Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Rosary and Kids - Part 1

The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary, to celebrate this month I am going to do a 4 part series on the rosary and kids, with a new post each Thursday. Today is the perfect day to start such a series on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary! While we aren't perfect at it we try to pray a decade of the rosary as a family at night before bed. This can be a challenge with little ones because, well, learning to sit still for even 5 minutes is not a lot of fun. We have come up with some tactics to make the rosary a meaningful prayer experience for all of us which I will be sharing over the next few weeks.

My first way of making the rosary a positive is experience is to make the devotion enjoyable. My prayer is that my kids have fond memories of their experiences with faith, not ones that leave them thinking the Church, God and his family are an ungraspable, distant thing that imposes upon their freedom. I want them to learn that faith is what ultimately brings joy to our lives and joy is more valuable than happiness because joy does not depend upon your circumstances, but upon your disposition.

So as a fun way to talk about the rosary and its prayers we put together an edible rosary using cut outs of Multi-Grain Cheerio Treats. Healthy right? My kids have been having way too many cakes lately, so I thought maybe I could justify this one on our last day of 5 feast days in 8 days. Also we had leftover mini-marshmallows from our Bible Timeline craft where we build the walls of Jericho using frosting and mini-marshmallows, plus I over bought on multi-grain cheerios when they were on sale and they are about to expire... ta da, a dessert is born! As we pressed out the beads we talked about why there are different sizes to the beads and how a big Our Father bead and 10 small Hail Mary beads make up a decade. This also proved to be a fun lesson in math as we counted out our beads.

Next week I'll share some tactile ways that we keep the kids engaged while we pray the rosary so they stayed tuned into our prayer time and don't try to wander off looking for toys. Directions to make your own rosary are below, enjoy!

Melt 1/4 cup of butter and 10 oz of mini-marshmallows in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, stir until blended
Stir in 8 cups of cheerios until coated
Spread out on waxed paper, let cool,  cut with cookie cutters and form your rosary


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