We jumped right into our resolution by celebrating The Nativity of Mary with our local Catholic homeschool group. I am continually blown away on how God has used a social networking tool such as Facebook to provide such a wonderful network of friends for our family to gather with on a regular basis. We are blessed to live within driving distance to the National Shrine of Our Lady of LaSalette, so what a perfect location we found ourselves in to celebrate the Nativity of Mary!
|My children and a friend posing in front of the Shrine Rosary Pond.|
With children its always important to bring some movement activities to help empty some of the energy before sitting down for a story or craft. We played a modified version of Mother, (Mary) May I. The kids had a blast and of course in the end we were all winners.
|Playing Mother Mary, May I near the Shrine Chapel where we had our lessons.|
|Retelling the story of Sts. Joachim and Anne.|
One book that I found incredibly useful for this lesson was Leading the Little Ones to Mary* by Sister Mary Lelia. I highly recommend this book to anyone wants to help their children grow their devotion to Mary. It offers a great question and answer dialog for you to use with your child. Some of the language is a bit dated, but its very easy to paraphrase and make it your own. The kids also enjoyed the story of Mary found in The Coloring Book About Mary by Emma C. McKean. I read this story while some of the kids were running around a bit and slowly they all came and sat down as the story drew them in. My Jesus and I has wonderful pictures and very short explanations of the basic Catholic Prayers. We used it to break down The Hail Mary.
Music always plays a big role and in any of our celebrations and the Nativity of Mary was no exception. We sang Ring Around The Rosary and other nursery rhymes and gradually transitioned into two verses of Immaculate Mary. This is a perfect song for children because of its short verses and memorable chorus.
|Singing Immaculate Mary while walking using a parachute.|
Great follow up activities to do at home:
- Make a cake (with blue frosting) or blueberry muffins and sing Happy Birthday to Mary.
- Create a Mary centerpiece/diorama- this is a beautiful idea that I first spotted over on Training Happy Hearts. I cannot wait to do with my children during our next Mary activity!
- Mary booklets for faith journals/notebooks - I have started one of these with my oldest and he loves having something tangible that is just his.
- Edible Rosary - I have seen this around the web lately and it looks like so much fun. There are so many variations of this and its easily adaptable to meet any family's dietary needs.
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