Sunday, June 12, 2016

8 Sensory Smart Ways to Celebrate St. Anthony of Padua

Saint Anthony's Feast Day is but a day away on June 13, so, today, I thought I'd offer you eight sensory-smart ways to celebrate St. Anthony of Padua.  That way, whether you want to honor him on his feast day, or do a little bit each day, you'll have plenty of ideas to choose from!

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Holy Heroes.  If you click through them to make any purchase, we may receive small income.  Thank you, as always, for supporting our endeavor at Training Happy Hearts in our children and ourselves and sharing about it here, whether you do so by purchasing items through our affiliate links, reading and sharing our posts, or simply joining us in prayer.}

Delight Your Senses with a Visit to Pray at a Church Named After St. Anthony

St. Anthony is a popular saint and many churches are named after him.  Why not try to find one local to you?

If you are anywhere near New Bedford, MA, I would highly recommend going to Mass or simply stopping in to pray at St. Anthony of Padua
church. It is one of the most beautiful churches I have seen.  You can take a virtual tour of it online.

Truly, the place provides a visual feast and, being there, stirs the soul.  Of course, participating in Mass at any church provides soul food and a sensory feast, though, so , if you can , on Saint Anthony's Feast Day, get to Mass.

Enjoy the Auditory Fun of a Saint Anthony of Padua Audio

Long car rides can get tedious for children who like to move and groove, so while bodies are still for our crew, we tend to keep minds and ears engaged.  One way we do this is by listening to Holy Heroes CD's in our minivan.

Holy Heroes CD's make the stories of the saints come alive.  So ride to take today.  So, today, I will be laying hands on our copy of
Glory Stories CD Vol 6: Saint Joan of Arc & Saint Anthony from Holy Heroes so we can listen to it anew.

If you'd like to listen to the
Saint Joan of Arc & Saint Anthony CD, too, and do not own a copy, you're in luck.  It is the Holy Heroes Deal of the Day, so it is a prime time to order one at 13% off!

Enjoy the Visual Fun of Coloring Free Images of St. Anthony

Although we typically listen to Holy Heroes in our minivan, sometimes we like to listen to the saint stories while playing with LEGOS, doing chores, or coloring, too.  I have already bookmarked two lovely, FREE stained-glass style images of St. Anthony at St. Anne's Helper to print and color this year. A quick Google search can find you many more images to color or paint, too.

Get Tactile Painting a Peg Doll (or Coloring a Wooden Puppet)

Speaking of coloring, if you have Sharpies, paper scraps, and fabric scraps, plus a wooden ice cream spoon, large craft stick , or wooden kitchen spoon , you can easily engage your tactile senses making a St. Anthony of Padua puppet inspired by Mary Spoon Puppets we made for Mother's Day years back.
You could also "level up" by engaging your tactile and visual senses and your fine motor skills to paint a St. Anthony peg doll.  I hope to get my own children inspired to do so tomorrow with the Saint Anthony page in our Encyclopedia of Peg Saints (which we recently reviewed).  I just love the
Encyclopedia of Peg Saints and look forward to how the facts and images about St. Anthony in it may inspire a faith-filled time of crafting for our family.

 Get Moving with a Scavenger Hunt

 St. Anthony of Padua Nature Scavenger Hunt
St. Anthony's Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

A friend and I have recently recommitted to weekly nature walks for our families, so I am going to share a wonderful idea from Shower of Roses with her and suggest that we engage our children's proprioceptive and vestibular senses as they search high and low completing a St. Anthony's Outdoor Scavenger Hunt this week. 

Since the links to the Shower of Roses St. Anthony of Padua's Outdoor Scavenger Hunt seem to be broken, we will simply used the image of Jessica's hunt as a model for making our own version

Search for Lost Items with a Tactile Sensory Bin

Several years ago, I put together a St. Anthony Seek-and-Find Sensory Bin for an All Saints Day party.  In it were a variety of dry beans and ten "lost objects".  The children loved it and, since then, the bin has made a reappearance at subsequent All Saints Day parties where it remains a hit, as well as on St. Anthony's feast day. 

Children of all ages seem to enjoy the challenge of finding tiny objects among beans.  Try it and see it if yours do, too, but be prepared with a drop cloth underneath or do it on a hard floor to make clean up easier.  Those searching hands can create quite a mess.
Get Tactile and Visual, then Gustatory, with Painted Basil Pots


This past week, our monthly Children's Adoration and More meet-up focused on St. Anthony After Adoration and prayer (plus an unplanned break in the sunshine when a fire alarm sounded), we set to painting pots to plant basil in.  

Some of these we made into "Spiritual Bouquets" for the priests who are kind enough to lead our Adoration time
by inserting craft sticks with prayer promises written on them.

Others we
simply painted and planted with the intention o f decorating our porches with basil pots or giving them away as is customary on Saint Anthony's feast day (as per the Saint Anthony of Padua website.)  We learned about this idea on Catholic Cuisine, where it was suggested that children include images of lily, bread/the Eucharist, the Christ Child, a book, or fish on their pots, since all of these are symbolic of Saint Anthony and his stories.

Of course, not every child did this, but they all enjoyed painting and potting.

Cuddle in to Read Together

One of my children's favorite calming activities is simply snuggling together to read together.  This year, we'll be reading the sweet story about Saint Anthony in our out-of-print Story Library of Saints, a copy of A Rich Young Man. Saint Anthony, and the simple page with darling illustration of Saint Anthony in a library copy of My Friends the Saints (which sells on Amazon for as little as a penny! and which we already read once at an early St. Anthony feast day celebration.)

I know there are other great St. Anthony books to share with children out there.  We simply do not own them and cannot get them at our local library.  I'd love your recommendations, though, of which ones you've read that would be worth purchasing, so please do share in a comment.

Obviously, we love celebrating saint days here.  If you have fabulous ideas for learning about St. Anthony of Padua and living the liturgical year through celebrating his feast day, we'd welcome them.  Do share.


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