Saturday, November 02, 2013

Happy Feast of All Saints!

Here is my lovely little band of saints this year!  They wore their saint costumes to trick or treat in our neighborhood on All Hallow's Eve, and then on All Saints Day, they dressed up again to go to our homeschool group's All Saints party after Mass!

They were excited to get to wear their costumes to Mass, too!

Caroline as St. Joan of Arc - when she was a shepherdess, before becoming a soldier

Her shepherd's crook and blue dress came from cheapy places online - and then the apron and shawl were things we had around the house.  She made the flag attached to her crook - Joan carried a flag that said "Jesus and Mary" into battle.

Cecilia as St. Cecilia

The harp is actually made from an old piece of romex bent into that shape and then wrapped with gold duct tape - idea found here at Catholic Inspired.  Her headdress thingy is a piece of rolled-up tulle with gold ribbon wrapped around it.  She wore an old ballet costume that was given to us for dress-up clothes over a white shirt.

 Lucy as St. Lucy

I know, so original of me, right?  I already had the Santa Lucia crowns for Caroline and Cecilia from a few years ago, and so I just paired that with some of Lucy's white clothes plus a red ribbon for a sash, and she was good to go!  The elastic is too tight on the crown; I will have to remember to buy some longer pieces to make them better before December 13th!

Yes, all of them were martyrs this year.  Don't know why; it just happened to be that way!

After noon Mass, we went down to the parish hall for our party!  We had set up some of it before Mass and put up the finishing touches while the children ate lunch.  Below is the banner I assembled and brought to decorate the room - it can be downloaded here at Shower of Roses.  

Happy Feast...

...of All Saints

The images of the saints are from the book A catholic Alphabet of Saints that we use for our Kindergarten curriculum, so my girls were pleasantly surprised to notice that.  One of the other families who attended was looking at the banner, and the oldest girl was trying to figure out who each saint pictured was, especially when I told her that if she could get them all, she'd have to earn some kind of prize.  She and her younger brothers were stumped by the O saint, St. Odilla, and so I mentioned that perhaps they could try to use some resources to figure it out; that surely there would be a book of saints in our church's little library, which is in an alcove off the stairs that lead back up to the church.  Well, as soon as I said this, they practically knocked each other over rushing out to those bookshelves!  Gotta love the enthusiasm of homeschooled kids!!

~ Our Saints ~

Here is our group - and there were about seven more who weren't in costumes and so were not in the photo.  We had a nice, big group!

The banner made a nice backdrop for a group photo.

Here are Saints Maria Goretti, Joan of Arc, Therese of Lisieux, and Nicholas!

~ The Food ~

Well, they got to it before I could take a photo!  We had saintly "halos," St. Francis's animal crackers, St. Peter's goldfish, St. Bernadette's "firewood" pretzel sticks, St. Isidore's pumpkin candies, and Martyr Punch (which was red juice).  We also had some cute little signs for each food that one of the moms brought, but again, the kids got to the food faster than us, so they weren't out yet!

~ Guess the Saint ~

After they ate, the children all ran around outside until called together to try to guess each other's saints.  Here they are gathered around to try to guess St. Patrick.

Guessing St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Guessing St. Cecilia

St. Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes, who even posed to give us an excellent hint!

This is what our toddlers do at these events...

Next, we went inside to play some games that were set up in stations.  Here is the prize table, where the kids could go to choose a prize after winning a game:

~ St. Isidore's Pumpkin Patch Race ~

I love this game because it is so easy to implement.  All you need are two small pumpkins and a starting line!

Each child rolls a pumpkin to the chair, around it, and back to the starting line.  Whoever has both his pumpkin and himself across the line first is the winner!

These little saints both decided to go under a chair that had moved into their path!

I was manning this station, so there are lots of photos of it.  I love watching them play this game because it's so funny to see them doing it, especially in costumes!

I told them to "look competitive" before taking this photo... I am guessing maybe my daughter doesn't know what that word means, ha ha!

~ Crown Mary the Queen of Heaven Ring Toss ~

This one is really easy to set up, too - all that is needed is a crown (mine is made of cardstock wrapped around a wooden embroidery hoop) and a garden statue of Our Lady.  The kids try to throw the crown so that it lands on Mary.  We had a hula hoop for the littlest children in case the little crown was too hard for them.

~ St. Juan Diego's Rose Toss ~

Each child wears a "tilma" or cloak like Juan Diego wore - these are just big pieces of fabric tied around the back of each child's neck.  They take turns tossing the roses (which are weighted so they will be easier to throw) and trying to catch them in their cloaks.  They take steps back in between throws, like a water balloon toss.

~ Name That Saint! ~

One of the moms brought this game - she gave the kids clues and they had to try to guess which saint was being described.  Cecilia said that this and the pumpkin race were her favorite games of all - even more than the cupcake walk!  I like that we can incorporate learning about our faith into their parties... when we have a larger group of older children in our homeschool group, I'd love to see them try to play Saint Bingo this way, where they have to listen to the clue and then decide which saint it describes before covering it up on their bingo cards!

~ Guess How Many? ~

I decided to throw this one together last-minute since I saw it the day before the party, and it looked like it would be a great option for our few older children in particular!  This game came from Jessica at Shower of Roses, and all I had to do was print the labels and guessing slips and then assemble the jars!  

We had five jars in our game: a jar of Goldfish crackers for St. Andrew, bunny crackers for St. Francis, marshmallows for the Holy Souls, Dora star cereal for Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Rolos for Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  I thought they would get excited about the possibility of winning the ENTIRE JAR of treats!

It was fun to see what they guessed - most guesses tended to be much lower rather than higher!

Deep in thought...

And the winners are...
Yes, our group is very girl-heavy.  I asked them to all hold up their jars and smile, and our boy winner had to toss his jar in the air at the last minute to be funny.  Good to have some boy antics here and there in our group!  He was the only one to guess a number exactly - there were 55 Rolos in the jar.

~ Saint Bingo ~

While we were figuring out the Guess How Many winners, the kids all played Saint Bingo.  As they called out "bingo," they got to go to the prize table to pick out a final prize of a holy card, medal, book, or candy.

~ Saintly Cupcake Walk ~

 I had printed off some saint holy cards that I downloaded a couple years ago from That Resource Site (although I can't find them there now), and then I stick them on craft sticks as cupcake toppers.  Another mom offered to make and bring the cupcakes - yay!  So I brought the toppers for her to stick into them and the corresponding laminated cards to lay in a circle on the floor for the cake walk.

We played some saint music (the St. Tarcisius song got some of us moms moving more than the kids, ha!) and then stopped it every so often to call out a saint.  The child standing on that saint got to go pick out a cupcake and eat it!

Decisions, decisions...

A yummy way to end the day!!  My kids had so much fun at the party!  We were glad that so many of their friends were there.  It worked out well in the parish hall - this is the first year we have had our All Saints party here instead of at a home, but I think this is also the most families we have had to participate - as we grow, the parish hall space is helpful!

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