting or bleeding, but a little bit of wrinkling that did straighten out after the Bible was closed for a while.

So there are a few ideas for you if you are looking into using a journaling Bible for prayer and creativity.  What other questions, materials, or techniques are you trying or wondering more about?

Aaaannnnnnd, I have a fun giveaway going on over on Instagram where you could win one of my original Holy Family Heart Stamps, some of my favorite pens, a stamp pad, washi tape, some lovely holy cards, and more. The giveaway closes Sunday 1/14/18 at midnight, so go enter now!

You might like these other posts:
Pens for the Catholic Journaling Bible
Tips, Tools, and Ideas for Personal Bible Study
Adding Art to a Non-Journaling Bible
Sunday Readings Scripture Doodles 2015-2016
Sunday Readings Scripture Doodles 2016-2017
Why Your Handwriting Matters