Wednesday, October 29, 2014

5 Great Tools for Teaching Your Kids the Faith (and a Giveaway!)

Jumping on the 5 Favorites bandwagon today to share with you not only some of my favorite resources for sharing our Catholic faith with young children. Especially with All Saint's Day on the near horizon, I've been thinking a lot about the ways we teach and pass down what we believe. I personally think that tangible objects and stories are one of the best ways for small children to grasp more complex concepts.

Our family has made an effort to live liturgically throughout the year. Sometimes I do put a little more effort into certain Saint's feast days and other times, we just do a simple story time or say a prayer. Whichever way you choose to approach learning the Faith, there are so many wonderful products and ideas to help you along the way.




Annnnd here are just 5 of my favorites… plus there's a special giveaway for 2 (!!!) of you, so read on to find out more.



1.



Saint's Stories

This is probably my all time favorite for me to learn more as well as to share the Church and its rich history: through the stories of the Saints. There are so many beautiful tales to be told to encourage, to teach, and to all around enjoy. Start with the Saints you know and then delve into others you might not know as well. Some of our favorite books to start with:

Can You Find Saints?: Introducing Your Child to Holy Men and Women by Philip D. Gallery and illustrated by Nancy L. Harlow
The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica by Kathleen Norris and illustrated by Tomie dePaola
Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
Saint Francis and the Wolf by Richard Egielski
Wenceslas by Geraldine McCaughrean and illustrated by Christian Birmingham
Lives of the Saints an Illustrated History for Children by Bart Tesoriero and illustrated by Michael Adams

Many of these titles are available to purchase used for an even better price, or we have even found many of them at our local library!


2.

Saint/Marian Candles and Daily Prayer Time

This is a new addition to our days. For us, as homeschoolers, this is how we start every school day. My kids (ages 2.5 and 4.5) are so into it that they usually are the ones reminding me. We light the candle each day, cross ourselves, say a Hail, Holy Queen, and recite the Apostles' Creed, and then blow the candle out. We take turns as to who leads the prayer and who gets to blow the candle out. By lighting the candle, we are introducing ritual and also a sense of the special.

For candles, you can look on Amazon (Our Lady of Guadalupe Candle) or often they have them in the Goya section at grocery stores. Check your local Catholic stores as well as online bookstores.



3.


Mass Books


Obviously this one is set to a certain place and time, but this has been such an instrumental way in helping our older son focus during the Mass. He is a beginner reader, and he can follow along easily. We have two different versions that we bring along: this one from Catholic Icing and then The Mass for Children by Rev. Jude Winkler OFM Conv.

This one is another that has caught my eye: The Mass Book for Children by Donna Piscitelli and Rosemarie Gortler and illustrated by Mimi Sternhagen



4.


Saint figures

These are by far my 2 year olds favorite part about learning about our Faith. From nativity sets to single saints, these are such a fun and pointedly tangible way to get play involved in learning. It definitely adds the fun aspect to our Faith. Some favorites for us are wooden figures from Armadillo Dreams - they don't have any in stock now, but we own St. Lucy, St. Nicholas, and of course, St. Patrick from them.
Other great collections include:
Shining Light Dolls
PLAYMOBIL Saint Nicholas and Angel



5.


CCC of America's Saint DVDs

Last but not least, there is nothing like being able to stick in a movie for 30 minutes of relative silence and still your kids are learning values and the life stories of those who have stood for Christ in the Church's history. It's a win-win situation.

One of our very favorite titles is the story of St. Nicholas. With Christmas coming up, you can bet Santa will be the topic of at least some discussion. Whether you celebrate the jolly fat man or not (we don't, but that's just us), he permeates our culture. What better way to answer your kids' queries than by sharing the story of where the whole concept of what is now known as Santa Claus came from? Also, don't forget that the Feast of St. Nicholas is before Christmas on December 6.

