Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Sweeter Than Honey Coloring Pages {December}

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 five Sundays of December:

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

Click here for the half page size Psalm coloring pages for December:
(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, and the November 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.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany Activities for Your Home and Classroom

The Solemnity of Christ the King and the end of the Liturgical Year is this weekend! But every end also means a new beginning, and this beginning brings Advent.  I LOVE Advent.  The preparing, the waiting, the hope, the peaceful promise.

Here are some ideas for you to use with your kiddos to keep and celebrate the season of Advent.  Click on any of the images to take you to the resource or post:

Looking for music to keep you in the season?  Check out this Advent Song Playlist:

And videos are always a great addition in the classroom:

Learn about the New Liturgical Year with this Liturgical Year Coloring Book:
And this Liturgical Year Calendar:

Make plans for decorating for the Liturgical Year:

Try some new Advent Traditions:

Printable Advent Candles for an Advent Wreath:

What Advent Looks Like printable:

Wandering Wise Men: 
An alternate activity to Elf on the Shelf, I used the Wise Men from our classroom Nativity to emphasize the waiting and preparing and seeking that is required of us during Advent.  Click on the images to go to the posts with 15 different ideas.


Pray and color the O Antiphons:

Seeking our Savior: An Advent Detective Journey based on Scripture, showing how Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in Christ.  Printable coloring book, Scripture cards, mini craft projects, and a leaders guide.

Make a Peg Doll Nativity:

 Advent Jeopardy Trivia games here and here.

 Party Like a Saint- A December-Saint-Themed Advent Party with crafts and games.

What if they had email?  Youth Group Advent lesson idea putting the Christmas story in a new perspective.

 A Stocking For Jesus: Activities to go along with the book, including some Advent printables.

Nativity Photo Booth, putting all of those Nativity play costumes and props to good use!

Advent Prayer Ring- Great for Youth Groups or Bible Studies:

My Gift- An Epiphany Readers' Theater:

How will you be keeping Advent this year?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Advent Family Traditions

All this month I'll be posting about resources to help you live, learn, and celebrate the coming season of Advent. 

Each year, my parish CCD program holds a Family Advent Night after an evening Mass for all of the families with school aged kids.  We always have food and fellowship, as well as Advent themed activities for the kids.  This year, since I have been thinking a lot about Liturgical Living, I decided to work on setting the families up with some resources to help them live out the Season together.  When we gather on the first weekend of Advent after the Vigil Mass, the families will visit three stations with parents and children together creating and taking home items that will help them celebrate.

One station will be about celebrating the Feast Days of Advent.  The handout they'll take home lists many Saints from December, but I highlight six Saints with brief bios and a couple of ideas to celebrate them.  The little introductions are perfect to read over the dinner table, and I tried to give ideas that are pretty easy and don't necessarily require a lot of prep, such as eating dinner by candle light on St. Lucy's Feast Day or planning to have Mexican food on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  At this station, the families will get a brief run down of the featured Saints and will sample some tasty foods.

Click here for the Advent Feast Days booklet:

 Another station will celebrate the Advent wreath.  Just to make sure each family is ready with fresh candles and a wreath for the season, they will be working together to assemble and decorate a wreath they can take home as a family.  While they make their wreath extra special, they will learn a bit about the themes of the four Sundays of Advent.  Their take home handout includes a Scripture verse from each of the Sunday readings, a short prayer, and a connecting question that could be talked about over dinner, before bed, or on the drive to Mass.

Click here for the Advent Wreath booklet:
***Update: Here are versions of the Advent Wreath Booklet that include specific Bible verses for the Sundays in Advent for all three Reading Cycles:

***Update: Here is the Advent Wreath Booklet in Spanish, specifically for Year A, but could be reused.

The third station will celebrate that Advent is the beginning of the Liturgical Year.  The kids will be setting up their own Liturgical calendars (details in this post) and receiving a Liturgical Year Coloring Book.  The handout gives a run down of the six Liturgical Seasons and how they work together to retell the story of Christ's Life.

Click here for the Liturgical Year booklet:

I'm excited to help equip our families with these easy tools to make Advent more meaningful.  What are some of your family plans for celebrating Advent this year?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Advent Traditions for Anyone and Everyone

All this month I'll be posting about resources to help you live, learn, and celebrate the coming season of Advent. 

Last week I posted about how and why I decorate my home for the Liturgical Seasons.  It took a while to figure out what worked best for me because it seems as if many of the Liturgical Living ideas I see on social media center around celebrating with children.  Obviously this is wonderful (and the topic of much of my blog content), but it doesn't work for everyone- single, married, very young children, grown children, etc.  

My Catholic young adult group planned a fancy Advent party last year, and we decided to share some ideas and tools for living out the Liturgical Year, starting with Advent, for any stage of life.  The party was a beautiful social event with great people, food, and music, but around the room and on the tables we set up displays about Advent traditions with explanations and cards they could take home so they could try it themselves.  We featured some common Advent practices as well as Saints' Feast Days that fall during Advent.

Those displays led to a lot of great conversations and great ideas about how anyone can be living out the feasts and fasts of the Liturgical Year.  I thought I'd share with you not only the ideas, but the printables we displayed at that party so that you can plan for yourself and help celebrate this beautiful season!  (And FYI, if you are planning a family centered activity night, I'll be back on Thursday with three simplified handouts and projects specifically for households with school aged kids.)

Click on any of the following images for a two page file about each tradition.  One page is a full 8.5" x 11", perfect for a display (we put ours in clear frames).  The other page has a small version of the same info, four per page, perfect for handing out to people (we had them ready to go in a gift bag for each person, but they also could be stacked near each display).

The Advent Wreath:

The Jesse Tree:

The Nativity Scene:

The O Antiphons:

The Christmas Tree:

St. Andrew, November 30th:

St. Nicholas, December 6th:

Immaculate Conception, December 8th:

St. Juan Diego, December 9th &
Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12th:

Fulton Sheen, December 9th:

 St. Lucy, December 13th: