Kids are hard to take to church. It’s just a fact of life. We have had so many rough Sundays (and sometimes week days) at Mass, there are too many to even count. Taking our kids to Mass every week is part of our Catholic faith and we do it willingly, but not always easily. So naturally having a church quiet bag for Mass is definitely an essential for us.
Even though it does not always guarantee a smooth experience the entire time or on those really bad days where the kids are overly tired or in a bad mood, it is still better than nothing. Most days, it is quite helpful to have on hand and it gets us through, especially when it’s contents are new and exciting.
Affiliate links included below which means if you click through or purchase something through my links, I’ll receive a small compensation at no cost to you. See full disclosure here.
Enter the Children’s Missalette. Among the other items we have used, this resource is by far the best one for Mass time quiet and attention span. We received this product for free to review and promote and our two older girls absolutely LOVED it. They are 7 and 5 and it was literally the first time they were both completely engaged throughout Mass.
The Children’s Missalette has little flaps that you open for each part of the Mass and at the end of Mass the folded back flaps reveal a picture holy card that you can take out of the booklet and keep. On the back of the card, there is a prayer or an explanation about the picture which corresponds to a current feast day or a Catholic faith aspect. If you sign up for a subscription, each week you will receive a new booklet with a brand new picture inside to correspond with that Sunday Mass. Plus there are weekly videos designed specifically for kids to learn more about the Mass.
My daughters were so excited to use these during Mass. They thought it was like a game with the picture being revealed by the end and the anticipation to see the whole picture underneath heightened with each flap they opened. In the middle of Mass, I heard my five year old whisper to my husband: “Daddy, do you know why I’m being so good? Because this is fun!”
After Mass we came home and I let them use the Unus Deus Stickers (which you get for free if you sign up for the missalette subscription). They each created a picture of the inside of a church with crayons and then applied the stickers around the inside of their church picture. They drew altars, and priests and pews and people.
As they were crafting, I read through the Unus Deus Book (also a free bonus with the yearly subscription) and told them what each sticker represented as it is highlighted in the book. My seven year old then proceeded to write “I like Mass” on the back of her paper. I was blown away. They have never said they like Mass or that it is fun until now! So, if you want a way to engage your kids more at Mass, then you NEED this children’s missalette.
Sunday Kid Friendly Activities
We finished out our Sunday afternoon by playing a round of the
Unus Deus card game which also comes to you as a freebie with the yearly subscription sign up. This game is basically a Catholic version of UNO to help kids learn more about the liturgical year. I love this because I’m always trying to find something to make Sunday afternoons special and Sabbath centered at our house and playing a Catholic game with the whole family is the perfect way to do this. Now we have the Unus Deus card game as well as the Fishing for Saints card game so we have a couple of options for Sunday games with our young children.
The Unus Deus Stickers were also a great Sunday afternoon activity. The same company that produces these stickers also has sets of saint stickers and bible character stickers that would make for wonderful Sunday afternoon crafting session. My kids love stickers and pretend play so give them a piece of paper, crayons and unique stickers and they go to town on crafting projects.
To go along with our Sunday activity theme, we have a rule that the kids can only watch Sunday shows on Sunday. Meaning that if they watch a kids’ show that day it has to be from our Sunday collection. This includes mostly Brother Francis and Veggie Tales as well as some other streaming faith based shows through the Formed website. We also have a special tote with all of our Sunday kids’ books. This is the tote we pull out occasionally on Sundays and the kids pick a couple for us to read aloud. This is also the tote that I refer to to switch out the books in our church quiet bag.
Church Quiet Bag Essentials
One thing that is guaranteed is that your kids will get tired of the same stuff in the quiet bag every week. So having a Sunday collection of books and toys to rotate every month is essential. I like to keep 4 or 5 small Sunday books at a time in the bag as well as a handful of church toys. What I mean by that are toys that are quiet and preferably faith related.
Other things you can bring to Mass is drinks and snacks for your kids. I personally try to steer away from snacks since once they start eating snacks during church every week, it’s hard to break the habit as they get older. Speaking from personal experience here. I don’t always bring drinks anymore either but occasionally I will include sippy cup of water depending on the age our kids are currently at. I have been trying to bring water cups on the way to Mass so that they can have a drink in the car right before going into church and then they are usually not thirsty until afterwards. Again this will depend on the age of your kids and what they need or don’t need to help them sit quietly during church.
Lastly, we always try to have something for our kids to put in the collection basket each week. It’s usually money but our church also has offering cards where we can write a little sacrifice, prayer or act of love that our kids completed that week and put that in the collection basket. Sometimes we do that as well as money, sometimes we do one or the other. Either way, it’s a great way for our kids to learn to give back to God through the Sunday collection.
We mostly just use our diaper bag for our church quiet bag since we still have toddlers and babies. Sometimes my older two girls will take one of their small princess bags or play purses to church with their collection money and a few small toys. But you can actually get some themed church bags that you could designate specially for church toys and books. This is a nice way to keep it all organized and separate from everything else. You can store it in a closet and have it sorted and ready to go each week.
Don”t forget to go check out the Children’s Missalette and sign up by September 30th to be a part of the launch of this awesome Catholic kids product!
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ” Philippians 4:8.