What do you put in your "Mass bag" for your little children?

Here is what I put in mine, so far.

A knotted rosary (not blessed, so not a sacramental)
Prayer cards, with a hole punched in one corner and put on a ring.
a religious book or two or three
a little soft, stuffed lamb rattle

and my newest addition, which I made in hopes of keeping my busy toddler quiet at First Friday Mass this evening, is a…
Religious Art Matching Game
I used Google image searches to find beautiful Renaissance artwork of members of the Holy Family and some saints, and then I created a couple of pages with the paintings in one column and a description/identification label in the other column, and I printed off extra pictures to match up and I laminated the whole thing. I plan to add more pages over time, but a couple of pages is what I had time for today.

But with such a young family with lots of busy little hands and active little bodies, I am always trying to come up with more ideas of new and beautiful and QUIET things to put in our Mass bag. :wink: So I thought I would ask here what else people put in their bags. There maybe lots of things I haven’t thought of that would be perfect for my family, and there might be other families who would like to create their own Mass bags, too.

So please share your ideas here!

I just have a wooden bead rosary (ours is blessed) and several religious books. I usually try to have a couple different kinds of books. The favorite right now is a board book about St. Francis, but the children’s Bible also gets a lot of use.

I would love to get/make a little Mass kit, but it seems like the one company that made them no longer does or they are out of business, so it may be up to me to make one. But that requires a lot of brushing up on my sewing skills. :wink:

Mess free markers. Reusable coloring books. Make up brush. Books. Gag. Toys. Spanker. Religious themed books. I want a deck of holy cards.

here’s a mad idea (i used to teach middle school); take pics of the stain glass window; make into a little hand friendly template (card board); then, the goal is to trace the image on paper/clip board/ for instance- heart of Jesus-a lamb, etc…then, the capable-quiet kid gets to look at the window (generally these have a story line) -real time observation…:eek:.“Mass bag” by Ronco -that TV commercial/ toy company-i can hear the TV ad now/ Mass bag-peddle pusher at home to focused student at church…:wink:

I don’t take anything, it would cause more problems then it would fix for me but they are some great ideas I will keep in mind for my newborn when he gets older.

Please, no rattle. Not needed in church. Unless the altar bells have gone missing.:stuck_out_tongue:

It is one of those “quiet” rattles, where it makes only the faintest tinkle that the baby can hear, but not neighbors nearby. :slight_smile:

Similar thought went through my head…
I love the rest of the ides though.
Our church changes hymnals every year so last year’s get recycled.
Our little ones can look at their own “recycled” hymnal w/o worry of it getting wrinkled or torn. (Though, fair warning, depending on the child, this has caused more noise than any lamb rattle might.) It teaches them how to treat the real hymnals with no harm done.

What has worked the very best is allowing them to sit with select members of the congregation that they gravitate toward. Honestly, they sit like little angels with the adopted “Aunties”. (I’m usually doing music so people go out of their way to help prevent kiddo-chaos).

Leaving that aside: they each get their own blank little notebook and a pencil or pen. They love drawing pictures.

Dumb question: why not a sacramental rosary?

For the really littles about what you have in your bag, but they were generally pretty happy to sit on a lap and pull hair at that age. The little bit older preschooler ages were more active and then a few books with lovely pictures, and paper to scribble on were the most popular things.

Wow. Fantastic idea … I’m not sure I’m picturing it right !? but it seems like something they could really love.

Regarding the Rosary, I would not put a sacramental in the hands of one of my babies.:smiley:

Why not? I mean no offense. :shrug: I’m missing something.

To each his (or her) own. :slight_smile: Our priest was very happy to bless our obviously-intended-for-children rosary, and they happily play with it. :shrug:

oh, back to the stainglass window/ well i skipped a step/ once you take a pic of that window/ then print it, enlarge what? a lamb…so now it is let’s say, 3 in X 4 in…glue it to card board; now, cut as an outline/ this yields a template, which is can be placed on a paper/
so photo, color copy, enlarge if necessary/paste on card board/ trim.
review a story as implied by the stain glass windows, as pre-lesson, you see?
the windows have a theme-which the kids can learn…from both activity and on-site observation/
so some instruction if needed/the task is natural , trace that template with little hands, busy hands are good hands, and look up-(i wonder if pointing in church is OK from mom); :wink:

i usually comment when the lesson is finished…“WELL DONE.” if mom cannot talk-give the kid a cherrio- (still means well done) mom wins, the kid wins, and the rest of us win…:wink:

jus kiddin on the last phrase-( i love kids-quiet or active)

I cringe when I see toddlers given pencils and ball-point pens in church so they can scribble. The pews always get the worse of it. That goes for crayons, colored markers and food, too.

I don’t seem to see any “Hey! Volunteer Opportunity! Sign up for pew cleaning and refinishing coming up this week” notices in the parish bulletin.

How is it that mom and dad raised eight children and never thought of bringing toys or food into church? I wonder…just wonder…is it possible they were secretly training their children out of instant gratification and constant entertainment desires at a young age?
:tada:

We have two toddlers now and I don’t bring a Mass bag. I bring a bottle/sippy cup for each of them but no toys or other distractions. Our 3-year-old is to the point where she knows that she’s not to act up or make a lot of noise during Mass. Our little one has some rough patches, but otherwise she does very well.

That’s a good point to remind people to keep a close eye on that sort of thing, but it is extremely unkind to paint everyone with such a broad brush.

I see no point in debating you. You obviously have issues. There are times when these things are necessary. You have no clue how much time and money all families with children put into church. You are really only hurting yourself thinking in such an uncharitable way.

That’s why I give my kids the mess free or color wonder markers as they just wipe off. Color wonder is pricey so we don’t do a lot of it and mostly save it for church. Pens and pencils are impalement hazards so they don’t get those. I don’t let them play with a rosary, I find that disrespectful and they should be taught better. Though I try not to police them too much when we are saying a rosary, and they have their own, but only get it then. I don’t mention this to be preachy, but someone asked.

They’re all different, some are fine with a sippy cup, personally I have found them to be more hassle and as soon as they are old enough to go without, they do.

For the people gifted with quiet kids who need nothing to sit still for an hour, tell us your secret.

Great idea.

This made me laugh.

That was me… thanks… I don’t let them touch their feet with it but mostly they just kind of roll it around in their hands and look at it. Often I put on around their neck so the girls spend a good amount of time taking it off … looking at it … putting it on … looking at it … repeat ad nausium.

I guess I’m trying to get if that is interpreted as “disrespectful”. It’s so easy to upset people these days … it seems like the more I go out of my way to avoid it, the more likely I am to offend someone else.

Yes; please! :thumbsup:

hi, i am sure that mom-as follow up here-would easily teach Jesus by example and teach Jesus by reviewing the stories given by the stain glass window/ as light is in the example and love/ maternal it is-while Mary prays.That said-it is the most difficult time in the world to grow up…please be nice here on this thread/ thread not threat, you see?

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