Saturday, November 20, 2021

Advent Activities for Home and Classroom

Happy Solemnity of Christ the King! If you'd like some music to celebrate, here's a playlist for your prayer and enjoyment: Christ the King Music Playlist

And that means it's almost time for Advent! The wonder, the hope, the light- and the focus on a newborn King come to save us. Here is a collection of free ideas, activities, and printables to help your family and classroom enter into the Season. 

(Just a reminder- you are always welcome to share these resources with your classroom or parish-  I'm happy to be of help! When possible, I always appreciate a link back to the original blog post or a mention of looktohimandberadiant.com.)

First up, here is a "schedule" of suggested Advent activities for each week, perfect to add to a classroom newsletter or parish bulletin. The links all send the reader to free resources, like videos, printables, and music playlists. Or you are welcome to pull ideas from this and send them individually! 

Or here is an editable version that you can tailor to your students/program:


And now here are some links to individual activities or resources. Some of these are new, and some are old favorites- so sometimes they will just open straight to the resource, and others will send you to the original blog post with all the details. You can also look under the Liturgical Year Tab above for a list of past posts.

Weekly Advent Reflection Slides for Google Classroom (include videos, art, Scripture, Lectio Divina, and prayer)

Sacred Art for Advent and Christmas- This set of Google Slides contains 20 pieces of sacred art for the Season, as well as steps for Visio Divina for older and younger kids. Perfect to pull up on a big tv, smart board, or projector!


And in Spanish: (and I forgot, they are in Dutch too!


Booklets for families on praying with the Advent Wreath, celebrating Saint Feast Days in December, and an overview of the new Liturgical Year:



Advent Family Traditions: There are about ten different cards like this highlighting various traditions celebrated during Advent.



Advent YouTube Video Playlist- wide range of videos for little ones up to high schoolers.

Advent Jeopardy  and a second Advent Jeopardy game here ( There are a few different games for Advent and December Saints are available if you search "Jeopardy" over in the search bar, but some of them need some reformatting, fyi. They don't always transfer well to Google Slides! Best option is to download and use in PowerPoint.)

What Advent Looks Like Coloring Page

What Christmas Looks Like Coloring Page (or use the whole Liturgical Year Coloring Book)

O Antiphons Bible Study and Creative Project (Google Slides for Google Classroom)

O Antiphon Coloring Book (and mini version for Ornaments or decorating)


Seeking Our Savior Detective Journey in English:

And Spanish:
And there are tons more, especially projects for Christmas and Epiphany in this list of links!

May this Season draw all of us closer and closer to the Light of the World!

Monday, November 15, 2021

Favorite Books for Catholic Kids- Growing List!


I'm not doing a great job of keeping up with my Katie Reads posts- but it probably is because I've been reading way more than I have time to blog! ;) This year I'm up to 60 books on my personal read list, in addition to who-knows-how-many children's books. Instead of trying to catch up, I thought I'd update my growing list of Catholic kids' books and re-share them with you here.

A few notes:
-Some of these books I've inherited, a lot I have purchased, and some were sent to me by the author/publisher, but all of them are books I have used/gifted/recommended in my classroom or as a DRE. I'm only sharing with you what I like and use.
-This post contains 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'd also love to encourage you to shop directly with the publisher or with your local bookshop!
-By recommending these books, I am not saying they are perfect.  Their quality is somewhat dependent on the age and interests of the kids reading them as well as the support and background knowledge they have.  As always, you should preview and make the decision as to what is best for your kids or classroom (possibly thinking about some of the qualities I talk about in this post).
-Obviously there are tons of books that you could find Catholic themes within (virtue, symbolism, etc.) but these are books with explicit Catholic content and I've sorted them into a "genres" below.
-These lists are roughly organized from youngest interest level to oldest.  They are also far from complete and I invite you to chime in with your favorites in the comments.  Feel free to book mark this post as I will come back and continue to add to it!


Scripture
Through the Year with Jesus- Bogner, Katherine
The Word of the Lord- Warner, Katie
The Gospel for Little Ones- Roche, Maite
Jesus, Savior of the World, Marlyn Evangelina Monge
What Did God Make? Henning, Heather
Colors of Creation, by Paul Thigpen
God's Wildest Wonderment of All, Thigpen, Paul
Noah and the Ark, Tomie de Paola
David and Goliath, Tomie de Paola
Jesus, Son of Mary- Sheen, Fulton
Jesus, Our Savior- Szczebak, Patricia
The First Christians: The Acts of Apostles for Children- Hunt, Marigold

Mary, the Mother of Jesus, Tomie de Paola


Saints (Individual)
The Sword and the Cape- Love, Pamela
Soldier of God. St. Maximilian Kolbe- Treece, Patricia (and other comic books on Fulton Sheen, Emil Kapaun, Solanus Casey, etc. but I can't find them at a reasonable price online.  You can always contact the Foundations for the Causes for Canonization to order them more affordably)


Picture Book of Saints- Lovasik, Fr. (and others in series)


Prayer
O Come, Emmanuel, Kendra Tierney


Church Teachings/Q&A
Kiddie Cat- Warner, Katie


Stories/Novels/Activity Books
Before Austen Comes Aesop: The Children's Great Books and How to Experience Them- Blomquist, Cheri (great guide for discerning reading the great books with your children)
The Phantom of the Colosseum, Sophie de Mullenheim