It’s the last day of my blog tour, and guess what? I’m going to do something different! If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you have seen several reviews of books by Sarah Reinhard. Sarah and I are both write-at-home Catholic moms writing resources to help parents raise kids with a vibrant faith.
The difference is (well, okay, it’s not the only difference), Sarah is a whole lot funnier than I am. 🙂 Which makes this book, Catholic Family Fun, entirely appropriate.
Sarah doesn’t think religion has to be so darned serious all the time. Everybody needs to blow off steam sometimes, so from chapter one–“Silly Things to Do Together”–she makes it clear that families need to enjoy their time together, and the faith formation should be tied to what’s taking place in real life.
The first three parts of the book offer lots of ideas for basic fun activities both at home and “abroad.” The vast majority of these activities are not actually religious activities. Rather, they’re things you would do at story time at the library. The “faith angle”–blocked out in boxes after every section–suggests ways to tweak the activities or talk about them afterward to connect them with faith concepts.
Some of my favorite ideas:
- Silly stories (think mad lib)
- “Opposite season”–a living room beach party in February, for example
- An unbirthday party–so if your February birthday girl loves the pool, have a pool party in July
- Fun with saint feast days: a scavenger hunt to honor St. Anthony, a nail driving contest for St. Joseph
- Christmas ornaments made from canning lids
Part four is more specifically focused on matters of faith, and Catholic faith in particular. These are more in-depth–having the whole family pitch in to build a Mary garden, for instance, or sorting clothes at the crisis pregnancy center. She also challenges parents to take the kids along for adoration and stations of the cross, and honestly? That makes sense; if it’s important to take your kids to Mass even though they aren’t “getting” it yet, then the same is true of the other opportunities for prayer that enrich Catholic life.
I think the hardest part for me is making the leap from “fun” to the religious lesson. Faith matters need to be tied into what is passing in an ordinary day, but even when we recognize the connection, it often feels forced if we draw the lines out loud. But guess what, folks? We’re the parents, and if we don’t draw the lines between ordinary life and faith lessons, the kids will never hear it. We’ve got to get over ourselves.
I’m going to leave you with this little gem of a quote, which I highlighted thinking of myself, and only in retrospect realized was probably intended to be about the kids themselves:
“Sometimes, ‘fun’ is something you don’t realize you’re having until you look back on something, especially if you’re in a certain age range.”
So why exactly am I touting someone else’s book on the last day of my blog tour? Because Sarah’s giving away not one, not two, but three books for Catholic families: This Little Light of Mine: Living The Beatitudes, Catholic Family Fun, and Vinny Flynn’s 21 Ways to Worship. Look at that: in one giveaway package, you’ve got faith in action, faith in fun, and faith in prayer. I think we’ve got you covered. Head on over to Sarah’s place to enter the giveaway!
good quote, actually brilliant quote and promised post is still fermenting in my brain ready to write and lnk here