Sunday, August 9, 2015

Plan for An Assumption Day Playdate - A Round Up

Our local Catholic homeschool group is planning another small gathering this week in order to celebrate the Assumption of Mary.

Another family will be hosting our Assumption celebration, but I've been asked to lead it.  Thus, I have been busy collecting and brainstorming possible plan ideas.  ("Possible" because I will not finalize plans until I see how many families RSVP and what ages their children are.)

The mom who is hosting requested prayer, snacks and a story, maybe a look at some famous paintings of the assumption, and, then, further activities and free play.

So, here is a round up of some of the ideas I have gathered.  I'd love more to choose from though.  So, if you have any, please do share them in a comment!

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Image Credit:  Holy Heroes

As we do with many of our Saint celebrations, we will likely begin our celebration of St. Mary's Assumption with a circle time that opens with prayer

Among the many prayers for the day I looked at Our Catholic Prayers, Women for Faith & Family, Pray More Novenas, Mary Pages, Catholic Online, and Church Year. Net, it is one from the latter I think we may use:

Alternate Catholic Collect for the Feast of the Assumption

Father in heaven,
all creation rightly gives you praise
for all life and all holiness come from you.
In the plan of Your wisdom
she who bore the Christ in her womb
was raised body and soul in glory
to be with Him in heaven.
May we follow her example
in reflecting your holiness
and join in her hymn of endless life and praise.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
from the International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL)
Image Credit: Amazon

Of course, we will also likely pray at least a decade of the Glorious Mysteries together on our own, or using one of our favorite rosary CD's, the Glorious Mysteries by Holy Heroes. 

Since we will have littles among us who do best with hands-on prayer activities, but not always with rosary beads, I might offer each child a clear plastic cup, water, blue water beads and herbs and wildflowers so we can build bouquets in "vases" while praying.  Basically, each child will place one flower or herb sprig in the vase per prayer, and, at the conclusion of the prayer, we can place the vases below a statue of Mary that will sit on a white cloth, perhaps surrounded by cotton.

We can, then, use the centerpiece we have created as a focal point for chatting about God, Mary, and the Assumption, using the children's ideas about the symbolism to lead our discussion.  Connections that may come up are:

  • Mary was the Mother of God on earth.
  • Jesus talked about "living water" in the Bible.
  • Mary was assumed, body and soul, into heaven.
  • Mary is often depicted in the colors blue and white. Blue is often assoicated with royalty, peace, nature (the sky), and the Heavens.  White is associated with purity and virginity.
  • When we pray to Mary, we ask for her intercession.
  • In some areas, people bless flowers, herbs, vegetables, wheat or grapes on the Assumption.

Famous Paintings

Image Source: Wikipedia

While still gathered in our circle, we may enjoy a quick art study of famous works of the Assumption.

We will leave these out with drawing boards, art supplies and blank paper should the children later wish to create their own images of the Assumption.  I may also leave out copies of The Triumph of Jesus, which has coloring pages of the Assumption as well as printouts of free coloring pages found online and linked at my
2012 Planning an Assumption of Mary Tea: A Resource Round-Up post or Our Assumption Day Tea – A Day Full of Moments of Grace post.  (I'd also love to know your favorite free Assumption Day coloring links!)


Snacks and Story Time

If my children do not wish to wait for the actual Assumption to enjoy our Assumption Day Waffles, we shall bring the fixings for those to share with others.

Or, perhaps we shall bring yogurt parfait toppings, much like we had last year during our Simple Assumption Celebration for the Sick.

Or, grapes, vegetables or herbs, since all of those things are traditionally blessed on the Assumption in one part of the world or another.

Or, beer bread, herbed biscuits or one of the other ideas I initially collected when researching for Assumption Day teas.

Plus, whatever others bring!

Along with these yummies, we will read The Dormition of the Theotokos by Sister Elayne aloud, if I can figure out where I last laid my copy of it.   If I cannot, we will read about Mary in the awesome Dragon Slayers: The Essential Training Guide for Young Dragon Fighters, portions of one of my favorite Mary books, Just Like Mary, or parts of whatever favorite Mary book comes in from the library in time!

Other Activities

I always like activities that encourage sensory input, so among the activities we may do are:

  • reflecting holiness mirrors is an idea that came to mind when I read the prayer shared earlier in this post.   My thought is that children could use fine motor skills and get tactile input while decorating the borders or inexpensive mirrors using Sharpies, paint pens, glue, collage cut outs, etc.
  • open-ended art activities to encourage fine motor skills as well as tactile and visual input.
  • dramatic play to encourage imagination, proprioceptive, tactile, and vestibular input. 
  • an "in Heaven" shaving cream slide or sensory play pool  to encourage tactile input.

We may also choose to enjoy other craft an activity ideas that I've collected on my growing Assumption Day Pinterest board.
Follow Martianne @'s board 8.15 Assumption Day on Pinterest.

I welcome other ideas, too, so if you have any great ones before Thursday, please let me know about them!


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