CCC of America has been so kind to partner with me and offer you, my readers, with not only one, but two copies for you to win. I have two copies of St. Nicholas, the Boy Who Became Santa to giveaway today. Enter in the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win!


You must comment on this blog post for any of your entries to be considered valid.

**Don't forget to check out the 50% off sale happening right now only until tomorrow at CCC!**

There are 13 possible entries, with a few options to come back daily and earn extra entries. I will use Rafflecopter's generator to choose the winner, who will then be announced here on the blog + via social media. Email address you provide will only be used to contact you if you win. U.S. and Canadian mailing addresses only. Entries will be accepted until 12:00am 6 November 2014. 

Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by CCC of America, and they have been kind enough to provide me with a complimentary copy to review. However, I only review and share with you things that I love, and all opinions are solely my own. 




Linking up for Five Favorites with the lovely Jenna from Call Her Happy



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This post: 5 Great Tools for Teaching Your Kids the Faith (and a Giveaway!) first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 29 October 2014 


16 comments:

  1. Love the CCC Saint videos and we don't own the Nicholas one. Thanks for the giveaway. I'm visiting from the Catholic Women Blogger's page on FB!

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  2. Love the Visual aka Pictorial Mass Book - perfect for my (special needs) daughter who is still learning to master the language but who is so ready for First Communion!!

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  3. Our kids like saint's stories/coloring pages. The other day my 2.5 yr old got our small St Michael statue and was using him to fight something off... so they enjoy those as well :)
    Ruth Anne

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  4. Fun! I think our favorite way is straight up Bible stories from the children's bible every night! I'm pretty sure my kids know more Old Testament history than I do :)

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  5. I love all your ideas! I wonder if Amazon will ship fast enough to get me some saint candles for All Saints' Day. Procrastinator over here...and I don't wanna take the kids into a store again this week.

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  6. Great ideas and I am excited to check out the DVDs!

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  7. Oh my gosh, loving these favorites! I am always trying to better carve out family ritual time.

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  8. Ahhh, I love the saint figurines! That'd be so cool for my kids.

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  9. Sarah, there is so much awesome in this list! I love the candle lighting for morning prayers or prayers in general! Will be looking at all the book recommendations and I really want to start making little saint dolls for the boys to play with!! For Christmas! Pray I can get all I need for those sweet wooden dolls to make for them! :)

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  10. I honestly don't have too many resources at this point - we have a few books and coloring books that I like, and a few soft Saint dolls.

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  11. PS Lucia's birthday is the day before St. Nicholas Day and her birthday will be on St. Nicholas Day this year, so that movie would be perfect to show to the kids at the party! Fingers crossed!

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  12. I love this list! We have angel night lights (http://eternal-lite-candles.com/) which have helped spark discussions about guardian angels for our almost-4-year-old. My other (current) favorite would be our Marian grotto in the yard, and the multiple pieces of religious art around our house. Our 2yo gets so excited to say hello to Mary every time he looks out the window, and recognizes Mary, Joseph and Jesus in art. I feel like it's a good start :)

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  13. We read a lot of saint stories, but we'd love the CCC dvd! My husband and I grew up watching them and we'd love to share them with our kids now.

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  14. Right now, we don't have too much. We do have jesse tree ornaments that I love. I cannot wait for advent to start so we can use them each night. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

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  15. I actually have and love the picture book of the mass (more for me than the kids) and I just received the DVD's of the saints thanks to your suggestion. I loved reading the stories as kid. I could always use an extra copy for a gift this season.

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  16. Fun! I have been meaning to get some of the CCC DVDs. Thanks for the reminder. One of our current favorites are the Once Upon a Saint books. The stories are told like fairy tales and the illustrations are lovely. Thanks for the chance to win!

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Heyo! Welcome to Two Os Plus More! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note. I *do* read and appreciate each and every comment, but sometimes due to, you know, life and stuff, it does take me a bit to reply. Cheers!

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