Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Our Annual All Saint's Day Party

Last year, I felt like I didn't have enough games to keep the party moving and the older kids engaged.  I also felt that too many of the games were just for fun and didn't teach you anything about the saints.  Not that anything is wrong with fun, I wanted a better mix this year.  I did a little more planning ahead and planned some real thought-provoking and educational saintly games.  Another change we made was inviting a lot more of the neighborhood kids to join our co-op group.  It turned out well, but we had the opposite problem this year with too many games and not enough time!

First the children all played as the saints began to arrive.  We had a couple of duplicates (St. Michael and St. George,) but not many.  I tried to get individual pictures of everyone.
St. Catherine of Bologna

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

St. Rose of Lima

St. Mathilda

St. George

St. Martin of Toures

St. Anthony of Padua- I couldn't convince him that St. Anthony didn't have a sword, but always carried a child.  I told him I had dolls he could borrow.  :)

Mary, Queen of Saints

A saint who stripped his costume before he made it to our playset.  :)

St. Helen of the True Cross (She had an awesome cross too!)

St. Philomena

St. Brigid

St. Agnes, minus her lamb (He was napping.)

St. Cillian

St. George

St. Michael the Archangel

St. Cecilia

St. Michael the Archangel

Our Lady of the Snow
Then we had a procession, led by the Queen of Saints, while singing "Oh, When the Saints go Marching In" around the backyard ending in a circle-ish.  Each child had a turn to introduce themselves and give a fact about their saint if they could.  They did such a wonderful job!

Third on my agenda was to play "I Love all the Saints..." which is a spin off of "I love my Neighbor..."  or "I Love my Friends..."  The idea came from Shower of Roses.  The kids loved it, but several of them seemed to want to be caught in the middle which was funny.

Then we split into pairs.  I tried to get one older child with one younger child so that it would be even and the smarty pants didn't all team up.  We played Saintly Scattergories.  This idea also came from Shower of Roses.  I allowed them to come up with any words about God, the Church, the Bible, Mass, the saints to make it easier.  Thinking of multiple saints that begin with the same letter when you are timed is hard even for me.  I gave a prize to the winners of the first two games and then we went boys against girls (including adults,) and that was much more successful.  The girls won, of course.  :)

Boys against girls
The last game that I, myself, planned also came from Shower of Roses.  It was a Saint Scavenger Hunt.  The one I used was here.  Some were quite challenging while some were easier.  Again we split into teams, but this time having 3 or 4 on a team.  The top two teams were given prizes.  I read the answers to everyone while they ate pizza.

We moved right into Sin Ball, a game we played last year.  Our friends led this game.  The children run with shields from one side of the yard to the other while dads try to hit them with wiffle balls labelled with sins of all kinds.  If hit, they must go to the "priest" (AKA another dad) for confession until the last "man" is standing.  The kids (and dads!) love this game, even though we had a few tears about dads throwing too hard.  In the end, the dads ran through and the children pelted them with sin balls to get them back.  All in good fun!

Then two other families led games, St. Therese's Little Flower Toss, St. Isadore's Vegetable Toss, and Shoot the Deadly Sins (with arrows).  There were more prizes too.

By this time everyone was starving and we busted into the pizza.  Soon we were saying our good-byes.  It was a fun and exhausting party.  I am not a loud enough person to have to talk over that many kids for that long.  Plus, I am an introvert, and, let's just say, it drains me to host parties.  All that said, it is so worth it to see these children having so much fun while learning about the saints.

Our two St. George boys!

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