Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Belated All Saints Day Party -- Sensory Smart Games and Lots of Fun

St. Nina (also known as St. Nino), St Michael and St. George

"Mom, I understand,"  a disappointed Luke told me,while looking with concern at his sister who had spiked a fever during the night.

Then, he spied the angel wings that the kids had helped me create for Jack and the sheet we'd spent lots of time cutting up.  "But, you did all that work."

For angel wings, we took a pair of broken Dollar Tree fairy wings and upcycled them.  First, we taped a white cardstock cut out of an angel wing shape to the elastic arm bands.  Then, using "fancy" scissors, we cut out a bunch of feather shapes, which we glued on in layers.

"I know," I consoled, "and, it's okay.  We can use those things another time.  Today, what's important is helping Nina heal and not passing germs onto anyone else.  We can pray here at home, practice our virtues of compassion and caring, enjoy quiet activities at home today and play All Saints Day games another time with other children."

Playdough saved the day for us on All Saints Say, entertaining a sick Nina and her brothers for hours on end.

Later that morning, when Nina felt well enough to play a bit with her brothers, I took out lots of playdough and tools.  While the kids busied themselves with these, I got online to ask the mom of another family that had had to miss the annual All Saints Day party due to sickness if we might plan and enjoy a small, belated All Saints Day party together once both our families were healthier.  She thought it was a fabulous idea!

Our Belated Party

"St. Nina" wears the colors the saint is traditionally pictured in (a red dress, a blue tablecloth for a cape and a white lace tablecloth for a veil.)  She carries a "grapevine" cross and a scroll."

Last week, the children and I were thrilled to participate in the belated party!

"St. George" wears armor and a red cloth cape.  He carries a weapon and even has a small dragon figurine (which cannot be seen in the picture) to represent the dragon legen says he slayed.

We began with a simple meet, greet and free play.  Then, once all had arrived, we circled up to pray, chat about All Saints Day and pray and play an All Saints Day Bingo, which another mom had printed out from Shower of Roses and laminated.  (She laminated "gift" copies for my family and the other family.  Bless her and her kind heart!)

St. Micheal also wears armor and carries a weapon.  He also dons angel wings.

After Bingo, the children enjoyed a snack together and then, we split into small groups to play the games I had prepared.

The tactile input of our St. Anthony Search game was a big hit.

First up for my children and one of their friends was St. Anthony's Search.  Their challenge was to find ten "lost" objects in a small sensory bin.

Nina laughs as she begins to be wrapped like St. Lazarus.

Next up was the game we had cut an old bed sheet apart for -- St. Lazarus' Wrap.  This game, of course, provided proprioceptive and vestibular input for the children.

The Build a Church Like St. Francis game I created a few years ago was a hit again.

Third in my children's rotation through the game was an old favorite -- re-building "San Damiano" as St. Francis did when he first heard his call to rebuild the church.  In this game, the children used their creative imaginations, deciding how to construct their churches to ensure it had a cross and other typical aspects of church design.  Plus, since the blocks for building were placed a room's length apart from one another, and we made a stipulation that children could only carry one block at a time, the game also provided vestibular and proprioceptive input.

If you look just above this caption, you will see the small plastic jar that "St. George" is trying to drop clothespins into.

After some vestibular/proprioceptive games, I placed two for concentration and calming.  The first was St. Martha's Clothespin Drop.  The children loved this one as they worked to meet the challenge of dropping as many clothespins as they could into a jar.

The Halo Toss was difficult to get a decent  photo of due to where I placed it in our friend's home, but it sure was fun to play!

The final game of the rotation was our Halo Toss, where the children tossed flow necklace "halos" around ring toss sticks that had images of saints on them.

Two of my three well-satiated saints.  The children thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship, fun, skill building and learning of our belated All Saints Day party.

After all these games, we enjoyed lunch together and, then, were going to play a round of the Corporal Works of Mercy Walk game I had prepared.  However, by the time the mamas has finished eating, the children were all free-playing happily, we decided to nix the final round of games.  The Corporal Works of Mercy walk will be for another day.

What are some of your favorite Saints-inspired games and activities?

(If you receive this post via email and cannot see the linky, be sure to actually click over to the blog to read browse the rich catalog of ideas there.)


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