• "Everything is a grace, everything is the direct effect of our Father's love—difficulties, contradictions, humiliations, all the soul's miseries, her burdens, her needs - everything, because through them, she learns humility, realizes her weakness - Everything is a grace because everything is God's gift. Whatever be the character of life or its unexpected events—to the heart that loves, all is well."
  • - St. Therese of Lisieux

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Lent Activities for Toddlers

Lent is just a few days away. I have rounded up a few activities for our family to do. 

I planned each week with a gospel account of Jesus' life or teaching and a couple of activities.


Ash Wednesday

Go to mass and have your foreheads marked with ash. This is another chance to bring the toddler to mass. Yeah, I know its hard, keeping them quiet and still (quite an impossible feat) while encouraging them to participate in the mass, mustering up every ounce of patience you have and gently reminding them for the nth time not to climb on the pews.

But still, bring them if you can!

Talk about Ash Wednesday. This activity from The Hogatt Homeschool will be a good way to begin talking about Ash Wednesday. I'm sure our tot would have asked 'What's that?' many times at church and I would have named everything he asked about before we do this activity. But he may want to have a go at marking a cross on a person's forehead, and the printable in this activity will be the best way to do it.

Work on those finger muscles. Use toothpicks or popsicle sticks to make crosses. 




Find more Ash Wednesday activities here

Week 1, March 1-4 

We will be using the book The Life of Jesus published by Adarna Books and Bayard Assumption Media Foundation for the stories each week. You can read directly from the Bible too. 


Story: Jesus Goes Into The Desert Matthew 4:1-11
Activity: Retell the story using blocks. I'm setting up a block center (its just a small corner where I will put all his blocks) this lent. Our Jesus Wooden Doll will be there too. This would be a great invitation to play (and have a story retelling too!)

Adventures in Mommydom has a free printable on the temptation of Jesus. It can be used to retell the story and/or for sequencing of events.


Click HERE to order your own Jesus wooden doll
More about block play during lent can be found here.

Week 2, March 5-11

Story: The Good News (Jesus Call His Disciples) Matthew 4: 18-22
Activity: We will be printing, coloring and laminating these wonderful apostles coloring page from Sara J Creations. We will not be doing the accordion book though. I plan to attach a wooden block at the base of each laminated picture so they can stand up. And again, another way to play at the 'block center'. We'll see how this turns out. I may introduce the apostles one at a time or we might retell the story on how Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James and John. And then introduce the rest of the apostles after. 

I'm coloring this printable from Sara J Creations

Week 3, March 12-18

Story: Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man Mark 2:1-12
Activity: You will need a large handkerchief and a small doll or stuffed toy for this activity. Retell the story with your tot. As you come to the part where the friends of the paralytic lowered him from the roof, place the doll or stuffed toy on the handkerchief and ask your tot to hold all four corners of the handkerchief. Jesus had healed the man because of his faith  and the faith of his four friends.

Jesus heals a paralyzed man doll play.

More ideas in my Pinterest board {Life, Teachings and Works of Jesus}


Week 4, March 19-25
Story: Bread For All John 6:1-15
Activity: You will need a non laminated paper plate (or two) and the fish and bread coloring page for this activity. You can download the coloring page here {Five Loaves and Two Fish Printable}


You may ask your toddler to color the loaves and fish or you can just print it out on brown paper for the loaves and blue or gray paper for the fish. Cut out the loaves and fish first before introducing the activity to your toddler. Present the materials as you ask how many loaves and fish the little boy in the story had.

Ask your tot to count how many fish and loaves there are; separate the loaves from the fish and count them or count them all in all. You may want to paste the fish and loaves on the paper plate for extra activity time. 

Another activity we will be doing is to eat tilapia [St. Peter's fish]. Teo will have one small tilapia for himself so he could learn to eat fish. 

*Instead of paper plates, you can use this basket made from a brown paper bag if you know your child will be careful enough not to tear it.

Week 5, March 26-April 1
Story: Stations of the Cross      

We will be doing the stations of the cross this week. I downloaded a pdf Stations of the Cross from loyolapress.com and we will be using that to pray the stations as a family.   

We will also use another free printable from Catholic inspired. This lift-flap notebook page will be ideal for us to re-tell Jesus' journey to the cross.
                                                                                                                                                   Activity: Pray the stations of the cross as a family at church. We will pray at St. John Bosco Parish in Laguna Technopark. They have a nice Stations of the Cross garden there.

But before we do that, we will have to go over all fourteen stations using the lift-flab notebook page.



The books that we are using this Lent 2017:



You can also find good-as-new pre-loved books at The Learning Basket








Monday, February 6, 2017

Celebrating The Feast of St. Josephine Bakhita

We celebrate the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita on February 8. She is the patroness of Sudan and of victims of slavery and human trafficking.


My aunt who is a Canossian nun, introduced St. Bakhita to me. I remember her giving me a couple of medals (on different occasions) and prayer cards. But it was only last year when I really became interested in knowing her.

When we attended a gathering at Canossa in Calamba a huge tarpaulin of St. Bakhita's picture was there in front of the stage. Our son, Teo was with us and so I too the opportunity to introduce him to the saint. So I pointed to her picture and told Teo a little about her life.

It was then that my heart was stirred and I realized that I could seek her intercession for our second adoption. 

And so I look to her now whenever I experience a little discomfort or physical pain; if I am not given much importance or any little suffering. She endured all those physical pain and humiliation and yet she had hope and optimism. I need that. The rest of the world needs that. That, and of course, Jesus.


Here are a few activities to do with young children at home to celebrate the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita.

1. Learn about her life story. Here are some resources:






2. Watch YouTube videos about her.







3. All while holding our newest member of wooden Saint dolls.



4. Pray for St. Josephine Bakhita's intercession. 

Novena to St. Josephine Bakhita - starts on January 31



Teo and I, and Tatay too, will be praying for those who do not know God. We will include this in our evening prayers. 

5. Open doors for everyone who comes in and out of the house. St. Josephine Bakhita worked as a door keeper at the convent of the Canossian Daughters of Charity. So we will welcome anybody who comes in and bless anybody who goes out of the door. And since we have our relatives from the US visiting, we will have a lot of people coming and going out the door! 

6. Coloring page. Teo is not much into coloring though. But we'll try doing this.

Download a PDF file here.
*for more coloring pages of the saints, click here.

Waltzing Matilda has a nice coloring page too.

You may want to try Catholic Playground's coloring page.

I hope you enjoy celebrating the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita!




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